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  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Dangerous job scam back in the news 

    Dangerous job scam back in the news

    By Greg Collier

    There are several different job scams that someone could find online. In most instances, these scams will either steal your personal information, steal your money, or both. However, there is one job scam that potentially puts its victims in real danger.

    We’re referring to the reshipping or repackaging scam. In the reshipping scam, the victim is asked to inspect goods that are sent to their home before putting the goods in new packaging and sending them to a third party, usually overseas. The goods themselves are typically purchased with stolen credit card information. The scam is typically part of a larger money laundering operation.

    This scam is so lucrative that the scammers will even use paid employment platforms like Indeed. These same scammers will often claim they represent major retailers like Amazon and Walmart, or that they’re contracted with them.

    Recently, in South Carolina, authorities there have received numerous complaints about a supposed shipping company that was supposedly employing reshippers all over the country. In this instance, the reshippers were never paid after sending out packages. When the victims would try to contact the shipping company about payment, the shipping company would block all communications. The company claimed that their main office was in South Carolina, but no actual company existed at the address listed.

    The real problem with the reshipping scam is that even victims could find themselves in legal trouble. If the victim knowingly falsifies shipping documents under the instruction of the scammers to get around US customs, that is considered mail fraud and could get the victim serious jail time.

    Please keep in mind that there are no legitimate jobs that involve receiving packages and shipping them to someone else from your home. If you see an ad listing for such a job, it’s a scam.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Is Zelle deflecting blame for role in scams? 

    Is Zelle deflecting blame for role in scams?

    By Greg Collier

    The Zelle scam has been grabbing headlines since at least last October. In that time, the seven banks that own Zelle have done little to prevent scammers from using their platform to steal from their customers. It seems the only way victims can ever get their money back is by contacting their local media. This should not be the way for customers to resolve issues over an app that is obviously plagued with security issues. Recently, a representative from Zelle gave a comment to the media that seems to sum up their ongoing stance on the scam.

    But before we get into the nitty-gritty, Zelle is a payment app that is owned by seven of some of the biggest banks in the country. Zelle is supposed to only be used between friends for things like settling a restaurant bill. Instead, scammers have used it as a virtual open door into the customer’s bank account, where the scammer can just walk in and take what they want.

    Typically, the scam works like this. You get a text message that appears to come from your bank. The text message asks if you’ve recently made a large purchase or payment. You’re then asked to reply either yes or no to the text message. When you reply to the text message, your reply will be followed up with a phone call from scammers posing as your bank’s fraud department. The scammers will walk you through a process on the Zelle app that the scammers say will protect your account from any fraudulent activity. What’s really going on is the scammers are instructing you on how to put your money in the scammer’s account.

    As we previously mentioned, the only way victims have been able to get any kind of restitution is by contacting their local media. Once the victim is featured in a news story, it’s usually just a matter of time before the bank returns their money.

    This recently happened in the Denver-area. A victim there lost $3,000 to the scam, but had her money returned by her bank once she appeared on the local news. It’s in this story where Zelle gives a comment that basically sums up their largely inactive stance on the matter.

    In a statement to Contact Denver7, the operator of Zelle wrote, “Zelle does not hold the funds. We provide messaging between financial institutions.”

    I think it goes without saying that this isn’t the correct attitude to take.

    Zelle has claimed that they have published tips on the app to help avoid scams, but that doesn’t appear to be enough since the scam keeps finding victims. It also doesn’t help that Zelle offers little in the way of protections if it’s used in a fraudulent manner. Since Zelle is owned by seven different banks, it gives the illusion of protection, whether that’s warranted or not.

    If Zelle and its owners want to encourage users to use their app, staying silent while their customers lose money isn’t the way to go about it.

    If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from your bank, politely end the call and call your bank’s customer service department back at the correct customer service number. The number can usually be found on the back of your debit card or on the bank’s website.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 27, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Tips to detect the tech support scam 

    Tips to detect the tech support scam

    By Greg Collier

    Yesterday, we discussed how the jury duty is one of the most common and well-known scams, yet it still continues to find victims. Today’s scam is another scam like that, and it’s the tech support scam. This is where you’re using your computer and an invasive message pops up saying that your computer has been compromised.

