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  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    Scammers target man whose dog passed 

    Puppy scammers still finding victims during pandemic

    Adopting a pet into your home is a great way to deal with not only loneliness but also anxiety and depression during the current crisis. That’s exactly what one Los Angeles-area man wanted to do especially after losing his beloved canine friend of 16 years.

    The man was looking to adopt a Rottweiler puppy but found the prices from breeders to be too high at $3,000 to $4,000. Unfortunately, the man turned to one of the worst places you can go to adopt a pet, Craigslist.

    The man found a listing for Rottweiler puppies but the people giving them away were supposedly in Montana. The person claiming to give the puppies away said they had to because their son was a breeder who died from cancer. All the man had to do was pay $280 to an alleged shipping company called Blessing Air Movers. When the payment through an online app didn’t go through, the movers asked for payment in Walmart gift cards. Then the shipper asked for more money for a special crate to ship the puppy in. Of course, the puppy never came and probably never existed.

    While our hearts break for this man, the number of red flags in this scam may have set some type of record.

    For example, when adopting a pet, you should try to only deal with local breeders. Fraudulent out of state shipping costs are a hallmark of this scam. The scammers also had a sob story for why the puppies were being given away at such a discounted rate. These stories are used in several scams and often involve a relative dying or a military member shipping out among others. Then there’s the shipping company that uses a vaguely religious name. Many scammers use religious subtext in their scams either to gain the trust of someone of that religion or just to appeal more trustworthy in general. Both payment options of a cash app or gift cards should have also been red flags as these are often used by scammers to receive untraceable or unrecoverable payments. And lastly, if you find yourself having made a payment to a potential scammer and they keep asking for more money to rectify the situation, it’s more than likely a scam.

    As always, we recommend adopting a pet from one of your local shelters. As even mentioned by the SPCA of LA in the article, shelters will often have purebreds in their population. Some even have reservation lists if you’re looking for a particular breed. Not to mention that the cost will probably be minimal or even free.

     
  • Geebo 8:01 am on May 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    Unemployment scam not just targeting the unemployed 

    We’ve previously posted about unemployment scams in Washington and Colorado. Now it seems that these scams are becoming a nationwide problem and it’s also affecting people who are currently employed.

    Scammers have been using stolen identities to apply for unemployment benefits in several states hoping to shift the money to overseas scamming rings. This has caused delays in issuing payments to those who are currently depending on their unemployment benefits. Considering the record amount of unemployment the nation has been facing lately it’s probably been easy for scammers to slip through the cracks.

    However, it’s not just the unemployed that these scams are targeting. In many states, people who are currently employed have been notified by their employers that someone has used their identity to file for unemployment benefits. This could result in several financial headaches for the victims. Not the least of which could be getting audited by the IRS if it’s not caught in time.

    Some of the states that have been hit by this scam are Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Wyoming. There have also been reports out of Pennsylvania and Maine that they’ve been targets as well.

    Even if you are currently employed, you may want to sign up for an account state’s unemployment office. Some states allow you to sign up for an account without needing unemployment benefits. If you’re currently unemployed, we recommend checking with your state‚Äôs unemployment office to make sure your payments are being sent to the correct destination.

    Also, please keep in mind that your state’s unemployment office may contact you by phone or email. However, they should not be asking for any personal identifying information. They should already have that information from when you first applied for benefits. If someone is asking for that information claiming to be from the unemployment office they could be a scammer looking to steal your identity.

    (H/T CBS)

     
  • Geebo 8:13 am on May 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    Stimulus debit cards delivered in unmarked envelopes 

    Stimulus debit cards delivered in unmarked envelopes

    Last week, we posted about the stimulus debit cards that some taxpayers will receive instead of paper checks. To summarize, those taxpayers who didn’t provide the IRS with their banking information might receive one of these cards known as EIP cards instead of a paper check.

    Some taxpayers are already starting to receive their EIP cards, however, some have been suspicious of the cards since they’re being delivered in unmarked envelopes. These cards are, in fact, the legitimate EIP cards and can be used mostly like a normal debit card. So if you’re expecting your stimulus payment in the mail, don’t throw out any unmarked envelopes until you receive your card.

    The envelope will say it’s been sent by Money Network Cardholder Services while the card itself will have a VISA logo along with the name MetaBank which is the issuing bank.

    In other consumer financial news, the state of Colorado is warning residents about a scam that is targeting the unemployed. Scammers are posing as employees of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment or the Colorado Division of Unemployment Insurance. They’ll contact their victims by phone or email asking for personal information such as your Social Security number, your bank account numbers, and bank account passwords. Please keep in mind that while this is being reported in Colorado, this scam could come to any state.

