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  • Geebo 8:04 am on June 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBB, , , , ,   

    Warnings issued about illegal job scam 

    Warnings issued about illegal job scam

    With so many Americans still looking for employment during this time of record job losses, the Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about an employment scam that could land the victim in hot water. We’re, of course, referring to the reshipping or repackaging scam.

    The online job listing may say that the position is called ‘shipping coordinator’, ‘warehouse redistribution coordinator’, or something similar. In some cases, the scammers even pose as major retailers like Amazon or Walmart. The scammers will tell you that you can work at home and all you have to do is receive packages in the mail, inspect the contents for damages before shipping them to a different address.

    The problem with this is that the goods are usually purchased with stolen credit card information and you’re helping the scammers transfer stolen goods across the country. People who have been unknowingly conned into taking part in the scam have even faced jail time. For example, if you were instructed to lie on US Customs Service forms for packages leaving the country, you could be charged with fraud.

    If you do escape the long arm of the law, you could still find yourself the victim of identity theft or worse. Since the scammers are posing as legitimate employers, they will ask you for personal information including bank account information for phony direct deposits. Or they could disguise paying you by sending you a falsified check. This is when the scammers will say the check is for more than they meant to send you and will ask you to send the difference back. Of course, after you deposit the check and send the difference back to the scammers your bank will discover the check is a fake and you’ll be responsible for the amount of the check to your bank. So in the end, you’ll actually be deeper in debt than when you started the ‘job’.

    If you think you may be a victim in a reshipping scam there are steps you can take. If you’ve already received items don’t mail them. Instead, contact the USPS Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBB, ,   

    Scammers pose as the BBB 

    Scammers pose as the BBB

    The main weapon in the scammer’s arsenal is their ability to pose as almost anyone. In the past scammers have posed as potential buyers, potential sellers, employers, kidnappers, police, and imprisoned grandchildren just to name a few. One scammer is even said to have posed as the current US Secretary of the Treasury in order to steal people’s identities under the guise of assisting with economic impact payments. The one organization we never heard about scammers posing as was the one organization that does the most to try to protect consumers against scams. That was until now.

    According to Wikipedia, the Better Business Bureau is a private nonprofit organization whose purpose is to focus on advancing marketplace trust. To that aim, they’ve become one of the leading national authorities in most types of commercial scams. Their scam tracker tool not only lets you know when a scam is happening in your area but it allows you to report scams as well.

    Imagine the BBB’s surprise when they received word that their name had been used in a scam. An elderly man in San Jose, California lost $45,000 to a lottery scam. The scammers had called him claiming to be from the Better Business Bureau and told the man that he had won a ‘mega lottery’. The scammers then kept getting the man to pay thousands of dollars in fake taxes and various fraudulent fees before he could claim his prize.

    After becoming impatient with not receiving his prize, the man contacted the BBB wondering where the lottery payout was. This is when he discovered that the BBB was not trying to collect money from him and that the whole thing was a scam.

    Remember, that anyone online or calling and texting you can say they’re whoever they want you to believe they are. Also, when it comes to lotteries and sweepstakes, no one ever gets picked at random for a contest that they never entered. Not only that, but it is illegal in the United States for anyone to try to make you pay before claiming any winnings. That’s why commercial sweepstakes always mention that no purchase is necessary.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on February 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBB, , , ,   

    BBB: Beware of phony census takers 

    BBB: Beware of phony census takers

    The last time we spoke about the 2020 Census, we were warning people about fraudulent ads for census taker jobs. To summarize, you should never have to pay money to apply for a census-taking job. Official census-taking jobs are available to apply for free at the US Census Bureau’s website. However, this isn’t the only census related scam that you may have to be worried about. According to the Better Business Bureau, phony census takers may be approaching homes in hopes of gaining personal information from their victims.

    Most of us will be completing the census through the official means, which are mail, phone, or online. However, due to whatever reason, many people will not be able to complete or submit the census on their own. That’s where the census takers come in, they help get the government get a better representation of people living in your area. Just like with almost anything these days, scammers are said to be using the census to pose as phony census takers to try to obtain personal information from their victims.

    Census takers will ask residents for detailed information, but what they won’t ask for is your Social Security number. They will also never ask you for money nor, will they ask you for your mother’s maiden name. The former of which is often used as an online password recovery tool and on credit applications. Real Census takers will have ID badges from the Department of Commerce with a watermark and an expiration date on them. You can also call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local census representative to verify the census taker’s identity. If you feel like a census taker may not be an official census taker it is recommended that you call your local police before reporting it to the Better Business Bureau.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBB, , , ,   

    That missed delivery might be a fake 

    That missed delivery might be a fake

    Even with the holiday season over a number of us will still continue to make purchases online throughout the year. We will also be checking our email to make sure our packages are being delivered on time. We might even go to the websites of the US Postal Service or whatever delivery service the vendor is using to see exactly where are packages are at this moment. Leave it to the scammers to prey on our fear of missing our deliveries to try and inject yet another scam into our lives.

    Once again, the Better Business Bureau is warning us about a pair of scams that are targeting online shoppers. In the first scam, you’ll be sent an email that looks like it came from a vendor claiming that the package is undeliverable. You’ll be asked to click on a link to resolve the issue where your computer could be infected with malware. The other scam is a little more analog. Scammers will put a notice on your front door claiming that they tried to deliver a package and will ask you to call to reschedule the delivery. When you call, the scammers will try to get your personal information.

    The BBB recommends that if you receive one of these notices on your door, never give any personal information to the scammers. Delivery companies will never need to know your Social Security or credit card numbers. If you receive one of these phishing emails, hover the cursor over the link to see exactly where the link might be taking you. And if there is an actual problem with delivery, go directly to the delivery service’s website instead of clicking the link in the email. This will go a long way in keeping your information more secure.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBB, , ,   

    Romance scams thrive during the holidays 

    Romance scams thrive during the holidays

    For many people, being alone during the holidays can be a painful experience. So, in their search for companionship, they may turn to dating apps or social media to try to find someone to share the holidays with. Romance scammers are counting on this as with many scams the holiday season is their most lucrative time of the year. With many people being in such a vulnerable emotional state, people from all sorts of educational and economic backgrounds can be potential victims of the scam. Not only could it leave them with a broken heart but potentially an empty bank account and possibly jail time.

    Just in case you’re not familiar with romance scams, it’s where someone meets someone else online but never in real life. The new person in their life will start asking the victim for large amounts of money while professing their undying love for the victim. In too many instances, the victim is broke before they realize they’ve been scammed. Even worse, some victims continue to pay their scammers even though all evidence points to them being scammed. Some victims of the scam have paid their scammers hundreds of thousands of dollars while some others have embezzled from their employers to keep the money going to who they perceive as their online significant other.

    The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be aware of these scams this holiday season. If you meet someone online and they claim to be interested in you, do a thorough web search to make sure they are who they claim to be. Use the picture they send you to do a reverse image search to make sure they haven’t been using in other scams. If their social media or dating profiles have missing information, that can be another red flag that they’re a scammer. Most importantly, if they ask for money while simultaneously giving you excuses as to why you can’t meet, that’s almost guaranteed to be a scam.

    While the feeling of being wanted is always nice, it’s not worth ignoring the red flags that could lead to crippling financial damages.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBB,   

    BBB scam stats that may surprise you! 

    BBB scam stats that may surprise you!

    The Better Business Bureau recently released some statistics about scams in this country. While some of them may seem obvious there are some that come as a surprise even to us. The BBB recently issued a report called “Exposed to Scams: What separates victims from non-victims” that you can read at this link, however, it is in PDF form. The BBB surveyed 1400 people who filed reports about scams to them. Out of those 1400 people, 43% did not engage with the scammers. 30% engaged with the scammer but did not lose money. 23% engaged with the scammer and lost money.

    The most common scams were said to be the tech support scam, followed closely by tax collection scams, and online purchase scams. The median amount lost in scams was $600 which is up from $152 in 2018. What also is telling is that out of 91% of people who were approached by scammers on social media, 53% of them lost money. Respondents also include in their survey that people who sounded more official were more likely to con victims out of their money. However, the surprising statistic to come out of this report is that younger people are more vulnerable to scammers than the elderly even though the elderly have long been the targets of many scammers.

    Once you’ve been scammed, it becomes easier to spot a scam when it approaches you. However, you don’t have to be a victim first in order to avoid a scam. There are lots of great resources online that can educate about what scams are new or resurfacing. For one there’s our blog here at Geebo, as we like to keep up to date on the latest scams and when the older one appears with new twists. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a website listing a number of current scams. And as always, the Better Business Bureau has its famous BBB Scam Tracker.

    As the saying goes, knowledge is power. And we want you to have the power to stop these con artists from making victims out of consumers.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBB, ,   

    Majority of puppy listings are fake 

    Majority of puppy listings are fake

    We’ve discussed the puppy scam in great detail many times before. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, it’s when scammers advertise puppies for sale online but the puppy doesn’t exist. Instead, the scammers get you to pay for the puppy up front before disappearing with your money. They usually have you wire the money to them so they can’t be traced. So just how common is this scam? The Better Business Bureau estimates that 80% of online sponsored ads about pets could be bogus.

    That’s not even taking into account the number of backyard breeders or puppy mills who are selling sick pets to unsuspecting customers. Often people will breed popular breeds of dogs just to cash in on their popularity. Too many times these unlicensed breeders will have little regard for the animals’ health. There have been many instances where a dog was sold online only for the new owners get the puppy home and discover that the new addition to their family had the deadly parvovirus.

    As always, if a deal seems too good to be true, especially for a living creature, then it probably is. If you are going to purchase a pet, we always recommend avoiding online and the pet store as they tend to be avenues for frauds and puppy mills. Instead, we recommend either dealing with a licensed breeder or your local animal shelter. Even then, consumers should still do their research into these facilities to make sure the animals are being treated ethically.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBB, , , ,   

    Summer is scam season for jobs! 

    Summer is scam season for jobs!

    With Memorial Day Weekend behind us and many schools ending the year, a number of people will be looking for seasonal employment during the warm weather months. Whether it’s students looking for some pocket money for weekend activities or adults and retirees looking to supplement their incomes, many of these temporary positions are in demand. That doesn’t mean that scammers take the summers off. They’ll be using this influx of job seekers to try to fleece their victims any way they can.

    The Better Business Bureau is warning people to be on the lookout for certain scams targeting seasonal applicants. One particular scam is said to target college students by sending spoofed emails that look like official emails from the college the student is attending. In reality, it’s another take on the fake check scam. The student will be sent a phony check that the scammers say is for the supplies the student needs for the position and will be asked to deposit the check and will then be asked to wire the money to phony vendors. Again, once the bank where the check was deposited finds out the check is fake the victim will be on the hook for the money owed to the bank.

    The BBB is also warning to be on the lookout for employment listings that say things like ‘no experience needed’ or ‘immediate start.’ These are red flags for potential scams. Don’t be in a rush to accept any position that may come your way. Ask as many questions as possible from your potential employer and try to get everything in writing. Real positions will be willing to provide any information you might need while the scammers will try to convince you otherwise. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll have a productive and enjoyable summer.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBB, , , voicemail   

    This voicemail should go unanswered! 

    This voicemail should go unanswered

    The Better Business Bureau is warning about a new scam that has taken the internet by storm. It’s a version of the phishing attack with a new twist. Normally in phishing attacks, you’ll be sent an email that looks like it came from a legitimate business or contact where they’ll ask you to either click on a link or enter some information. These attacks are designed to either get your personal information or install malware on your computer. Now, according to the BBB, scammers have added a new wrinkle to this attack.

    In the new attack, the scammers will send an email that claims to be from Office 365 or some other business software telling you that you have a new voicemail message. The email will even tell you that the message is from a trusted source. Then the email will provide you a link to click on to listen to the voicemail but instead will try the aforementioned tactics of either trying to steal your information or inject malware on to your device.

    In order to avoid phishing attacks like this, you should never click on unsolicited links especially if you’ve never opted in for receiving these kinds of alerts. Never log into any of your accounts through an email link, instead log in directly from the main page or app for your account. And if you’ve been a victim of one of these scams you can report it to the BBB.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ADT, BBB,   

    Scam stats that will blow you away! 

    Scam stats from an expert

    When it comes to scams we’re pretty good in explaining how they work and how to avoid them. However, when it comes to organizing the facts and figures behind them it seems like no one has ADT beat. The home security leader has an extensive write-up about almost every scam that is affecting American citizens today. Utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker ADT has compiled an almost exhaustive compendium about all the scams affecting us today from the most common to the absolutely rare.

    For example, the most common scam in the US is phishing attacks. These are the emails that are designed to get some kind of personal information out of you or infect your device with malware by disguising themselves as legitimate emails. This makes sense since phishers have to send out millions of emails just to try to hook a handful of victims. Rounding out the top 5 of common scams are tax collection scams, online purchase scams, employment scams, and debt collection scams.

    The scams that cost victims the most money are investment scams costing victims on average close to $9,000. The most infamous type of investment scams are Ponzi and pyramid schemes. The second most costly scam per victim is the romance scam which we just recently discussed here. The romance scam has cost victims roughly $6,000 each but as we’ve discussed previously, some victims have lost upwards of thousands of dollars to a million.

    Scams also have geographic targets as Alaska is said to be the state hit hardest by scammers while North Carolina has escaped relatively unscathed. Alaskans reportedly lose twice as much money to scams than the next state in the most scammed list being Hawaii.

    Being armed with all the information that ADT has kindly provide us should allow you to be better prepared to when it comes to recognizing a scam.

     
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