    These pop up messages can even prevent you from closing any windows or shutting down your computer. The messages claim to be from some well-known tech company like Microsoft or McAfee and that you need to call them right now at the number they’ve provided. However, the customer service number provided is a fake, and instead leads you to scammers posing as one of these companies. Before you know it, you’ve lost thousands of dollars to a scammer for some phony service you didn’t need to begin with.

    A woman from Baltimore almost fell for one of these scams. She states that a message that appeared to come from Microsoft popped up on her husband’s Google Chromebook. This should have been a red flag that this was a scam, but not everyone knows the ins and outs of computer operating systems. If you’re using a Chromebook that runs Google’s Chrome OS, then why is Microsoft, who make Windows 10 and 11, letting you know about a problem on a competitor’s system? The same would go for an Apple Computer. Microsoft would not tell you about a problem on your iMac or MacBook.

    Getting back to the story, the woman called the number and was told to download an app that would let the phony technical support rep have remote access to her computer. This is another giant red flag. Letting anyone you don’t know personally have access to your computer is always a bad idea. This allows bad actors to go through all the personal files on your computer. Much of this information can be used in identity theft or selling your identity to identity thieves.

    The scammer then told her that there was fraudulent activity on the woman’s bank account and that she needed to move her money to avoid further fraud. She was then asked for the customer service number from the back of her debit card and that the phony rep was going to connect her to her bank and help her move the money. Of course, the bank rep was just another scammer. It wasn’t until the woman was asked to send a copy of her driver’s license when she said she felt uncomfortable and terminated the call. Luckily, she didn’t lose any money.

    If you think about it, even the pop-up messages that overtake your screen are a tip off to a scam. Real word hacks and viruses are designed to be undetected. It’s their purpose to remain as hidden as possible to collect as much information as possible or cause as much damage as possible before being detected.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    The most common scams are the worst 

    The most common scams are the worst

    By Greg Collier

    The most common scams are also the most profitable scams. The reason scammers keep committing these scams is that victims keep falling for them. As we research the news for the latest information about scams, there’s one scam we continually see on an almost daily basis. If we were asked, we’d probably say that the most common scam in this country is the jury duty scam.

    The scam is almost elegant in its simplicity. Many of us grew up being told that if we miss jury duty, you can be arrested. Scammers take that one kernel of truth and twist the reality around it to make their scam seem so plausible.

    For example, a woman from the Houston-area of Texas almost fell victim to one of these scams. She received a phone call that appeared to come from a local phone number. The man on the other line spoke with a Texas accent and claimed to be from the Sheriff’s Office. He informed the woman that she had missed jury duty. The caller gave the woman three options to rectify the matter. She could either go to the Sheriff’s Office and be held in custody for 8-10 hours, have a warrant issued for her arrest, or drive to a nearby address with $900 in cash.

    This scammer is good at what he does. His threats for not paying the cash are more of an inconvenience than life and death stakes, making the scam seem more believable. As well as only asking for $900, as that can appear to seem like a reasonable court cost to many. However, I think he overplayed his hand by asking the woman to go to an address with cash that I’m guessing wasn’t the Sheriff’s Office.

    While the woman admitted that the scam seemed very real, she did not fall victim to it. Her husband contacted a lawyer friend of his, who told them it was a scam.

    Our point is that just because a scam is common doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has heard of it. We deal with this subject every day, so we know. You read our posts, so you know. But there are so many more people out there who don’t.

    The only thing the others are missing is just a small amount of knowledge to protect them from that scam. And that knowledge is police departments don’t call citizens to threaten them with arrest over jury duty. Everything concerning jury duty is typically done by the postal mail. That includes missing jury duty. So if you haven’t received anything in the mail about jury duty, you’re not on the verge of bring arrested.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 25, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Job scam hits college student hard 

    By Greg Collier

    When we think of scam victims, we tend to think of the elderly. However, a very close second to the elderly are college-aged adults. While the former has a wealth of life experience, they may not be savvy with modern tech. Meanwhile, the latter typically tend to have little life experience to draw on to help protect hem from scams. It may even be that since they were raised with the technology, that could make them even more susceptible to scams.

