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  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cattle ranchers, check scam, , , , ,   

    More coronavirus scams to watch out for 

    More coronavirus scams to watch out for

    Before we get started, we here at Geebo.com hope that you and your family are coping during these trying times. Unfortunately, we have several new scams that are trying to take advantage of all of us during this global pandemic.

    In the past week, there have been a number of reports claiming that some scammers have been going door to door offering to do home covid-19 inspections for a fee. In some cases, these scammers have even posed as hospital employees. These are not legitimate services and you could be allowing bad actors into your home. If you encounter a scammer like this it is recommended that you decline their services and contact your local police.

    Previously, we’ve discussed how phony coronavirus websites are on the rise. Now, there is at least one Android app that’s trying to capitalize on the recent wave of panic. At first, you’ll receive a random text offering you safety masks. The text message will contain a link that will download an app to your device. However, the app will hijack your contacts list and send texts with the same message to everyone in your contacts. There is also the probability that the app will install some form of malware to your device. Even in times of solace, you shouldn’t be clicking on random links sent to you by strangers through text messages or emails.

    Some scammers are still trying to push ‘miracle cures’ for the coronavirus onl9ine. One such scam purported to be a Fox News article claiming that a CBD oil treatment can be used to prevent coronavirus. While CBD oil may have benefits for certain conditions, there is no evidence to suggest that covid-19 is one of those conditions. While progress is being made, there is still currently no vaccine or cure for covid-19.

    Lastly, there is apparently no field or demographic that the coronavirus scammers won’t target. In this particular scam, even cattle ranchers are being scammed. These cattle farmers are being targeted by scammers with high-pressure tactics that now is the best time to sell their cattle because of the pandemic. The scammers will then send phony checks to the ranchers that are over the amount the ranchers were asking for. The scammers will then ask for the difference back once the rancher cashes the check. By the time the bank realizes the check is a fake, the scammers will have disappeared and the rancher will be responsible for the amount of the check to their bank.

    The scams have gotten so bad around the country that many state and federal task forces are being deployed to combat these scams.

    While we should be helping each other to the best of our abilities during this unprecedented crisis, you should also have the knowledge to protect yourself from scammers.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: check scam, , , ,   

    Beware of scammers bearing checks 

    Beware of scammers bearing checks

    Currently, the Federal Government is considering sending economic relief checks to many Americans due to the effect the current pandemic has had on the economy. It is unclear just who will be eligible for those checks and how much the checks will be for. Senator Mitt Romney has stated that the government should send $1,000 checks to all Americans. Meanwhile, other reports have stated that the checks could potentially only go out to those whose employment has been affected by the pandemic. This consideration is still in its early stages and it’s important to keep in mind that no affirmative plans have been put into action at the time of this post.

    This hasn’t stopped scammers from trying to take advantage of the economic situation. Before the plan has even been finalized, scammers have been taking to the phones promising people a quick delivery of their relief checks, for a fee of course. According to the Better Business Bureaus of North Dakota and Minnesota, scammers have already been calling people promising them that they can receive their checks immediately. The scammers will then ask for your personal and financial information which they will use to either steal your identity, clean out your bank account, or both.

    If and when these stimulus checks go out, you will never have to pay a fee to receive them. The government is the last organization that would need your identifying information since they have it already. So if someone is asking for Social Security number or any other identifying information then they’re probably not with the government. The government will also never ask you to pay a fee in order to receive a payment.

    While we are currently living in uncertain times, it’s always best to have a good head on your shoulders and to not give in to panic and fear as these can be used against you by those looking to take advantage of you.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on March 4, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: check scam, checks,   

    The never ending check scam 

    The never ending check scam

    The other day, we discussed how the rental scam is one of the most prevalent online scams. If we had to pick one that’s more rampant than that, it would have to be the phony check scam. This is a scam that’s been plaguing the online classifieds market since almost the beginning. However, fake checks are used in so many scams there’s hardly a scam going today that doesn’t use them.

    At it’s most basic, the check scam works like this. Someone will send you a check, they’ll ask you to deposit it in your own bank account and then for whatever reason, they’ll tell you to send a portion of the money back to them. Your bank will let you have access to the money long before the bank discovers it’s a fake. By this time, you’ve probably spent part or all of the money and the scammers have made off with the rest. Unfortunately. since you were the one who deposited the phony check, you’ll be responsible for paying back the bank. Fake checks are used from everything to selling something online to phony employment scams.

    According to the Federal Trade Commission, the fake check scam cost US consumers $28 million in 2019 with the average victim of the scam losing $2,000. The scam has also increased in frequency by 65% since 2015 meaning that even more people are falling victim to the scam. The FTC says that people in their 20s are more likely to fall for the scam than people in their 30s are older. If you are a young person and you think a check you received might be a fake, please don’t hesitate to ask your bank if the check is phony or check with a trusted older relative or friend. It never hurts to ask.

    The best way to tell if a check is fake it to look for any discrepancies. Is the check from a different person or company that you spoke with? Is the address on the check different from that person or company? If the answer is yes to either of those questions then the check is more than likely a fake. But if someone sends you a check and ever asks for you to return a portion of it for whatever reason, it’s almost guaranteed to be a fake.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: check scam, ,   

    Modeling ad leads to fake check scam 

    Modeling ad leads to fake check scam

    Modeling is a demanding profession where a lot of people could be looking to take advantage of those with hopes of success. Previously, we’ve discussed how some ads for modeling jobs are really just sales pitches for classes or photo packages. In other instances, we’ve seen how some of these ads can lead to even more serious risks like extortion and human trafficking. Now we’re hearing tell of a new twist on one of the modeling scams. Or should we say we’re hearing reports about a new variation of that age-old classic, the fake check scam?

    A man from Columbus, Ohio is a local model and has been working to take his career even further. He recently responded to an online ad about an open casting call for models that was supposed to have been for some kind of advertising deal. After he responded to the ad he received a check for $2,500. The supposed modeling agent reportedly urged the man to deposit the check into the man’s bank account. He was then instructed to use the money to pay for the studio and photographer and then transfer the difference back to the agent. However, this model was already wary of scams and knew the check was a fake.

    While the article doesn’t go into detail, we imagine that the studio and photographer were probably just other places the money would have been electronically transferred or wired to. In these check scams, the victims are always instructed to deposit the check to their bank account and then send portions of the money to various places. It usually takes a couple of days before the bank where the check was deposited finds out the check was fake. By this time the scammers are gone and the victims have already sent the money out. This leaves the victim responsible for the money now owed to their bank.

    The fake check scam is used from everything from trying to sell an item online to employment scams and now modeling. If someone ever sends you a check and then asks for a portion or all of it back, the odds are pretty likely that it’s a fake and you could be on the hook to your bank for thousands of dollars.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: check scam, , ,   

    Work at home job scam cost victims thousands 

    Work at home job scam cost victims thousands

    Working at home is the dream for many, especially those who are currently looking to get back into the workforce. Because of that. many scammers use phony work at home positions to try to lure suspecting victims into their clutches by promising them good pay for easy work. However, with most things online, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Recently, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, police have received reports of a work at home scam that has cost its victims thousands of dollars. Money that they’ll probably never be able to get back.

    The victims, in this case, found these jobs on a legitimate employment website. They even went through an application process and an interview. After they were ‘hired’ they even spoke to a phony human resources department. It seems like these scammers were willing to pull out all the stops to make sure this looked like a legitimate job opportunity. The job itself entailed the victims depositing a check into their own bank accounts before being told to use the money to purchase a laptop. Then the remainder of the money was sent to various clients through platforms like PayPal, Zelle, wire transfers, and, of course, gift cards.

    As you might have expected, the checks the victims were sent were fake checks but the money was already spent by the time their banks noticed. With the money being sent to various places, the victims are now on the hook for paying the money back to the bank. Any job that asks you to process business funds out of your own bank account is more than likely a scam. Not only that but since the victims went through an entire application process, the scammers have their personal information as well. So potentially these victims could also be victims of identity theft in the future.

    No matter how legitimate a job may appear, if they want you to use your own bank account or your own funds to do the job it’s probably not a job at all.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2020, check scam, date changing,   

    What’s the truth about writing out 2020 in full? 

    What's the truth about writing out 2020 in full?

    Shortly after the new year and decade began, a warning went out over social media about the year 2020. The warning was that if you make out any checks this year, do not abbreviate the year by simply using 20 as your year designation. For example, in standard American date abbreviation, today is 1/6/20. The wisdom behind this warning is that someone could use the abbreviated year format and alter it to look like another year. A bad actor could potentially turn 20 into anything from 2000 to 2021 or even beyond. Since social media isn’t always the best source for news, is this really a danger?

    Those who warn against abbreviating the year say that if a check is altered to a year in the past, it could appear as if you’ve had an ongoing debt since that time. If the check is altered to a date in the future, uncashed checks that have expired can be made active again. They also recommend that you should write the date out in full such as January 6, 2020, to prevent any kind of date tampering with legal documents. While this all can sound menacing, what are the odds of something like this happening to you?

    According to the internet investigators at Snopes.com, it’s unlikely that anything will happen if you forget to put the full date on a check or legal document. Snopes notes that there are many other forms of check alteration that are more likely to occur that are more lucrative for bad actors. Not only that but there are many ways to prove the alteration of the check took place so you could protect yourself against legal ramifications that could come from an altered check. However, it doesn’t hurt to write out the date in the full as it’s easier to do to prevent any potential problems than trying to fix them after a check has been altered.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: check paper, check scam, , ,   

    New scam makes victims print their own fake checks 

    New scam makes victims print their own fake checks

    Police in Iowa are reporting about a scam that combines a number of scams into one. If reports are to be believed, this scam combines the phony job scam with the phony check scam and the ubiquitous gift card scam. To make matters even worse, the scam even makes the victim of the scam print out their own phony check. If you’ll recall, if someone deposits a phony check into their bank account, they’ll be able to access the money before the bank finds out it’s fake. Once the bank finds out the check isn’t genuine, the person who deposited it into their bank account will be responsible for the money spent.

    The new scam works by scammers placing job ads for a personal assistant. Usually, these ads are aimed at college students who may not be wary of such scams. Once the victim has gotten the fake job, they’re paid with an online check. The victim is then instructed to buy check paper so they can print out the check they were just sent. They’re then instructed to deposit the phony check and then buy gift cards from various retail outlets including Amazon, WalMart, and Apple. The phony employer will tell the victim that they’re out of the country or give some other excuse as to why they can’t meet face to face.

    In any online transaction, whether it’s for a job or something else if you’re asked to deposit a check or purchase gift cards the odds are pretty great that you’re dealing with some form of con artist. It’s also recommended to be suspicious if someone instructs you to buy check paper. If something ever feels off about any kind of online transaction your instincts are probably right and you should walk away. If you ever receive an email like this you should contact your local police.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: check scam, check washing, ,   

    Don’t leave your outgoing bills in your mailbox 

    Don't leave your outgoing bills in your mailbox

    When we talk about scams, we mostly warn our readers about online or phone scams. The reason these scams are so prolific is that everyone has a smartphone and a lot of people use weak passwords on their accounts. However, that doesn’t mean that analog scams have disappeared. One such scam recently turned up in reports that use one of the oldest forms of communication in the US to find victims, good old fashioned snail mail. We all know that tampering with someone’s postal mail is a federal offense, but it hasn’t stopped some scammers from taking that risk.

    A couple in Alabama recently found that someone had accessed their bank account and several unauthorized payments were made from their account. They weren’t the victims of any kind of electronic fraud. Instead, someone had stolen their outgoing mail from their mailbox. In that mail were a few bills that they were paying by check. The scammers are then said to have committed what is known as check washing. Check washing is when someone dips an already written or even canceled check in chemicals and removes the handwritten ink from the check. They then put in whatever information on the check that they need. As long as there is enough money in the account the check can be cashed.

    There are ways to prevent check washing from happening. The first is to switch to electronic payments to pay your bills. However, if for whatever reason you have to write checks, there are special pens that you can buy that are resistant to check washing. Instead of leaving outgoing mail in your home mailbox, you may want to take it to the post office instead so you know it gets into the hands of the US Postal Service.

    With a number of relatives writing checks to send as Christmas gifts, this time of year could be especially bad for stolen checks. If you have an older relative that may not be able to get to the post office, offer to take their bills to the post office for them. It’s a little inconvenience for peace of mind.

     
  • Geebo 8:14 am on August 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cashier's checks, check scam,   

    Here’s why the phony check scam works 

    Here's why the phony check scam works

    Probably, the most common scam we’ve discussed is the phony check scam. It seems like it’s at the heart of almost every other online scam. At the heart of the scam is, of course, the phony check. Scammers will send you a [phony check for any number of reasons but the hook is always the same. They’ll send you a check for more money than you were asking for or were expecting. They’ll instruct you to deposit the check and then send them the difference. By the time the bank discovers that the check is a fake, you’re responsible for the entire amount of the check while the scammers disappear with your money.

    It all seems rather unfair. You’re the victim of a scam after all. So why does this particualr scam lend itself so well to scammers? According to Vox, it all has to do with the way cashier’s checks are handled by banks. Legitimate cashier’s checks are just as good as cash where your bank is concerned. The person or entity who is issuing the cashier’s check pays the bank the full amount for that check to be issued. So when a bank receives a cashier’s check as a deposit they’re operating under the assumption that the check is legitimate and the funds should be immediately available.

    The bank only usually discovers that the check is fake after it’s been deposited and returns as a fraudulent check. Unfortunately, the only person the bank can hold responsible is the person who deposited the check which in this case is the scam victim. While many people realize that the checks they receive are fake, there are enough people who fall for this scam that they keep the scammers in business. Billions of dollars in fraudulent checks are attempted to be cashed each year. However, you can protect yourself by avoiding these situations. If a deal feels like it’s wrong, it probably is.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: check scam, , , ,   

    New scam threatens your family with violence! 

    New scam threatens your family with violence!

    This scam we just recently heard of is so disturbing we don’t even have a clever name for it yet. In it, some scammers called a man from Brooklyn, New York, threatening to kill the man and his family if he didn’t pay them money. The scammers claimed to be from a criminal cartel and then sent the man explicitly violent pictures with claims of this is what would happen to his family if he didn’t pay. The man was hesitant to go to the police, however, he did contact a local community leader who was able to contact authorities. Police say that they have received other reports of this scam and that the scammers are casting wide nets trying to find victims. If you receive one of these calls you should hang up and contact police.

    Social security scams are still on the rise due to the fact that a number of senior citizens aren’t aware of the many scams that specifically target them. The Washington Post is reporting on a scam where the scammers posed as the Social Security Administration (SSA) and threatened to cut off the benefits of a woman in the early stage of Alzheimer’s. She was instructed to buy over $3,000 in gift cards from various merchants to have her benefits restored. One store even tried to warn her that this sounded like a scam. The Post article has a great checklist of things you can do to help senior relatives avoid this scam including sharing these stories every time they come up in the news. They also provide a link to the Federal Trade Commission’s website that has information about all types of impostor scams.

    The last scam for today is a reminder that most scams just don’t go away. We’ve talked about the secret shopper scam many times now. In this scam, ads will be posted hiring for secret shoppers which is a legitimate position with many retail companies. However, the con artists placing these ads online are trying to swindle you by sending you phony checks to use in your new position. They’ll tell you to deposit the checks to use in your secret shopping and send a portion of the check back. Once the bank finds out that the check is a fraud the victim who deposited the check into their bank account is responsible for the entire amount. This recently happened to a college student in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. If you’re considering a secret shopping position always consult with the Mystery Shopping Providers Association’s website before giving out your personal information.

     
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