Updates from August, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply

    When should you expect the extra $300 unemployment? 

    When should you expect the extra $300 unemployment?

    As some of you may know, an executive order was signed recently authorizing a $300 per week federal unemployment benefit. However, not every state will start issuing these payments at the same time. For example, Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri and Utah have all been approved for the additional assistance. Meanwhile, South Dakota has declined the additional assistance claiming that the majority of job losses have been recouped.

    Unfortunately, even the states that have been approved won’t be immediately issuing the additional payment. Arizona has stated that they will be sending out the payments this week while many other states may take weeks or even months due to changes that need to be made to their unemployment system. That’s not even taking into consideration the states that haven’t applied to the federal government for the additional assistance. Those states have until September 10th to request for the assistance. Many states have said that the payments will be retroactive once their systems are in place.

    The assistance itself is said to last up until December 27th or $44 billion in payments, whichever comes first. That could change if legislation is written that would offer better assistance relief to unemployment recipients.

    Even if your state has applied for the new benefit, if your weekly unemployment benefit is less than $100, you will not qualify for the additional payment.

    Hopefully, this information helps and you can plan accordingly.

    We’d also like to mention that due to the potential confusion over the executive order, scammers may try to take advantage of this confusion like they did with the economic impact payment. Not to mention that you should also keep an eye out for unemployment scams and job scams.

    (H/T Forbes)

  • Geebo 8:02 am on August 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    New scam accuses you of heinous crime 

    New scam accuses you of heinous crime

    Police impersonation scams are nothing new. This is where scammers will call you posing as some form of law enforcement. In most cases, they’ll impersonate your local police department but there have been instances where scammers have posed as federal investigators. In all instances of the scam, the scammers are accusing you of having committed some type of crime before attempting to extort money out of you to make the problem go away. In previous instances, the crimes victims have been accused of are minor crimes like traffic violations or small misdemeanors. Now, some scammers are telling their victims that they’re accused of a much more serious crime.

    In King County, Washington, scammers are said to be calling their victims posing as the King County Prosecutor’s Office. The calls are even appearing on victim’s phones as coming from the Prosecutor’s Office phone number. The scammer then tells the victim that they’re being investigated for having inappropriate contact with a minor. Scammers often use fear to intimidate their victims into paying them and nothing is more fearful than being accused of such a reprehensible crime. The victims are then being told to wire $890 through Moneygram to have the charges dropped.

    As scary as this scam might be for some people, there are two simple clues that tip calls like this off to being a scam. The first is that the scammers are asking for money through Moneygram. Scammers often use wire services like Moneygram because once the money is wired it’s untraceable. The second clue is that you received a call in the first place. If you’re ever unlucky enough to be charged with an actual crime, police will never call you to let you know. Instead, they will show up at your home with a warrant or subpoena.

    If you ever receive a call like this, keep in mind that law enforcement agencies will never call you to collect money. Any type of fine that you may owe will always be collected through the mail or through the court system. Otherwise, it’s just a scam and you should hang up.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    TikTok text is a scam 

    TikTok text is a scam

    TikTok is a social media app and platform that allows you to make and view short video content. It is insanely popular among today’s younger generations. As such, younger users may not be especially familiar with certain scams that have been affecting the platform.

    For example, some TikTok users have been reporting that they’ve been receiving text messages claiming to be from TikTok. These messages state that the user needs to verify their TikTok account. The message then provides a link to click on in order to verify the account. While the reports we’ve read do not specify it, we imagine the link takes you to a phony page that looks like TikTok and asks the user for their login information. This is known as a phishing attack.

    With this information, the TikTok account can be hijacked and then used to try to phish information from that user’s followers. However, access to TikTok accounts is not the only goal in this attack. A lot of people will use the same login information on multiple online accounts such as their email and financial accounts. Access to those accounts could allow these scammers to essentially take over someone’s life. This could result in not only lost money but could also lead to things like having credit cards and loans applied for in the user’s name. If one of these text messages is received, it’s best to ignore it and delete it.