    For example, a college student from Florida was looking to supplement his income while taking classes. He received an email from someone who was using an email address issued by his college. If you’re not a student or faculty member of said school, then it is almost impossible to get access to one of the school’s email addresses.

    The job was said to pay $500 a week and would have the student helping out foster homes and orphanages in the area. The employer sent the student a check for $4500. The student was instructed to print out the check before making a mobile deposit of the check. He was told to keep $500 for himself, while sending the rest of the money to other employees of the company through PayPal and Zelle.

    It wasn’t too long before the student’s bank contacted him to let him know the check was a fake. The student texted his supposed boss, who sent him another check and told him to deposit that one too. That check was recognized by the bank as also being fake and denied the deposit. The bank even informed the student that he would be responsible for the overages in his account.

    If you know someone in your family who is about to head off to college or has just started college, please let them know about this scam. Let them know that no legitimate employer will ever ask them to use their own bank account for business purposes. Even in today’s marketplace with non-traditional employers, they will never ask you to deposit anything in your bank account to pay someone else. If they do, they’re not a legitimate employer.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Cash flipping scam not confined to one app 

    Cash flipping scam not confined to one app

    By Greg Collier

    We’ve discussed cash flipping scams in the past. They are mostly associated with the payment app Cash App. Cash App has giveaways on Fridays that they call #CashAppFridays. If you follow that hashtag on Twitter or Instagram, you could be eligible for a cash prize from Cash App. This has led to a number of scammers who have hijacked the hashtag to commit the cash, or money, flipping scam.

    The scammers try to convince their victims that they’ll give the victims a lot of money in exchange for a little money. For example, a scammer may promise victims $500 if the victims send the scammers $50 through Cash App. Once the victim sends the money through Cash App, the scammer blocks the victim and keeps their money. Cash App policies have been said to give little recourse to victims in scams like this. Payments can often only be refunded if the person who receives the payment cancels the transaction.

    More recently, the cash flipping scam has migrated from Cash App and onto other payment apps such as Venmo and Zelle. A Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina has recently warned residents there that the scam was finding victims. The Sheriff even said that it’s almost impossible to recover your money once it’s sent to a scammer, since transfers are made instantly, making it incredibly difficult to find the scammer.

    As we always say, cash flipping is not a real thing. You wouldn’t give money to a stranger on the street who promised to invest it. So, why would you give it to a stranger on social media? It’s understandable that people in dire financial straits may be desperate enough to do anything to keep their heads above water. However, there is no true way to get rich quick, and if someone tries, they could find themselves in deeper financial trouble than before.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Why are scammers asking if you’ve seen a missing person? 

    Why are scammers asking if you've seen a missing person?

    By Greg Collier

    In a follow-up to yesterday’s post about police impersonation, we found three more police impersonation scams in less than 24 hours. These scams have become so prevalent that the scammers have started changing their game in order to find new victims.

    Our first scam comes to us from Georgetown, Kentucky, where scammers are posing as investigators with the local police department. While spoofing the number of the police department, the scammers are asking victims if they’ve been in contact with a missing person. The victim is then told that their phone number is the last one the missing person contacted. The next step of the scam is kind of unclear, but the police are saying the scammers are asking the victims for $1500 that is supposed to help the family of the missing person. Typically, in these scams, the scammers demand money under the threat of arrest. It’s unknown if that tactic is being used here. In any event, Georgetown Police are asking residents to contact them if they receive a call like this.

    Scammers in Southwestern Virginia are taking advantage of families who are already down on their luck and have a family member who is incarcerated. These families are receiving calls from someone posing as a sergeant from the regional jail where the victim’s family member is being held. The scammer is offering to have the incarcerated family member moved to a home confinement program for $500 to $600. In this instance, the scammer is said to be accepting money through a payment app, although the specific app has not been made known. Please keep in mind that law enforcement and government agencies do not ask for payments through apps like Venmo, Cash App, Zelle, etc.

