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  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: counterfeit money, , , ,   

    Why are scammers asking if you’ve seen a missing person? 

    Why are scammers asking if you've seen a missing person?

    By Greg Collier

    In a follow-up to yesterday’s post about police impersonation, we found three more police impersonation scams in less than 24 hours. These scams have become so prevalent that the scammers have started changing their game in order to find new victims.

    Our first scam comes to us from Georgetown, Kentucky, where scammers are posing as investigators with the local police department. While spoofing the number of the police department, the scammers are asking victims if they’ve been in contact with a missing person. The victim is then told that their phone number is the last one the missing person contacted. The next step of the scam is kind of unclear, but the police are saying the scammers are asking the victims for $1500 that is supposed to help the family of the missing person. Typically, in these scams, the scammers demand money under the threat of arrest. It’s unknown if that tactic is being used here. In any event, Georgetown Police are asking residents to contact them if they receive a call like this.

    Scammers in Southwestern Virginia are taking advantage of families who are already down on their luck and have a family member who is incarcerated. These families are receiving calls from someone posing as a sergeant from the regional jail where the victim’s family member is being held. The scammer is offering to have the incarcerated family member moved to a home confinement program for $500 to $600. In this instance, the scammer is said to be accepting money through a payment app, although the specific app has not been made known. Please keep in mind that law enforcement and government agencies do not ask for payments through apps like Venmo, Cash App, Zelle, etc.

    Lastly, police in Vermont are warning retail business owners about a scam that’s been targeting them lately. In this scam, the scammers pose as police, again using a spoofed phone number. The scammers then tell one of the business’ employees that the owner has filed a police report claiming that the money in the cash register has been switched with counterfeit bills. The employee is then instructed to collect the money and bring it to the back door of the business. There’s no word on if anyone has fallen victim to this scam. For the victims’ sake, we hope not, as an in-person scam like this could put a victim in extreme danger.

  • Geebo 8:01 am on September 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , counterfeit money, , , , ,   

    Scam Round Up: Counterfeit Cash, Timeshares, and more 

    Getting scammed after being scammed

    By Greg Collier

    Here we are bringing you another handful of scams that you should be aware of.


    We start off with a scam out of the state of Delaware. A restaurant in the state’s capital, Dover, received a call from someone posing as the U.S. Marshals Service. The caller told an employee that they received complaints that the restaurant had been giving out counterfeit money as change. The caller also said that they would be at the restaurant in 30 minutes to ‘inspect the cash’. The employee was even threatened by the caller, stating they were currently watching the restaurant. The employee called the actual police instead. We’re not sure what the endgame of this scam was, but keep in mind that law enforcement will never call you to tell you what they’re investigating.


    In the state of New York, the Attorney General’s office is having to deal with scam letters that were sent out posing as the AG’s office. The letters indicate that the recipient is entitled to money due to a debt settled over the sale of timeshares. The NY Division of Consumer Protection has come out to let the public know that these letters are fraudulent, even though they contain the state seal. If we had to hazard a guess, we’d say that the scammers were probably trying to get New York residents to pay a ‘service fee’ to get their supposed pay out. This is known as the advance fee scam. If you get a letter like this and have doubts to its authenticity, call the agency at a phone number on their website and not one that’s on the letter.


    Police in Grand Island, Nebraska, are warning residents about a number of complaints they’ve received about scammers posing as employees of Apple. The scammers are telling residents that there has been suspicious activity on their Apple accounts and that they need to remotely access your computer to resolve the problem. As you can guess, once scammers have access to your computer, they can take all the information from it, including your banking info if you use your computer for that. Monolithic companies like Apple will never call you to tell you there’s a problem. The same goes for Microsoft, Facebook, and Google. If you can’t even call some of these companies, they’re not going to call you. Anyone who asks you for remote access to your computer is almost always going to be a scammer.


    While these scams might not be happening to you now, they could in the future. Hopefully, you’re now prepared to recognize them.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: counterfeit money, , , ,   

    Counterfeit scam targets businesses 

    Counterfeit scam targets businesses

    By Greg Collier

    No businesses were more hard hit by the pandemic than restaurants. Many restaurants struggled to stay open during the pandemic. However, due to the nature of how COVID-19 was spread along with government lockdowns, many restaurants closed their doors for good. Even without COVID-19, the restaurant business is a very precarious one. There’s an old joke that says the best way to make a million in the restaurant business is to start out with two million. Those that have survived the pandemic should be commended instead, some are being targeted by scammers posing as police.

    Scammers who pose as police is nothing new. The most common variation of the police impersonation scam is when scammers will call a victim and tell them that the victim has a warrant out for their arrest. In most cases, the scammer will say that the victim missed jury duty. The scammer will threaten the victim with arrest if they don’t pay a fine over the phone either through gift cards or prepaid debit cards.

    In Panama City, Florida at least one restaurant has fallen to a new twist on the police impersonation scam. The scammer called the restaurant claiming to be from the Panama City police. The restaurant was told that they had deposited counterfeit money into their bank account. Considering how much cash restaurants can end up dealing with, this could be a real possibility. To replace the supposed counterfeit money the restaurant was told to replace the counterfeit money with a prepaid debit card. In this instance, it was in the amount of $1000. Panama City police have said that this scam has been targeting other local small businesses as well.

    There are a few keys to this scam besides the obvious one of paying with a prepaid debit card. The first is that most business that deal in cash should already have safeguards in place to detect counterfeit bills, such as the marker that can detect counterfeit bills. Also, if you were to accidentally deposit counterfeit cash into your business’ bank account you would be charged by your bank and not the local police. You may get a visit from the Secret Service instead.

    If you run a small business, you may want to warn your employees of any calls from someone claiming to be the police demanding payment and let them know that those calls are probably scams.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: car wash, Colorado Rockies, counterfeit money, , , , , ,   

    Fake cash in a safe zone, phony opening day tickets, and an app to report human trafficking 

    Fake cash in a safe zone, phony opening day tickets, and an app to report human trafficking

    When dealing with classifieds transactions, we often recommend using safe zones at local police stations. While safe zones go a long way in helping to ensure your safety, you can still be ripped off if you’re not careful. In Pennsylvania, a pair of suspects were said to have paid $500 in ‘Motion Picture Money’ for a PlayStation 4 at a local police station’s safe zone during an OfferUp transaction. While police were able to apprehend the suspects quite easily, this does show that you should be on your guard at all times even when using specially designated safe zones.

    Meanwhile, in Colorado, a couple found themselves out of $300 after trying to purchase opening day tickets for the Colorado Rockies. They had set up a ticket purchase through craigslist and had met the seller in the parking lot of Coors Field on opening day. The couple even took a picture of the man selling the tickets and his driver license in hopes that this would dissuade the man from selling them fake tickets. Unfortunately, it didn’t as the couple were turned away from the gate for the tickets being invalid. The tickets themselves appeared to be legitimate but what scammers do in many cases is they buy the tickets using stolen credit cards. Once the cards are reported stolen the tickets are canceled but the scammer already has physical tickets that were valid at one time. This particular scammer reportedly even taunted his victims after they tried to contact the seller over the phony tickets.

    Lastly, in the UK, an app has been developed to report possible human trafficking at car washes. The app was developed by an anti-slavery arm of the Church of England and shows users a checklist of signs of human trafficking at hands only car washes. A number of the victims at UK car washes turn out to be people displaced by immigration issues, mental health issues, or being in abusive situations. The app refers any possible sightings of trafficking to the UK’s National Crime Agency who decide if it warrants an investigation. While apps like this have been attempted in the US many don’t show the user how to recognize the signs of trafficking. An app like this designed by the FBI and suggested to the industries where human trafficking mostly takes place could be a boon in the fight against all forms of human trafficking. In the meantime, if you or someone you know could be caught up in trafficking you can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888 or at their website.

  • Geebo 10:01 am on February 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: counterfeit money, , , , , , , ,   

    Just another day of classifieds crime 

    Just another day of classifieds crime

    One might think that after over 20 years of having online classified ads being so prevalent online that most people would become more aware of the pitfalls that have become inherent when using some of the less reputable sites and apps. Here are some of the stories that have happened just over the past 24 hours.

    While not technically a classified site even though it does have Facebook Marketplace, a tired old scam has targeted Facebook messenger uses. It’s the grant scam which promises users large government grants to do with what they wish. The only catch is that you have to pay a fee, usually of at least several hundred dollars, in order to process the grant. Of course, you’re expected to wire the money to whoever is supposedly managing the grants. To be clear, the government does not use Facebook Messenger to offer grants and they never offer grants unsolicited. Also, you should always be suspicious of any transaction that requires you to wire money as once the money is wired it’s virtually untraceable once it’s gone.

    In Youngstown, Ohio, there has been a rash of robberies through the marketplace app LetGo. In these robberies, the buyers are posing as men in their 30s and 40s but when the seller shows up to the meeting place they’re approached by teens who then rob them. The article we linked to does have some good safety tips but leaves out the most important one. Don’t just meet someone during the day in a well-lit and well-traveled area as even there robberies and worse have been committed. Instead, insist on meeting at a local police station. This one simple step goes a long way in discouraging scammers and thieves from trying to take advantage of you.

    In the Kansas City area, one man was swindled out of close to $400 after buying tickets from a supposed seller off of craigslist. The scammer had official looking documentation that carried the Ticketmaster branding, the only problem with that is the arena where the concert was being held doesn’t use Ticketmaster to distribute their tickets. The tickets never appeared and the would-be buyer was out of $400 before buying more legitimate tickets from a reputable dealer. The victim, in this case, was an IT specialist who admits that he should have known better showing that it’s people of all stripes and backgrounds that can fall for a craigslist scam.

    For our next story, we stay in Ohio, Hilliard to be precise where police have discovered a counterfeiting operation that was using OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace transactions to allegedly try to launder the money. In this instance, the phony bills were not theatrical money as has been the more popular counterfeit scam lately. Instead, these bills were manufactured and ranged in denominations from the humble $1 bill to the much more respectable $100 bill. Again, the article we linked to has several tips to prevent yourself from being ripped off by counterfeiters even claiming that the marker test isn’t always reliable as some fake bills will show as genuine when the special anti-counterfeit marker is used. In this case, the bills should have been easy to detect as they had markings on them in one of the Chinese languages.

    While not every marketplace platform is perfect, there are very few that go the extra mile in trying to protect its users. For example, Geebo reviews every ad in order to try to weed out the ads that are obvious scams and setups. Maybe if our competitors were more concerned about user safety they wouldn’t keep cropping up in the daily headlines for all the wrong reasons.

  • Geebo 10:00 am on January 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: counterfeit money, , prop money, ,   

    Movie money props used in craigslist scams 

    Movie money props used in craigslist scams

    Police in Stafford County, Virginia, are reporting an uptick in crimes involving counterfeit money. There have been at least two reports of people who were selling an item on craigslist who were paid in phony cash. Not just any phony cash mind you, but bills that were specifically printed to only be used in theatrical or film production. So how did movie prop money end up in the hands of con artists? It’s actually easier than you think.

    Most movie prop houses work closely with the Secret Service to make sure that their fake money looks legitimate on screen but no so real that it can be passed off as the real thing. In the past, it may have been difficult and expensive to obtain such prop money, however, in these days where anyone with a camera-enabled smartphone where just about anyone could make a movie, prop money has become much more easy to obtain. For example, one movie prop company will sell you a $10,000 stack of prop $100 bills for just $25.00. While the bills could not obviously fool professionals, they have been known to fool many an average consumer. Here’s a video that goes into great detail showing the differences between prop money and the real thing.

    Of course, there are several ways to prevent yourself from being ripped off like this. The first and most important is to always meet the buyer at a local police station. While not foolproof, a scammer is less likely to try to pull something like this when there are several police officers around. The second thing is to inspect the money for markings that say something like “For motion picture use only” or something to that effect. Lastly, there are markers you can buy that if you mark the money with them they can tell you if the money is real or not. Since just about anyone can buy this prop money, just about anyone can be fooled by it. So don’t be just anyone. Also, you probably shouldn’t use craigslist as it’s rife with scammers like this.

  • Geebo 9:01 am on October 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: counterfeit money,   

    Beware of counterfeit bills when making a classifieds transaction 

    Beware of counterfeit bills when making a classifieds transaction

    This is a scam that has been going on since the advent of online classifieds and is still going on to this day, counterfeit money. Unfortunately, it’s not just something you see happen on TV or movies. You could take all the right precautions by going to a police station to make your transaction and bringing a friend with you and still get ripped off if you’re not careful.

    Thankfully, there are many ways you can check to see if a bill is counterfeit. One of the best ways is to purchase an anti-counterfeit pen. Anyone can purchase one of these pens that when you mark a counterfeit bill with it a black mark will show up. Also don’t forget about the security measures put in place in legitimate bills such as the security stripe you can see when you hold the bill up to the light, or the red and blue fibers that can be seen in genuine US currency if you use a magnifying glass.

    Back in the early days of online classifieds there used to be the adage of “local only and cash only”. Thanks to counterfeiters you can’t even trust that adage anymore. If you find yourself a victim of a counterfeiter, call police. Do not try to pass off the money yourself as that could lead to serious jail time. Then, not only will you be out your money and your merchandise, but you’ll also be out a substantial part of your life.

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