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

    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.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    $600 Federal unemployment benefit has expired 

    $600 Federal unemployment benefit has expired

    If you’re currently collecting unemployment benefits, you might discover that your next payment could be smaller than it has been. As of this past Friday, July 31, 2020, the Federal unemployment benefit of $600 per week has expired. The Senate had been working on extending these benefits but decided to allow the benefits to expire before approving any extension. This will leave approximately 30 million Americans who are currently collecting unemployment benefits to struggle even more to try to make ends meet. As of the time of this posting, there is no definitive time table as to when the benefits could be extended.

    Unfortunately, we can’t offer any advice on to make up for that $600 loss outside of maybe putting some of your clutter up for sale on Geebo.com. You never know who may want to pay you for that thing you’ve been looking to get out of your home. Ad listings are free. However, we can offer advice on how to keep the money you already have.

    This is going to be a perfect time for scammers to strike. With so many people desperate to find work or a place to live, it’s almost a guarantee that scammers will be looking for new victims.

    When it comes to job scams, be leery of any offer that sounds too good to be true. Avoid depositing any checks that phony employers will say is for supplies or equipment. Avoid any positions for secret shoppers or repackaging positions that are disguised with titles like ‘shipping coordinator’ or ‘warehouse redistribution coordinator’.

    Where housing is concerned, once again, it’s best to avoid any listing that sounds too good to be true. If the rent is significantly lower than the average market price, it’s probably best to avoid that listing. If a landlord refuses to show you the property for any reason including social distancing, it’s more than likely a scam. If the supposed landlord asks for payment in something unusual like gift cards, wire service, or cryptocurrency that will probably be a scam listing.

    I’m sure all of us are either affected by the current economic situation or know someone who is. If you’re in a position to, maybe reach out and offer to help someone you know. It doesn’t have to be financial assistance necessarily. Sometimes just the offer of a helping hand can be enough.

     
    • We need to stop playing politics 2:10 pm on August 3, 2020 Permalink

      I am out of work due to corona I work for the school district don’t know if I am going back next month or if I will be on the unemployment line my wages will stop and I will probably have to go on unemployment my wages are low so if I do go on unemployment I will be making less than I brought home from my job which was 30 hours a week my bring home pay for two weeks is $495 no one gave me any help and if I go on employment sure if I’m gonna get up then either just saying $600 extra week is more than I bring home Although people making much more than that for six months got $600 extra a week what about the people that are just now applying for unemployment shouldn’t they be entitled to an extra $600 for the first six months of unemployment we’re talking about being fair to all Americans I would love to have an answerWe need to stop playing politics and start taking care of the people that are putting you in your not making matters any easier for people that in homes I may lose their jobs after the $600 a month is over how fair is that

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 31, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , seeds   

    New seed brushing scam sweeps the country 

    New seed brushing scam sweeps the country

    A new type of brushing scam has made national headlines recently. If you’re unfamiliar with a brushing scam, it’s when overseas scammers send items to your home that you didn’t order. Scammers do this to use you as a verified purchase when it comes to inflating the product’s reviews on large retail platforms like Amazon or Walmart.

    In this new brushing scam, people are being sent packages of seeds from places like China, Singapore, and Kyrgyzstan. Reports have come in from Minnesota to Alabama and almost every place in between in the US of residents receiving these seeds in the mail. It’s unknown at this time which retail platform this scam is supposed to be inflating the reviews on.

    If you receive a package of seeds unsolicited, whatever you do, do not plant them. While some of the seeds appear to be harmless there is the potential that some could be an invasive species. If you’ve ever had to deal with an invasive species of plants like kudzu or tumbleweeds, you know how catastrophic an invasive species of plant can be. Neither of these plants were native to the United States.

    Also if you receive these seeds in the mail, you should not throw them out as this way they could also find their way into our ecosystems. Instead, it is recommended that you check with your state to see where you can send the seeds to be collected.

    Outside of the environmental impact, this scam could have, there’s also an economic one. If you’ve been targeted in a brushing scam, that means that one of your online accounts may have been compromised. If you receive anything from a brushing scam, it’s highly recommended that you not only change the passwords to your online accounts but to monitor your credit report as well. Scammers could be potentially be using your accounts to purchase stolen goods.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    New scam demands you stay on the phone 

    New scam demands you stay on the phone

    The invention of the cell phone/smartphone may go down in history as one of the greatest inventions of all time. While it seems like just an everyday thing to us now, these phones have given us communication availability at all times. However, with almost any tool or invention, there are those looking to take advantage of being able to reach you anywhere you are.