    If you’ve recently applied for unemployment in your state, the unemployment office may contact you, however, they will not ask for any personal information. Most offices will already have the information they need from when you initially applied for benefits.

     
  • Geebo 8:06 am on May 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    There is no 2nd stimulus payment 

    There is no 2nd stimulus payment

    With life in the United States currently adapting to the everyday changes brought on by the global pandemic, scammers and con artists have been adapting as well. With every change, they continue to tweak and transform their scams into whatever can best serve them now while disregarding the untold victims they leave in their wake.

    By most reports, the majority of those who were eligible to receive the economic impact payments have received them. That doesn’t mean that there still aren’t those who could use additional stimulus benefits. There has been talk among lawmakers to issue additional payments, but as of the time of this posting (5/26/2020) no additional stimulus payments have been approved by the government.

    That hasn’t stopped scammers from trying to fool their victims into believing that a second stimulus payment is on its way. The reason the scammers are doing this is so they can pull the same scams they tried when the initial stimulus payment was being issued.

    A report from the Georgia Attorney General’s Office is warning residents about one such scam where the scammers are posing as IRS employees. They’re saying they can provide additional funds as long as the consumer installs a certain software on their device. The victims are then asked for a $1,000 gift card to pay for the software.

    So in this particular scam, the scammers are double-dipping their victims. Not only are the scammers trying to steal consumers’ money by asking for payment by gift card but they’re also installing software on consumers’ devices. This software can be anything from malware designed to steal your security credentials or ransomware that can lock you out of your device.

    If the IRS needed to contact you for any reason, they will contact you by postal mail. They will not contact you unwarranted by phone, text, or email.

     
    • Robert Jamison 2:31 pm on May 27, 2020 Permalink

      I’m on SSI and I haven’t received my stimulus check or has been direct deposited into my account and the IRS has all my info on my direct deposit but I got the nice letter from the POS Trump be nice to get the stimulus first before you get the letter

  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    Contact tracing scam is still being used 

    Contact tracing scam is still  being used

    Contact tracing is basically medical detective work when it comes to contagious diseases. While it’s currently being used to try to disrupt COVID-19 infections, in the past, it’s been used to try to prevent infectious diseases like tuberculosis and measles from spreading. It works when treating an infected person and finding who they have been in close contact with and trying to get those individuals tested for the infection.

    If someone was found to have been in contact with an infected individual, they should receive a text message from their local health department saying that they will soon receive a phone call from their health department. The process behind modern contact racing still has a lot of hurdles to overcome as shown by the following video.

    Now, that hasn’t stopped scammers from trying to imitate the legitimate text messages that would be sent out in case of a potential infection. The phony texts are sent out en masse hoping to trick as many victims as possible. It will appear like the legitimate text messages but instead of telling you’ll receive a call from the health department, it will instruct you to click on a link.

    Once you click the link, you’ll be asked for personal information like your social security number, bank account information, and credit card number. None of this information would be needed by your local health department. At least not your financial information.

    Being told that you’ve been in contact with someone who has contracted the coronavirus can be scary. Scammers prey on that fear to try to get you to make rash decisions that you normally wouldn’t make otherwise.

    If you receive one of these texts that asks you to click on a link, take a breath and think about it for a moment. If there is any concern that you may have actually been in contact with someone who has been infected, your best bet is to contact your local health department.

    The CDC has a website where you can find information for each state’s health department.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    If you were expecting a paper stimulus check you may not get one 

    If you were expecting to receive your stimulus payment by paper check, you may not be receiving one. Instead, the Treasury Department has announced that they’ll be sending some four million payments on prepaid debit cards. The Treasury Department claims that it will be quicker to send out the debit cards than it would be to issue paper checks.

    The majority of people who will be receiving the debit cards are those who did not provide the IRS with direct deposit information and had their tax returns processed by the IRS centers in Austin, Texas, or Andover, Massachusetts. The Andover service center processed returns for much of New England while the Austin service center processed returns for taxpayers in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The Austin service center also covers those who use a military mailing address like an APO or FPO.

    There are very few restrictions on the card and consumers will be able to use it like a normal debit card. There are no fees for purchases or withdrawing money as long as the money is withdrawn from an in-network ATM. If your card were to be lost or stolen it would cost around $25 to have it replaced.

    While the debit card will be more convenient for most people rather than a paper check, there are still some safeguards you should take after receiving yours. No matter how ecstatic you may be about receiving your payment, do not post a picture of the card on social media. It will take bad actors no time at all to drain your funds off of the card with just the card number. Also keep in mind that if someone claims to be from the government calling about the debit card, they’re almost assuredly a scammer.