    Lastly, police in Vermont are warning retail business owners about a scam that’s been targeting them lately. In this scam, the scammers pose as police, again using a spoofed phone number. The scammers then tell one of the business’ employees that the owner has filed a police report claiming that the money in the cash register has been switched with counterfeit bills. The employee is then instructed to collect the money and bring it to the back door of the business. There’s no word on if anyone has fallen victim to this scam. For the victims’ sake, we hope not, as an in-person scam like this could put a victim in extreme danger.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 20, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    The latest twist on the police impersonation scam 

    The latest twist on the police impersonation scam

    By Greg Collier

    Law enforcement officers and agents are arguably the people most imitated by scammers. Most people either have a certain respect for or a fear of the police. So, it seems almost an obvious choice for scammers to impersonate police to get their victims to do what they want.

    We’ve discussed many of these police impersonation scams before. The two most common police impersonation scams are the jury duty scam and the arrest warrant scam. Actually, they’re both the same scam. In the jury duty scam, the scammers will call their victims to tell them they’ve missed jury duty. The victims are then instructed to make a payment over the phone or a warrant will be issued for their arrest. In the arrest warrant scam, the scammers just say that there is a warrant out for the victim’s arrest, although a payment could make the warrant go away.

    When these scammers ask, or in some cases, demand payment, they usually ask the victim to pay through untraceable means. These usually include payment apps like Venmo and Zelle, prepaid debit cards like Green Dot, cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, and of course, gift cards.

    King City, on the Central Coast of California, has reported that scammers are posing as one of their detectives in a police impersonation scam. However, the scammer isn’t threatening their victims with arrest. In this case, the scammer says that they’re investigating a case where the victim’s identity has been stolen. The victim is then instructed by the phony detective to move all their money from the bank to a Bitcoin account to clear their identity. In reality, the money goes into the scammer’s Bitcoin wallet, and they make off with the victim’s money.

    This scam isn’t just limited to your local police department, either. In the past, we have seen scammers pose as the FBI, the DEA, Homeland Security, and Border Patrol just to name a few. However, you can protect yourself from this scam with just one important piece of knowledge. No law enforcement office or agency will ever demand payment for anything over the phone.

    If you ever receive one of these phone calls, try to give the caller as little information as possible and tell them you’ll call them back. Don’t let them keep you on the phone. Then call your local police department and inform them of the call.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Scam Round Up: 3 phone scams worth noting 

    Scam Round Up: 3 phone scams worth noting

    By Greg Collier

    This week in the Scam Round Up, we’re discussing three scams related to phones that have been in the news a lot recently.


    Our first scam has been affecting both T-Mobile and Verizon customers. Users of both services have reported receiving text messages offering them a free gift. The text messages say, “Your bill is paid for March. Thanks, here’s a little gift for you.” The text message also contains a link for customers to click on to get their free gift. These messages are not coming from the phone providers, but instead are coming from scammers. If a customer clicks the link, they’ll be taken to a page where they’ll be asked for their personal information under the guise of verifying their identity. Or, they’ll be asked for payment to cover the cost of shipping the supposed free gift. Of course, there is no free gift to be had. If you receive a text message like this, it’s best just to ignore and delete it.


    The next phone scam is one of those scams that would be ingenious if it wasn’t so harmful. In this scam, scammers are calling their victims and asking them one question, “Can you hear me now?” The scammers are hoping that the victim gives them a ‘Yes’ response, so the scammers can get a voice recording of the victim. This is so the scammers can use the victim’s recorded voice as a voice authorization for any number of reasons. Such voice authorizations can be used to make purchases or access a victim’s bank account in some situations. If someone you don’t know calls you and starts asking you questions, it’s advised that you do not respond. Another way to protect yourself from this scam is to use the ‘if it’s important enough, they’ll leave a voice mail’ method.