    Our readers tend to be in a different age demographic than those who are TikTok’s target audience. So why are we telling you about this TikTok scam? If you have young children or grandchildren the odds are that they’re using TikTok. These young users may not be familiar with the ways in which online scammers will try to take advantage of them. Many kids can be a little obsessive about their TikTok account and will react to any message that claims they’re in jeopardy of losing their account. It’s our job as their mentors to teach them about things like this so they can be better prepared for the world.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Coca-Cola, Little Caesars, , , , ,   

    Commercial scams to watch out for 

    Commercial scams to watch out for

    Scammers will not hesitate to pose as even the most successful and trusted brands in our country to try to steal something from you. Whether it’s money or information, scammers will promise you the world to get what they want from you. Here are three recent scams that have posed as large commercial entities.

    On social media, a scam has been going around offering free pizza. Scammers are posing as pizza restaurant chain Little Caesars. The phony post is telling users that if you share the post and comment on it, you’ll receive a free pizza at your local Little Caesars. This is being posted by a fake Little Caesars account. The real Little Caesars account will have a verified checkmark next to their name. According to investigators, this scam is designed to get you to put some form of malware on your device.

    If you thought that a company as large as Coca-Cola can’t be used in a scam, think again. An email is currently being circulated congratulating recipients that they’ve won the Coca-Cola sweepstakes. This is a scam that’s as old as the internet itself. The email asks that you give your contact information to the phony Coke company in order to collect your winnings. Security experts say that these emails are an attempt to gather your personal information to use for future phishing attacks that could compromise your device or financial information. Remember, that you can’t win a contest you never entered. If you receive an e-mail like this, your best course of action is to delete it.

    Lastly for today, a number of AT&T mobile customers have said that they’ve been the targets of a scam. They’ve been receiving text messages that say their payments have not gone through. The text message includes a number to call to resolve the issue but the number doesn’t belong to AT&T. While no one has reported falling for the scam, we imagine it’s not unlike the tech support scam where the scammer will ask for money to try to fix the non-existent issue. If you receive a text like this, it’s best to check your account online to make sure there are no payment issues. If you need to call customer service, use the number that is on your provider’s website.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply

    What you need to know about the new Federal unemployment benefit 

    What you need to know about the new Federal unemployment benefit

    Recently, President Trump issued an executive order offering a new Federal unemployment benefit since Congress couldn’t come to terms on a new deal. Previously, unemployment recipients were receiving an additional $600 in their unemployment benefits until that assistance expired. The President’s order is claiming to offer a $400 benefit to unemployment recipients, however, there are several hoops that need to be jumped through and not everyone may qualify for the assistance.

    As of the time of this post, there has been no definitive date given as to when the new benefits will start. On top of that, the order requires that the individual states supply $100 of the $400. Before that even begins, the state’s need to formally request the assistance from the Federal Government before the states can even start issuing these additional payments.

    Another issue is that the President has said that states have the additional money to give out these benefits from their pandemic relief funds. The President’s exact words were “The states have the money. It’s sitting there.” Except, a number of states have said that these funds have already been allocated to other resources. Even wealthier states like New Jersey and California have said that the President’s order is currently unfeasible. The states even have the option to make their $100 as a normal part of your benefits meaning you may only get an additional $300 instead of $400.

    Lastly, if you’re unemployment benefits are less than $100 a week, you wouldn’t be eligible for the additional benefits unless your state stepped in.

    Hopefully, this information helps and you can plan accordingly.

    We’d also like to mention that due to this confusion over the executive order, scammers may try to take advantage of this confusion like they did with the economic impact payment. Not to mention that you should also keep an eye out for unemployment scams and job scams.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    A scammer at your door 

    A scammer at your door

    Scammers have always been quick to adapt their scams so they can steal your money as quickly as possible. Before, scammers would have their victims wire them money or they would make them buy a bunch of gift cards and the scammers would take the card numbers over the phone. More recently, scammers have started taking great lengths to make sure that nothing stands between them and stealing their victims’ money. One ploy we recently discussed was scammers keeping their victims on the phone during all aspects of the scam to make sure the victims were actually going through with the payment. Now it seems scammers are getting even more up close and personal.