    Lastly, for individuals with privacy concerns, the Treasury Department says that the government cannot track your spending habits from the card.

     
    • Andrenikki 2:47 pm on May 24, 2020 Permalink

      Wassup wit The Stimulus Check

  • Geebo 8:39 am on May 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    COVID test scam targets elderly 

    COVID test scam targets elderly

    During the current crisis, the elderly are not only the most vulnerable to the virus but could also be the most vulnerable to coronavirus related scams. Once again, an old scam has been repurposed for the global pandemic and it involves seniors’ healthcare.

    According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers are posing as Medicare employees offering coronavirus home testing kits. They ask their victims for personal information including seniors’ Medicare information. Tests are sent to the victims but again, no home test has been approved for use by the FDA. The BBB says that these scammers are more than likely committing Medicare fraud and are billing these tests to Medicare. If Medicare is paying the scammers for these tests, this could affect Medicare coverage for future coronavirus testing by doctors.

    If you receive one of these calls or possibly an email from someone claiming to be from Medicare offering you a test kit, either hang up on the call or delete the email. Whatever you do, please do not respond to any of these offers. Keep in mind that if Medicare was actually calling you, they wouldn’t need to ask for your Medicare number.

    This also goes for people on private health insurance as well. Your insurance company isn’t going to offer you an at-home test kit and won’t ask you for your ID number. If your insurance company ever does need to call you, they’ll already have that information on hand.

    Both Medicare and private insurances mostly communicate with patients by postal mail. Anybody claiming to be them with some kind of offer is either an identity thief or an insurance fraudster.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    Scams targeting those trying to return to work 

    Scams targeting those trying to return to work

    With many states trying to return to normal, many people are looking to gain employment after record numbers of workers have been unemployed. Never ones to miss out on an opportunity to seize ill-gotten gains from tragedy, scammers and con artists have been increasing their scams that target job seekers.

    One particularly disturbing scam is targeting the unemployed in at least one state. In Washington, scammers are using stolen identities to try to collect unemployment benefits. This takes much needed financial relief out of the hands of the people that need them and put them potentially into the hands of overseas scammers. It is recommended to check with your state’s unemployment office to make sure your payments are being sent to the correct destination. In some states, you can even sign up for an account through the state without even needing unemployment benefits.

    Of course, scammers have also been trying to fool job seekers with legitimate-looking positions. One man looking for employment posted his resume to a number of job boards like Indeed and Monster hoping to find a position that would take advantage of the years of his experience. Instead, he received a job offer that just tried to take advantage of him. He received a job offer from a company that he had not even applied to. Everything about the position looked legitimate so he accepted the position. However, the ‘company’ sent the man his payment by a check that was over the amount he was supposed to be paid. They told him to deposit the check and return the difference to them. Thankfully, the man was familiar with the phony check scheme and did not deposit the check. But he was devastated that this was not a legitimate job.

    Lastly, old employment scams are finding new victims after so many have been unemployed for the past few months. One of those scams is the car wrap scam. In it, the scammer will promise you so much money a week to display advertising on your car. More often than not, these offers are scams. One woman in California accepted one of these positions and once again, she was sent a check that was more than she was supposed to receive. She was also aware of the phony check scam and did not deposit the check.

    While these may be lean times, always do your due diligence when looking for a job. If you are offered a position, always research the company that’s offering you the job. Sometimes, something as simple as checking their address on Google Maps can reveal their true intentions.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    Still haven’t received your stimulus check? This might be why. 

    Still haven't received your stimuls check? This might be why.

    The majority of stimulus payments were supposed to have been issued by this past Wednesday, May 13th. However, there are still a substantial amount of Americans who have yet to receive their economic impact payments. While many have very complicated situations that may affect their payments, we’ll try to provide as much information as we can with publicly available information.

    We’ve received a number of comments from our readers who are Supplemental Security Income representative payees and are concerned about the status of their payments. According to the Social Security Administration’s website, if you filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return the payment should have been sent to the bank account provided on your tax return for an electronic tax refund, or mailed to the address provided on your tax return. However, if a 2018 or 2019 tax return was not required, the payee should receive the payment in late May either to their bank account by direct deposit or the Direct Express card depending on how the SSI payment is normally received. More information for SSI recipients and payees can also be found here.

    For everyone else who hasn’t received their stimulus payment yet, it could be just a matter of waiting. The deadline to provide your direct deposit information to the IRS has passed if they didn’t already have it on file. If you used a tax preparing service for your last tax return, your payment may have been sent to a temporary bank account set up by your tax preparer. If that is the case, the payment will be sent back to the government who will issue you a paper check.