    Plenty of scams that find victims today do so over the phone. The majority of these scams will use pressure tactics to try to get you to make some kind of untraceable payment to them. Most of them will ask for payment through either wire transfer services like Moneygram or Western Union or gift cards to big box stores or giant online retailers.

    Even if a scammer finds a victim who believes them, there’s a chance that the scam could be detected one they hang up. In the past, store employees, bank tellers, and even police have stopped victims from losing money in these scams.

    Now, according to a report from the Detroit Free Press, scammers are increasingly attempting to keep victims on the phone for as long as possible to walk them through every step of the scam.

    For example, let’s say that the scammers is posing as a police officer and tells you that you have a warrant out for your arrest. They say that you need to pay a fine or you’ll be arrested. Now, they’ll tell you that if you hang up the phone you’ll be arrested. They’ll then stay on the phone with you as you go to a store or bank to get your money. If the teller or store employee starts asking questions, the scammer will tell you exactly what to say in order to avoid suspicion.

    The best way to protect yourself from these kinds of scams is to always keep in mind that no legitimate company or agency is going to ask you for payment in untraceable means like cryptocurrency, gift cards, or money transfer. No police department is going to call you and threaten you with arrest if you don’t pay a fine. Most legitimate transactions like this are done through the mail.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Rhode Island,   

    Rental scam goes on for over a year 

    Rental scam goes on for over a year

    One of the oldest scams since the early days of the internet is the rental scam. Whether you’re looking to rent a house or an apartment, scammers are out there looking to take your money.

    Usually, in a rental scam, the scammer will copy an ad from a legitimate real estate agent and post it online claiming to be the landlord. The scammers will do this to get you to pay some kind of deposit or rent before disappearing with your payment. This has cost some victims thousands of dollars. Some have even moved into the property only to find out that they aren’t living there legally. More often than not, the victim will find out within a month. However, in this particular scam, the victim was living in a home for over a year.

    A man in Rhode Island found a place to rent on craigslist in his area. He lived there for a year and a half while paying rent to he thought was the owner of the property. Recently, the man received a text message from the man he had been paying rent to that said “Just want to give you a heads up I no longer manage the property, you’re on your own. I wish you luck.”

    It turns out that the home was actually in a state of foreclosure. The man who originally owned it filed for bankruptcy but was contesting the foreclosure. The case had been tied up in court for the past year and a half while the scammer collected rent. Meanwhile, the man who is now living there doesn’t know where he will go to live.

    Before renting a property you should take the time to research the property first. Do a reverse image search to make sure the property ad isn’t being copied from a legitimate realtor or landlord. You should also check with the county’s tax assessor’s office or website to find out who the true property owner is. This research may take some time but in the end, it’s worth it if it means facing an uncertainty like this.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Apple sued over gift card scam 

    Apple sued over gift card scam

    We’ve always warned our readers to never pay anyone you don’t know personally in gift cards. As we like to say, gift cards are the currency of scammers due to the fact that they’re virtually untraceable. We’ve detailed as many gift card scams as we can but the gist of them is the scammer will likely pose as someone they’re not and try to pressure you into making a payment for some phony fine or fee with gift cards.

    With gift cards from major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay, scammers will buy high-end items with the gift cards. They’ll then sell the items themselves for cash.

    One of the more popular gift cards scammers like to receive are from Apple. A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Apple claiming that Apple has the capability to stop scammers from claiming the money that’s been taken from their victims. This lawsuit also gives us a better look into why some scammers prefer the Apple gift cards.

    The scammers who ask for Apple gift cards are said to own apps on the Apple App Store. This way the scammers can purchase the app over and over again with 70% of the money stolen going to the scammers. The remaining 30% is the cut Apple gets.

    The lawsuit states that Apple has been telling customers that once they’ve been scammed, there’s nothing Apple can do for them. However, Apple is said to hold on to the money owed to app owners for 4-6 weeks meaning that Apple allegedly has that time to return the money to scam victims.

