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  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alabama, , ,   

    When the grandparent scam meets virtual kidnappings 

    By Greg Collier

    We love it when scammers get extra creative and combine two scams into one new super-scam. And by love it we actually mean we despise it. At least one creative scammer has combine two of the more disturbing scams, making it an almost infallible scam. Not to heap any more ‘praise’ on this scammer, but they could potentially be the super villain of scam artists.

    This particular scammer combined the grandparent scam along with the virtual kidnapping scam. The grandparent scam is more well-known. This is where scammers call elderly victims and pose as a grandchild who is looking for some kind of emergency money. Usually, it’s supposed to be for bail money, but scammers have used various stories to try to get money from their victims.

    The virtual kidnapping scam is even more distressing for its victims. This is where scammers will have claimed to have kidnapped one of the victim’s family members. They’ll pressure the victim to keep them on the phone while trying to get them to make a phony ransom payment usually through gift cards or money transfers. Meanwhile, the supposed kidnap victim is actually safe and sound.

    This scammer targeted an elderly woman from Alabama. The scammer told the woman that they had her granddaughter hostage because she witnessed a drug deal. The scammer also told her that he was watching her every move. He then instructed her to make a money transfer to Mexico at Walmart. Even though the woman thought the threat was real she did two things that probably saved her from losing substantial amounts of money.

    She first tried to locate her granddaughter, and when she couldn’t, she contacted her local police. The woman even bravely stood up to the scammers telling them to bring her granddaughter to the Walmart if they have her. Luck was even more on the woman’s side when the money transfer service at Walmart was down.

    In the case of either scam or the new super-scam, your best bet is to try to locate the person who the caller is claiming is in trouble. While a grandchild could potentially have ended up in jail, nothing says that you can’t verify their story. Your grandchild won’t be in more trouble if you do. And as we always like to say about the virtual kidnapping scam, kidnappings for ransom are very rare in the US and the scammers are preying on people’s fears about what they see in entertainment.

    Always take a step back from the situation for a moment and try to regain your composure when dealing with these scammers. Also, never volunteer any information like a loved one’s name as scammers will be quick to use that to their advantage.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Alabama, , huntsville, Huntsville International Airport, ,   

    Modeling scam victim almost lured into trafficking 

    Modeling scam victim almost lured into trafficking

    Whenever we discuss the modeling scam we usually talk about how it could lead the victim into spending a lot of money that they don’t need to. For example, a number of online and radio ads for modeling jobs are actually just sales pitches for overpriced classes or photo packages. However, there is a much darker side to the modeling scam that can have grave consequences for the victims involved and that is human trafficking. Traffickers often pose as modeling or talent agents in order to find victims and a recent story shows what lengths they will go to find their victims.

    In Huntsville, Alabama it’s believed a 21-year-old woman almost fell victim to human traffickers posing as a modeling agency. If it wasn’t for her mother losing her car in the airport parking lot the woman might have never been seen again. When an airport employee saw the woman frantically looking for her car the employee stopped to help the woman. As they got to talking the woman said she had just dropped off her daughter at the terminal and that her daughter was leaving for a modeling offer in Phoenix. The mother told the employee that the agency even bought her daughter the ticket to fly to Phoenix. Thankfully, the airport employee had been trained on how to recognize human trafficking.

    Thankfully, they were able to find the woman before she boarded the plane. The employee was able to convince the woman that the modeling offer may not be on the up and up and arranged to have a police officer escort her at her destination. The employee then called the ‘agency’ to tell them that the woman would be escorted by police. It was shortly thereafter when the woman received texts from the fake modeling agency saying her flight had been canceled. Both Homeland Security and the TSA have said that the phony agency has been linked to other instances of human trafficking.

    If you or a family member has ambitions of getting into modeling, have realistic expectations of what can be achieved in such a field crowded with treachery at every turn. Always do as much research as you can into any offer or opportunity you might find. Not everyone can be a model but these scammers, predators, and traffickers target victims who believe they have a shot in the modeling or entertainment industry and take advantage of their dreams. The Federal Trade Commission website has some tips on how not to get scammed by modeling ads.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: abortion, Alabama, pro-choice, Roe. v. Wade   

    Being Pro-Choice is being Pro-Constitution! 

    Being Pro-Choice is being Pro-Constitution!

    The state of Alabama made national headlines recently for enacting the most restrictive abortion law seen since the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that protected abortions under The Constitution. If and when Alabama’s new law goes into effect, it essentially outlaws abortion under most circumstances including those of rape and incest. If a medical professional were to perform an abortion in Alabama, they could be potentially sentenced to 99 years in prison. That’s a longer sentence than any sentence for rape or sexual abuse in the state. So in effect, a doctor could serve more time in prison for performing an abortion on a rape victim than the actual rapist. Alabama isn’t the only state enacting such legislation as many conservative states are in the process of passing similarly restrictive legislation when it comes to a woman’s right to choose.

    Usually, when the topic of abortion is debated, it comes down to two fundamental arguments, a woman’s right to choose and domain over her own body vs. the protection of an unborn child. Now we’re going to take a different approach and discuss the Constitutionality of abortion and why overturning Roe v. Wade could be more harmful to the country than you might think. Conservative state governments love to tout that the Constitution is a sacred document, however, they tend to pick and choose which parts of it they hold sacred. While they’ll continually encourage and advocate the Second Amendment as if it was handed down by God, they’ll try to circumvent others like the Fourteenth Amendment. That’s the Amendment which contains the Equal Protection Clause. Under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that women have a fundamental “right to privacy” that protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose whether or not to have an abortion. President Trump has stated that if he were to seat enough justices on the Supreme Court, he would have Roe v. Wade overturned. That would mean that a landmark decision that was previously protected by the Fourteenth Amendment would be overturned. This would cause precedent for other landmark decisions under the Fourteenth Amendment to be possibly overturned. One of the most famous landmark decisions that was also protected by the Equal Protection Clause was Brown v. Board of Education, the ruling that led to the ending of segregation in schools in our country. In today’s politically charged climate, to put it politely, is it too far out of the realm of possibility that overturning Brown v. Board of Education would be next after Roe v. Wade?

    If conservative states like Alabama really wanted to curtail abortion there are more helpful ways they could do that such as providing better sex education information to their students. They could also provide better and more affordable healthcare access for things like birth control. They could provide better incentives for adoption and foster care, that is after cleaning up bloated and corrupt family service departments. Instead, they enact restrictive policies that endanger women under the guise of “states’ rights”. Why is it that the concept of states’ rights usually only comes up when they’re trying to take the rights of others away?

     
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