    If your plan was to get a paper check all along, they are still in the process of being issued. Your annual income for 2018 or 2019 will determine how long you’ll be waiting for your check. Lower-income taxpayers will receive their paper checks first.

    Lastly, if you filed a paper tax return for 2019, your payment may be delayed as paper returns have been put on hold by the IRS.

    Unfortunately, we can’t answer why payment has been delayed for every situation, but we hope this post answers the questions that some of our readers have had.

     
    • Anonymous 9:58 am on May 18, 2020 Permalink

      What if you didn’t file taxes at all. Just do odd jobs will they get stimulas check

    • Geebo 11:06 am on May 18, 2020 Permalink

      Yes. You’ll need to go to the Get My Payment page for the IRS and click on non-filer. However, we believe you may have missed the deadline for direct deposit and will probably receive a paper check. That may take some time. https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment

    • Eddie 11:58 am on May 18, 2020 Permalink

      I have not get my money

    • Anonymous 2:34 pm on May 18, 2020 Permalink

      I don’t have a computer and I’m on social security have had the same.bank for 25 years with direct deposit so where my money t w odell

    • Sharlene Bolen 3:30 pm on May 18, 2020 Permalink

      My husband is on disability and we are married he received his 1200 $ stimulus but nothing for me will I get a separate check from his

    • Evelyn 2:48 pm on May 19, 2020 Permalink

      My son gets ssi ssa an I’m his payee an he still hasn’t received his

    • Vickie Vowell 9:32 am on May 21, 2020 Permalink

      My husband got his we are married an I haven’t gotten mine

    • Vickie Vowell 9:33 am on May 21, 2020 Permalink

      My husband got his we are married an I haven’t gotten minehe got his in his account

    • Charlene Manzone 2:56 pm on May 21, 2020 Permalink

      I get ssd I got my money on time but still no stimulus payment I have direct deposit with direct express I don’t understand what is taking so long for me to get my stimulus payment

    • Diana Kennedy 7:18 pm on May 21, 2020 Permalink

      I don’t understand why my daughter has not received her stimulus yet she has three children taking care of them. She owed back taxes but she should still get her stimulus package as well it’s not the children fault. They are the ones who need it the most.

    • Lisa Coursey 4:44 pm on May 22, 2020 Permalink

      My husband got his I have not he is on SSI

    • Kathy A Showalter 4:12 pm on May 23, 2020 Permalink

      My husband is on ssi with no payee and still have not got his yet

    • FELIX COLON 5:38 am on May 28, 2020 Permalink

      MI ESPOSO ESTA EN SSI HACEN TRES DIAS ME METI A LA PAGINA DE CHEQUEAR EL PAGO Y ME INFORMO QUE EL PAGO ESTARIA HOY 28 DE MAYO Y NO HAY NADA. COMO ES QUE ESA PAGINA LA INFORMACION NO SEA CIERTA NO HAY PERSONAL POR TELEFONO. CHEQUES PAPEL NO ES EL RESUELVE.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    Used car scams have this one thing in common 

    Used car scams have this one thing in common

    With so many states reopening and taxpayers are flush with cash from their stimulus checks many consumers are looking to purchase a new vehicle.

    eBay has been selling vehicles on its platform for over a decade now. eBay Motors can be a good place to search if you’re looking for a specific make and model of vehicle. eBay even has a Vehicle Protection Plan that will cover certain losses associated with fraud. However, con artists are using eBay’s name and branding to rip off people looking to purchase a new vehicle.

    Within the past week there have been a number of reports of used car scams that have had an eBay element to them. Please keep in mind that eBay is not actually involved in any of these scams.

    In Louisiana, the Better Business Bureau there is warning consumers about purchasing cars where an online ad promises the eBay Vehicle Protection Plan. They’re saying that if you see the promise of the Vehicle Protection Plan on any other platform besides eBay, like craigslist, there’s a good likelihood that the ad could be a scam.

    In another scam that seems to be occurring in multiple locations across the country, scammers are asking for payment in eBay gift cards for vehicles that don’t exist. In Virginia, scammers are said to be using emails with official-looking eBay branding to lure unsuspecting victims into paying for vehicles with eBay gift cards. A similar scam is also taking place in Omaha, Nebraska where a couple lost $4500 after trying to pay for a motorcycle with eBay gift cards.

    Anybody with a half-decent knowledge of computers can claim that their vehicle is protected by eBay’s Vehicle Protection Plan or make their email look like it’s from eBay. So unless you’re actually shopping on eBay, those promises and branding are more than likely nothing more than stolen assets. Also, gift cards are the currency of scammers since they’re virtually untraceable once the serial numbers are given out. If someone online ever asks you to make any payment using any kind of gift card, there’s a high probability you’re being scammed.

     
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