    Our last scam has been problematic for us to post about since it involves some adult themes. In this scam, victims receive a text message that comes attached with a picture of a young woman. The text messages say something along the lines of “I was hoping we could repeat last night” or “I haven’t heard back from you, did I do something wrong?”. Many people have responded to the texts, telling the sender they have the wrong number. This lets the scammer know that the victim’s number is a legitimate phone number. In some cases, the scammers have sent explicit images trying to instigate a romance scam. In other cases, victim’s have been lured to dating sites where they’re asked to pay money. Much like the previous two scams, you should not respond to the scammers. If you do, it lets them know that someone is at that number and can be targeted for other scams in the future.


    Since most of us carry are phones with us everywhere we go, scammers can technically target someone at any time of the day, no matter where they are. Hopefully, we’ve given you the knowledge to protect yourself against such scams.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 18, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Is the Zelle scam getting more sophisticated? 

    Is the Zelle scam getting more sophisticated?

    By Greg Collier

    Previously, we have said that scams are almost like living organisms. They’re constantly evolving and changing as people start catching on to the original scam. However, a scam can bed tweaked just enough to find a whole new generation of victims. One of those scams that has evolved quickly in a short time is the Zelle scam.

    For those who may not know, Zelle is a payment app that works along the same lines as Venmo. The main difference between Zelle and Venmo is Zelle is co-owned by some of the country’s largest banks. Many of these banks’ apps have Zelle already built-in. For about the past six months, the Zelle scam has been one of the most reported scams in America.

    The Zelle scam starts when you get a text message that appears to come from your bank. The text message asks if you’ve recently made a large purchase or payment. You’re then asked to reply either yes or no to the text message. When you reply to the text message, your reply will be followed up with a phone call from scammers posing as your bank’s fraud department. The scammers will walk you through a process on the Zelle app that the scammers say will protect your account from any fraudulent activity. What’s really going on is the scammers are instructing you on how to put your money in the scammer’s account.

    In the Salt Lake City-area of Utah, a new variation of this scam has been reported. In it, the scammers skip the text message and go straight to the phone call. A bank customer will be told they’re speaking with their bank’s fraud department and fraudulent activity has been spotted on the customer’s account. The scammers will even tell the customer their last few bank transactions. A made up transaction is added to that list to make it seem like there’s been a fraudulent charge to the customer’s account.

    At this point, the scammers will ask the customer if they want to sign up for a fraud notification service. If the customer says yes, they’ll be texted a security code. The scammers will then ask for that code to supposedly verify that they have the right phone number. The code is actually an authorization code to change the customer’s password. Once the scammers have the code, they lock the customer out of their own account and start transferring the funds to another account through Zelle. Since the Zelle app doesn’t have the same protections as something like a credit card, it has become increasingly difficult for scam victims to recover their lost money.

    If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from your bank, politely end the call and call your bank’s customer service department back at the correct customer service number. The number can usually be found on the back of your debit card or on the bank’s website. Don’t just do a Google search for the bank’s number, as that could lead you to an entirely different fake customer service department.

    Lastly, if you receive a text message or email with any kind of security code on it, do not give it to anyone. These codes are mostly used for password recovery or resetting a password. If you give the code to someone you don’t know, they could have access to your most sensitive accounts.

    • Alvaro Urbaez (@urbaez22) 8:59 am on April 20, 2022 Permalink

      I fell in another variation. I call it as the third party payment, and is very often in criptocurrencies portals like Binance or Coinbase.. Some one offers for your coins, but the payment via Zelle is sent by a third person, you verify the addition of the money to your account, so you release the coins; a few hours later, the owner of the other account (the third person) files a claim on their bank telling them they didn’t perform that payment; the bank will retain the funds on your account, and eventually will debit them in order to return them to that third person. So, you lose your money, and the scammer goes away with it, and the bank won’t even allow you to file a claim on that.. It happened to me with Bank of America. They have a serius security breach on that matter, and the responsible for the exploit was me, and like me there are lots of people affected..

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