    So, in theory, Apple should have no excuse for not helping scam victims as far as the lawsuit is concerned. The question then remains, why has Apple supposedly not helped scam victims in the past?

     
    • James E Doty 7:19 am on July 31, 2020 Permalink

      Same reason the big web companies won’t go after scammers & hackers, it will reduce the number of possible customers and that will effect the advertising revenue those companies rely on. Its you & me that lose money due scammers and not the internet provider, so why should they do anything about you & me losing money? It doesn’t effect their bottom line and if we want them to feel the crunch like we do then, the government should impose on these companies a duty to take half of the lose that these scammers get from us. This would place 50% blame for allowing scammers a safe haven to work. As for the companies who sell money based cards used to transfer funds, its simple and easy to fix the problem… remove the one word that protects the scammers & companies who sell those cards “Gift”. This would allow the buyer to take those who don’t keep their promises that were made in getting the person to send those cards. They made promises and didn’t keep those promise and can be taken to Small Claims Court. That one word is a scammers greatest treasure they can do whatever they want with complete immunity.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Unemployment scams now targeting seniors 

    Unemployment scams now targeting seniors

    Unemployment scams continue to plague the country. Overseas scammers are said to be applying for unemployment benefits en masse using stolen identities. Unemployment systems in most states are already stretched to their limits in dealing with record unemployment claims. With scammers claiming benefits for people who are still employed, it isn’t making things any better. Now it seems that the scammers aren’t satisfied with taking advantage of the employed and unemployed alike and have chosen new targets.

    Recently, the Chicago area has been hit particularly hard by this scam. Reports say that a host of people have been receiving unemployment benefit debit cards in the mail when they haven’t applied for any benefits. In many cases, scammers are trying to have the payments sent to a different address than the person whose identity they’ve stolen but they aren’t always successful.

    Seniors and retirees are now feeling the brunt of these scams. A retired couple in the Chicago area recently received an unemployment debit card with $10,000 worth of benefits on it. To make matters worse, victims of the scam have been having great difficulty in trying to contact their state’s unemployment department to report the scam. It’s gotten so bad in Chicago that an Illinois State Senator had to step in to try to assist senior victims of the scam with getting in touch with the state.

    While the Illinois Department of Employment Security has said they’re cracking down on the fraud along with federal agencies, the scam only appears to be increasing. You may have had benefits applied for in your name without you even knowing about it. It’s recommended that you check your credit report for suspicious activity. Also, if you receive an unemployment debit card that you have not applied for, do not activate it. It should also go without saying that the money should not be spent as you will be held responsible for it. Instead, contact your state’s department of labor on the phone for instructions on how to deal with the scam.

    Please be patient when trying to contact the state as they’re more than likely understaffed and trying to assist other victims of the scam.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , mortgage rescue, ,   

    Be careful when seeking out foreclosure help 

    Be careful when seeking out foreclosure help

    With so many Americans out of work, many homeowners are having trouble making their mortgage payments. To try to keep from being evicted from their own home, some will look to so-called mortgage relief companies for assistance. Many of these companies you may see advertised through things like mailers and street fliers are not companies at all. Rather they are scammers looking to take advantage of struggling homeowners at what could be their lowest point.

    In many cases, scammers will try to get you to sign the deed of your property over to a third party. Then the homeowner is given the option to stay in the home while paying rent to the deed holder. All too often in these cases, the deed holder will be charged an astronomical rent or price the house out of reach of the original homeowner. In either case, the original homeowner could still find themselves evicted from their home. In other instances of this scam, sometimes the deed will have never been transferred. So not only will the homeowner be evicted but they’ll still be responsible for the mortgage amount.

    A different scam involves scammers calling homeowners and claiming they can help lower your mortgage payment. However, they’ll only offer this assistance if you pay a substantial fee in gift cards. These fictitious fees could be in the thousands of dollars. As we often like to remind people, no legitimate company or agency will ever ask you for payment in gift cards. Scammers often ask for gift cards because once the funds are removed from the card they become virtually untraceable.

    Instead of going to one of these potentially bogus companies, it is instead recommended that you work with your lender to see if their loan can be restructured in some way to help reduce payments. Homeowners also have the option of trying to sell their home on their own in order to pay off the mortgage.

     
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