    Various police departments and law enforcement agencies in Iowa are reporting that a number of residents have reported grandparent scams in their area. A grandparent scam is when the scammers pose as an elderly person’s grandchild and claim to be in some kind of trouble. This can vary from the scammer claiming to have been arrested, to being in an accident, and being stuck in a foreign country. They all have the same goal and that’s to get the victim to send them money. In one case in New York, one elderly woman gave a grandparent scammer $40,000 before realizing she had been scammed.

    The difference in these recent scams as opposed to grandparent scams of the past is that the scammers are showing up at the victim’s door to collect the money. Rather than risking someone tipping off the victim to the scam, scammers are posing as couriers and collecting money directly from the victim. This is concerning on a number of levels. Not only just for the scammer taking an elderly person’s money but the safety risk involved as well. Keep in mind that scammers are in fact criminals.

    If you ever receive a call like this, don’t hesitate to call a trusted relative to make sure the person claiming to be your grandchild is ok. If you hang up it’s not like the grandchild would be sentenced to life in prison.

    if you know an elderly person or couple who live alone and do not have access to the internet, please let them know about this scam. Also, consider setting up a family password for just such emergencies so you can verify the person calling is who they say they are.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Inheritance scam accuses you of being a terrorist 

    Inheritance scam accuses you of being a terrorist

    Residents just outside of Chicago are reporting receiving not only a scam email but some residents have reported receiving a scam letter in their mailboxes as well. In both instances, the scam threatens to have you arrested as a terrorist if you do not comply.

    The letter/email purports to be from the ‘Department of Homeland Security-ICE’ and demand that you send $580 in order to collect on an inheritance from the International Monetary Fund otherwise known as the IMF. However, if you don’t send your $580 within 48 hours, you will be assumed to be a terrorist, tracked down and arrested. The letter/email is then signed off by an officer of the ‘National Drug Law Enforcement Agency’. There’s even a phone number listed to call in Orange County, California. The scam is said to originate from an email address of ‘@homeland-ice.us’.

    Were you able to see what exactly tips the reader off that this is a scam? First off, if there ever was a warrant out for your arrest, you’re not going to receive an email about it or a photocopied email left in your mailbox. Secondly, any email from a federal government organization is going to come from a .gov email address. Anyone can purchase a .us domain name and it holds no governmental value. Lastly, there is no ‘National Drug Law Enforcement Agency’ in the United States. While we do have the DEA, there is no NDLEA which turns out is the Federal agency in Nigeria charged with enforcing that country’s drug policy. Which means that this scam is coming from overseas.

    While this scam may be humorous in its approach, it shows the prevalence of these impersonation scams. In too many scams, the scammer will pose as a member of some domestic law enforcement agency demanding money to make some perceived legal trouble to go away. Just keep in mind that no police force or law enforcement agency will demand money from you over the phone. If you do happen to owe some kind of fine, notices for that will always be delivered in the mail and won’t be a photocopied email.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Brushing scam is sending out PPE 

    Brushing scam is sending out PPE

    Brushing scams have been grabbing a lot of headlines lately due to the seeds sent to Americans from overseas. Again, if you’re unfamiliar with brushing scams, it’s when scammers send products to people unsolicited. The scammers do this to use you as a verified purchase to post fake reviews to their product page on platforms like Amazon. Often, these scammers have a stake in the product being sold. Brushing scams tend to be perpetrated by overseas scammers.

    As we mentioned, the most infamous brushing scam recently involved an overseas company sending an untold number of seed packages to people all over the country. Now, the Attorney General of Kentucky and the U.S. Attorney’s office is warning of a new brushing scam that involves personal protection equipment, or as it’s better known, PPE. These are the masks, gloves, and face shields used to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Many residents of the Bluegrass State have said that they’ve received unsolicited packages of PPE from companies with overseas addresses. When a scam like this hits one state, it’s usually not long before it starts hitting others. It is recommended that if you receive one of these packages to not use any of the PPE contained inside as the quality of the items can not be verified.

