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  • 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.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , BBB, , , , minimum wage, Notre Dame Cathedral,   

    Hold off on Notre Dame donations, Facebook’s latest privacy accident, and an Amazon employee puts Bezos’ boast into perspective 

    Hold off on Notre Dame donations, Facebook's latest privacy accident, and an Amazon employee puts Bezos' boast into persepctive

    By now, we’re all familiar with the events that took place in Paris where fire ravaged the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. While multitudes across the globe were moved to the point where they were willing to dedicate money you may want to wait on doing so. The BBB of Canada is warning consumers there to beware of phony donation scams on social media and crowdfunding sites. The BBB suggests that you wait until there is an official Notre Dame rebuilding fund donation program if you’re so inclined.

    ***

    Facebook is finding itself in yet another privacy kerfuffle as they claim that they ‘unintentionally’ harvested the email contacts of about 1.5 million of its users during the past three years. When new users would sign up for a Facebook account, Facebook would ask for your email password. Anybody who gave that information to Facebook would have their entire contacts list harvested. Facebook says this practice, which has since ended, was used to “help build Facebook’s web of social connections and recommend other users to add as friends.” If your contacts were harvested, Facebook will reportedly contact you.

    ***

    Last week, we posted about how Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos taunted WalMart on Twitter for not paying their employees $15/hr. WalMart fired back asking when Amazon was going to pay its fair share in taxes. More recently, the news blog Splinter has received an email from an anonymous Amazon employee who works as a customer service agent. It seems that the wage increase may have come at the expense of other benefits. According to the anonymous employee, Amazon took away incentive bonuses and stock grants leaving the bottom rung of Amazon’s corporate ladder basically in the same place they were when they started.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , BBB, , , , , , ,   

    OfferUp user assaulted outside of police station, BBB warns of car scam, and Amazon’s board to vote on facial recognition 

    OfferUp user assaulted outside of police station, BBB warns of car scam, and Amazon's board to vote on facial recognition

    As we always say, when meeting someone for an online transaction you should always make the transaction at a local police department. It can go a long way in helping to ensure your safety. However, that was not the case for a man in Albuquerque. This man was meeting someone through OfferUp to sell a camera. The suspect posing as a buyer lured the man out of the view of the police department’s security cameras before trying to rob the man. The victim was dragged about 20 feet after the suspect drove off while holding on to the camera. If someone tries to get you away from the police station it may just be a trap.

    ***

    The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is warning residents of the two states to be aware of phony car scams that are proliferating in the area. They’re reporting that there are a number of phony car dealerships who are advertising cars on craigslist for a price well below market value. The phony dealerships then ask for the money to be wired to them before cutting off all contact with the victim. When buying a car online from a dealership, always do a web search to make sure such a dealership exists and money should never be wired for a transaction under any circumstance. It’s too easy for scammers to make off with your money while remaining anonymous.

    ***

    Previously, we’ve discussed how high-ranking Amazon employees have called Amazon’s environmental practices into question. Now it seems that shareholders are also getting ready to decide on another one of Amazon’s business practices. Next month the board will vote on whether or not Amazon should ban the sale of their facial recognition software called Rekognition to governments and governmental agencies. We’ve posted before about how a number of civil liberty groups complained about Amazon trying to sell Rekognition to police departments as the tool could be easily used to violate civil rights. Combine Rekognition with all the Amazon Echoes in people’s homes and Jeff Bezos’ ownership in the Washington Post and you could see how some board members may view this all as a privacy overreach on Amazon’s part.

     
  • Geebo 9:08 am on March 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBB, , ,   

    BBB: Job scams were the worst in 2018 

    BBB: Job scams were the worst in 2018

    The Better Business Bureau is reporting that in 2018 job and employment scams topped their list of riskiest scams. More people lost money to job scams than any other scam the BBB tracks last year. The job scams even beat out standard scams like the fake check scam, phony online purchases, and tech support scams. In most employment scams the scammers will try to get you to pay some kind of advance processing fee for things like background checks while most legitimate employers will burden this cost themselves. Any prospective job that asks you for money is almost definitely a scam and should be avoided at all costs. Not only could you lose money but your identity could be stolen as well.

    So why were employment scams so prolific in 2018? The BBB attributes most of the job scams to Amazon’s search for their second headquarters last year. Not that Amazon is to blame but scammers took advantage of Amazon being in the news so much by offering fictitious Amazon jobs to unsuspecting victims often using websites and social media posts that mimic Amazon in a very convincing way. Amazon has only one official job application portal that can be found at amazon.jobs.

    The BBB also issued warnings against the other typical job scams to be on the lookout for. We’ve already mentioned any job that asks for money in advance. There’s also the work at home jobs that you have to be wary of since many of them are scams. You should also be wary of any job that offers you an immediate position without arranging an interview first. No legitimate employer would hire someone sight unseen. Lastly, you should be on the lookout for anyone trying to charge you to get you a government job as all government jobs are posted publicly by the government themselves. In today’s job market where so many people are desperate to find ways of supporting their family, this desperation can lead to not thinking clearly when it comes to finding a job.

     
  • Geebo 9:55 am on November 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBB, , RV,   

    BBB reports uptick in Facebook Marketplace scams 

    BBB reports uptick in Facebook Marketplace scams

    The Better Business Bureau has recently reported that they’ve received an increased amount in complaints about Facebook Marketplace. Specifically, the complaints the BBB has been receiving are about big-ticket recreational vehicles like RVs and trailers.

    The scams work the same way that they’ve been working on craigslist. The seller will set up a fake Facebook profile and list an RV for sale. They’ll have some story as to why they’re selling the RV like they’re out of the country or they’re deployed in the military. Then they’ll try to have you pay for the RV with some form of unusual payment such as wiring the money or paying with prepaid credit cards or gift cards. Both methods of payment are virtually untraceable.

    Again, this is just another symptom of the larger problem of classified ads on other sites not being moderated. Facebook moderates their site for all sorts of content violations yet they’re taking the hands off approach when it comes to Marketplace. Then again, what do you expect from the company that took foreign currency payments for American political ads?

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on May 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BBB, ,   

    The BBB issues Summer warning about job scams 

    The BBB issues Summer warning about job scams

    With the Summer fast approaching, a number of businesses will be looking for seasonal help. In turn, a number of scam artists will be looking to take advantage of those in need of employment. These con men will not just be using the sub-par pages of craigslist to find victims, but will be taking to more legitimate employment sites like Monster and CareerBuilder Recently, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) released their tips on how to avoid being taken advantage of.

    Some of the tips include…

    • Being wary of ads that say “immediate start” “no experience necessary”
    • Be careful of generic sounding job titles
    • Go to the company’s website directly rather than clicking on a link
    • Never give them your financial information
    • Never give them any money
    • Look up the business’ location

    A job may also be a scam if you are asked to be interviewed in a coffee shop or fast food place if that’s not the job you’re applying for. You should also be wary if you’re asked to be interviewed either in your home or someone else’s. Unfortunately, with these potential job scams, not only is your money at risk but your well-being could be as well.

     
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