    While you are within your legal rights to keep anything that you didn’t actually order there are pitfalls to being involved in a brushing scam. The scammers could have gotten your information from a previous data breach somewhere online. That means that at least one of your online accounts may have been compromised but if you use the same password for multiple accounts, more could be compromised. It’s recommended that if you’ve been sent items from a brushing scam that you change the passwords on your online accounts and you should use different passwords for each account. A password manager is recommended to assist you with that. Also, you should keep an eye on your credit as brushing scammers could potentially have your financial information as well. You should also check your accounts on retailers like Amazon to make sure that purchases or reviews have not been made in your name.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Scammers file for unemployment in Governor’s name 

    Scammers file for unemployment in Governor's name

    Unemployment recipients are receiving a virtual beating right now. If it’s not the additional $600 Federal benefit expiring, it’s the scammers. If you haven’t seen the news, overseas scammers are assailing the unemployment benefits systems of all 50 states. Due to the record number of people applying for unemployment because of the global pandemic, scammers are slipping in through the cracks and applying for benefits under stolen identities. They’ve even applied for benefits under the names of people who are currently employed. This has caused delays for many legitimate unemployment recipients who are currently living hand to mouth.

    It’s gotten so bad in Arkansas that scammers applied for benefits in the Governor’s name and had them approved. In Arkansas, 27,000 unemployment applications are on hold because of how frequent scammers are applying for benefits. Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, the state unemployment office has hired additional staff to help detect scam applications. It makes us ask, what is broken in the state unemployment systems that allow scammers to collect benefits under the names of people who are currently employed? While we realize that the wheels of government turn slowly, we have to wonder how outdated some of the government systems are. That’s not even taking into account people who may have been incorrectly denied for benefits. Who knows how many millions of dollars in benefits have been lost to scammers.

    If you should be receiving unemployment payments but you’re not, check with your state’s unemployment website to make sure they have your correct banking information or address depending on how you receive your payment. If you’re employed and have received unemployment benefits or received a letter that you’ve been approved for benefits, tell everyone. Notify your employer if they haven’t notified you and notify your state’s Department of Labor or regional equivalent. It may take some time and patience to reach someone but it’s important to notify your state right away. Please, do not let it go too long. And whatever you do, don’t spend any of the benefits you may receive as that is considered fraud and could land you in legal trouble.

  • Geebo 8:58 am on August 4, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Little Rock, , ,   

    Airports do not have pet departments 

    Airports do not have pet departments

    The Better Business Bureau is saying that they’ve seen a dramatic increase in the amount of puppy scams that have been happening since the start of the global pandemic.

    If you’re unfamiliar with the puppy scam, it’s when scammers will advertise puppies for sale online but the puppies don’t exist. A good way to tell if an online ad for a puppy is a scam is if the supposed breeder is advertising the puppy for much less than what the breed normally costs.

    Once you’ve paid for the puppy, the scammers will start adding on extra charges. Often they’ll claim it will be for things like special shipping crates or customs fees.

    Recently, the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas has been reporting a number of people calling to speak to the airport’s pet department. Commercial airports like this don’t have pet departments. Often, the scammers will pose as an airport’s non-existent pet department to try to claim additional payment from the scam’s victims.

    This scam starts with the official-looking websites scammers have that make it look like they’re legitimate dog breeders. A great way to see if a breeder’s website is a fake is to do a reverse image search to see if the pictures of the puppies appear anywhere else on the internet. Scammers will take pictures from off of Google Image Search since they don’t have any actual puppies.

    As we always suggest when shopping for a new pet, the best way to protect yourself is to adopt from your local shelter. Many shelters have lists you can sign up for if you’re looking for a specific breed. Not only is this more cost-effective but you’re also helping the shelters continue to in assisting their efforts.

    But if you have your heart set on a certain breed, buy from local dog breeders. Even then, do your research on the breeder to make sure they’re raising their animals humanely. Unfortunately, there are too many ‘backyard breeders’ who are looking to make money quick by selling sick pets.

    Adding a pet to your life is a life-changing event and you should be properly prepared for such a momentous occasion.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc