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  • Geebo 8:59 am on November 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , customer service, , ,   

    New bank scam plaguing customers 

    New bank scam plaguing customers

    By Greg Collier

    As if bank customers didn’t have enough to worry about as it is, another scam with a familiar hook has started appearing. Much like the recent spate of Zelle scams, more scammers are calling their victims, posing as the victim’s bank. This particular scam is a little more disheartening because the scammers already have a lot of the victim’s information.

    Again, like many bank scams that have happened recently, the scam starts with a call to the victim from a scammer pretending to be from the customer service department of the victim’s bank. The victim is asked if their debit card has been used out of state. When the victim responds that they haven’t been out of state, they’re then urged to cancel their card due to fraudulent activity. The scammers already have the last 4 digits of the victim’s debit card. As the bank, the scammers then ask for the victim’s PIN, so they can ‘confirm’ the card’s cancellation.

    Once the victim gives the scammers their PIN, the scammers are off to the races, as they’ve already gleaned the victim’s debit card number from any number of data breaches. The only thing the scammers needed was the PIN, and from there they can drain the bank account the debit card is attached to. This scam has already been reported in Kentucky and could be on the way to spreading nationwide.

    If you ever receive a call from your bank about fraudulent activity, politely hang up and call them back at the customer service number on the back of your debit card or on the bank’s website. You can also visit your bank’s local branch to resolve any issues. Most importantly, never give your PIN to anyone over the phone unless you’re absolutely certain you’re speaking with your bank.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on November 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , customer service, , , ,   

    Another national bank used in Zelle scam 

    Another national bank used in Zelle scam

    By Greg Collier

    The Zelle scam continues to be an unstoppable force that has yet to meet its immovable object. In case you haven’t heard of this scam, Zelle is a payment app that’s preferred by many of the major banks in America. It works in a similar way to PayPal or Venmo but uses your bank account instead of a separate account. Scammers have been posing as banks and texting people, asking them if they just made a large purchase. When the recipient replies back with a ‘no’, the scammers call the person since they now know it’s a working number. The scammers will claim to be from the person’s bank and will instruct their victim that in order to prevent this fraudulent purchase, they need to send the money to themselves through Zelle. However, the money is actually being sent to the scammer.

    Previously, it was mostly reported that the majority of victims were customers of Bank of America, while other victims belonged to Chase Bank. Both B of A and Chase are part owners of Zelle. Now, we’ve seen a report where the victim was a customer of a different bank but also one of the Zelle owners. This bank would be Wells Fargo. A woman from South Carolina, who banks at Wells Fargo, received the text about the fraudulent purchase along with the follow-up phone call by a scammer claiming to be a Wells Fargo representative. This victim was also instructed to send the money to herself through Zelle. The exact amount she lost was not given, but was said to be in the thousands.

    The reason we’re mentioning Wells Fargo is that they are just one of nine banks that hold ownership in Zelle. Customers from any one of these banks could be vulnerable to this scam. The banks that we haven’t mentioned yet are BB&T, Capital One, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC Bank, Ally, and US Bank. Potentially, even consumers who don’t use one of these banks could still be vulnerable to this scam, as some banks use Zelle even though they don’t hold ownership in it.

    If you receive a text asking if a fraudulent purchase has been made through your account, do not respond to it. This is how scammers know they’ve got someone on their hook. Instead, call your bank at their customer service number that’s listed on their website or on your debit card. That way, you can be sure you’re talking to a legitimate customer service rep from your bank. You can also go to your bank’s local branch, and they will also be able to assist you.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on November 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , customer service, , , , security card   

    Gift cards are not ‘security cards’ 

    By Greg Collier

    We have long said that if someone is asked to use a gift card for anything besides a gift, it is almost assuredly a scam. Once a scam victim buys a gift card and gives the scammer the card number, that money is immediately lost to the scammer. We can’t stress this enough that no legitimate company or agency will ever ask for payment of a debt or service in gift cards. As more consumers become aware of gift card scams, scammers have to adapt their tactics in order to fool their victims.

    Lately, there has been a rise in the Amazon impersonation scam. This is where scammers send out emails or text messages that look like they’ve come from Amazon. The messages say that an expensive item was fraudulently purchased through the victim’s Amazon account. The messages include a fake customer service number to call. Once the victim calls the fake customer service number, they leave themselves open for a number of scams.

    For example, a woman in Colorado recently fell victim to this scam. She says she received a call from someone posing as an Amazon agent. The victim was told that in order to prevent her account from being hacked that she needed to buy a ‘security card’ from a local retailer. She was informed that both Apple and Google have these kinds of cards. However, security cards aren’t really a thing, and these were just gift cards. After she gave the card numbers to the scammer, the scammer continued to hound the victim for more money, promising that the next payment would definitely secure the victim’s Amazon account.

    If you receive a message or call from someone claiming to be from Amazon and there’s fraudulent activity on your account, don’t just take their word for it. Before taking any action given by the message, check your Amazon account for any fraudulent activity. If there isn’t any, then you can disregard any instructions you received as being part of a scam. And just because a scammer calls something a ‘security card’ doesn’t make it so.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , customer service, , ,   

    Veteran loses college fund to nationwide bank scam 

    By Greg Collier

    A naval veteran from Southern California recently lost $19,000 to bank scammers. This particular bank account that was targeted by scammers was for his daughter’s college tuition. The man is a customer of Chase Bank and says the scam started with a text message that appeared to come from Chase. This was followed up by a phone call from someone claiming to be a Chase representative. The phone number the call came from was even said to have matched Chase Bank’s customer service number.

    The representative identified the man by name and also reportedly knew the last four digits of the man’s Social Security and debit card number. The man was told that there was fraudulent activity on his account. Before the man knew it, he was locked out of his bank account. When he got a hold of an actual Chase representative, he was told that wire transfers had been made from the account to a recipient in Florida. The entire account had been depleted.

    If you’ve been a reader of our blog for at least the past couple of weeks, this scam may sound familiar to you. This scam has a lot of the same hallmarks of the Zelle scam that’s been affecting bank customers nationwide. The difference here is that this is the first time we’ve heard of the scammers having a victim’s identifying information. With that information, they’d be able to bypass using Zelle, and access the account directly. It’s possible that the information was gained from some form of data breach and the call was made to confirm the information was up-to-date.

    If you receive a text from yours or any bank about fraudulent activity, do not respond to that text. Instead, call the bank from the customer service number that’s on your debit card or on the bank’s website. If you respond to the text, scammers may know that they’ve reached a live number where they can target a vulnerable consumer.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , customer service, , ,   

    Victim scammed by fake Cash App website 

    Victim scammed by fake Cash App website

    By Greg Collier

    Cash App has an advantage over its competitors like PayPal and Zelle. A Cash App user doesn’t need to have a bank account linked to their Cash App account. This is a great benefit to many Cash App users who are underserved by banks in their communities. However, that advantage comes at a cost. Cash App doesn’t offer the same protections that a bank might when it comes to scams, and unfortunately, Cash App is probably the most popular mobile payment app used by scammers. One of the more common Cash App scams is the fake customer service number scam. This is where scammers take out ads on popular search engines claiming to be Cash App’s official customer service number, but instead you’re directed to a scammer.

    Something similar recently happened to a woman from Arizona. She used Cash App exclusively and did not have a bank account. She recently purchased a new phone and wasn’t sure how to transfer her Cash App account to her new phone. Just because smartphones are commonplace now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone knows all the ins and outs of them, and purchasing a new phone can be a daunting task for some. The woman and her son looked on the internet for instructions on how to do this and came across a website that looked like an official Cash App site.

    The phony website even listed the correct customer service number for Cash App. However, when they clicked on the phone number, it redirected them to a scam call center. The phony rep asked for her account information and transferred all of her entire paycheck to a bank account controlled by the scammers. Another drawback to Cash App is that once a transfer is made, the account who received the money can block the account that sent the money. Or, in this case, the account that had money stolen from it.

    With payment apps like Cash App, your account isn’t permanently tied to the phone you first started using it on. As long as you haven’t changed your phone number, you should be able to redownload the app to your new phone and enter your login information and everything should be on the new phone.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: customer service, , ,   

    Rental car scam is the latest attack on consumers 

    Single father taken in craigslist car con

    By Greg Collier

    Due to the pandemic, car rental companies were forced to sell off a lot of their cars just to stay afloat. Now that people are starting to travel again, car rental agencies have drastically raised their prices because of the shortage of inventory. Not surprisingly, scammers have stepped in to take advantage of the shortage. It seems like scammers always have their fingers on the pulse of multiple industries so they can immediately jump on any situation that could benefit them. While this scam may seem new, it’s actually a common scam with a new target base.

    How it works is the scammers are taking out ads on search engines. These ads claim to be from known car rental agencies except they have a different phone number listed than the actual agencies. If someone calls one of these phony numbers the person on the other end of the call promises a great deal for a rental car. The catch is that not only do you have to pay up front, you have to do so using a pre-paid debit card or gift cards. After someone makes the payment they’re told that the payment didn’t go through, and they need to make another payment. Scammers are notorious for trying to get more payments out of their victims if they can con them into sending the first payment.

    If this scam sounds a little familiar that’s because it’s a variation on the customer service scam. This is where scammers take out online ads purporting to be customer service departments for well-known companies. Cash App users have been plagued by this scam for years since Cash App doesn’t actually take customer phone calls.

    As far as avoiding this scam when renting a car, you should always use the customer service number that’s on the agency’s website. Most agencies have a location finding feature on their website that will direct you to the nearest local location along with their phone number.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: airline tickets, customer service,   

    Cheap plane tickets could end up costing you a lot 

    By Greg Collier

    With many of the pandemic restrictions starting to be loosened, many people are looking to start traveling again. When people travel for whatever reason, they try to find the best bargain for their airfare. While this could lead you to getting a great deal, it could also lead to you being ripped off for airline tickets that may not even exist.

    If you’re looking to book a flight you might find various third-party websites and services that promise you a steep discount for airline tickets. However, the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers that they could be nothing more than scams. One version of the scam happens when you do a web search for an airline customer service number. Scammers often take out ads on the more popular search engines to try to get you to call them instead of the actual airline. They’ll take your money and send you a confirmation email but what they never send you are your tickets.

    In another variation of this scam, you’ll pay for tickets through a scam website or phony customer service number. The scammers will then contact you telling you that there’s been a price increase or an additional service charge is required. And you still never get any tickets. Legitimate airlines would never do this.

    If you’re planning to travel by air anytime soon, your best bet to protect yourself from these scams is to stick with the airline websites or well-known travel sites. You can still find some really good deals that also include lodging and car rentals. If you come across a deal that you think is just too good to pass up, research the service or website offering the deal before you give them any money. One of the best ways to do this is to put the name of the service or website in a search engine along with some additional search terms like ‘scam’ or ‘complaints’.

    As with most online purchases, a few minutes of research could save you from a lot of financial headaches.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , customer service, , , ,   

    Amazon robocall scam on the rise 

    Amazon robocall scam on the rise

    By Greg Collier

    Not too long ago, we posted about an email phishing scam where the scammers posed as online retailer Amazon. Essentially, the victim received an email that said someone had made a large purchase on their Amazon account. When they called the phony customer service number included in the email they were told to buy thousands of dollars in gift cards to cancel the order. This scam seems to have returned with a vengeance across the county except this time in the form of robocalls.

    Robocalls are those automated spam calls that many of use keep receiving. It’s become an almost unavoidable everyday occurrence. Robocalls are illegal in the United States, but scammers rarely ever care about the law. This is why you still receive these calls even after being added to the national do not call list.

    Many reports are coming in from all over the country where consumers say they’ve been receiving robocalls purporting to be from Amazon. It’s an automated voice message that wants to confirm a high-dollar purchase that you supposedly made on Amazon. The message then provides a number to a phony customer service number which most certainly is not to Amazon. Other robocalls of this sort will ask you to press 1 to be transferred to someone who again, most likely does not work for Amazon.

    As we previously advised, if you receive one of these calls, do not call the number provided or press whatever number the call suggests to talk to someone. Instead, log into your Amazon account to make sure that no order of that type has been made to your account. If it has, you can dispute the order with Amazon right on their platform. We also recommend routinely changing your Amazon password if you receive one of these scam calls or emails.

     
  • Geebo 8:01 am on April 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , customer service, , , , , , ,   

    Streaming devices are vulnerable to scam 

    Streaming devices are vulnerable to scam

    By Greg Collier

    In case you’re not familiar with Roku TV, it’s a device or service that comes with your TV that allows you to access multiple streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and the like. There are other brands of streaming devices, but Roku is the most popular one with consumers. And like most internet-connected devices, they are vulnerable to attacks and scams. Recently, there seems to be a string of attacks happening to new device owners that is costing them a lot of money. It’s known as the activation scam.

    One victim who spoke to the media said she was setting up her Roku device when a message flashed on her TV screen. It told her to call a customer service number to help with the activation. The woman called the number and the person who was supposedly helping her with the activation sold her a year’s service plan for close to $200. A short time later, the customer service agent called back demanding more money or her service would be shut off. It was at this point the victim realized she had been scammed.

    If you buy a Roku or any other streaming device, there is no monthly fees to use these devices. Instead, you pay to whatever streaming service you want to subscribe to. Roku does not offer a service plan. You can elect to buy a program like that at the point of purchase like Walmart or Best Buy.

    So, how does a scam like this happen on a streaming box? From everything we’ve researched it happens when the user goes to a phony activation website. Anybody can make a website that says ‘Roku Activation Help’. That’s when the phony customer service or activation number comes up. In the user guide to most streaming boxes it will give you the authentic website to use for help and activation. If you just do a web search for activation you could be led to a scam site that could cost you time and money.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , customer service, , , , ,   

    Victim loses $16,000 in Amazon scam 

    Victim loses $16,000 in Amazon scam

    By Greg Collier

    Amazon scams are nothing new. To be clear, we’re not talking about scams perpetrated by the online retailer giant. Instead, we’re talking about scams that use the Amazon name. The most infamous of these scams is the brushing scam. The brushing scam is when you get sent packages to your home of things you didn’t order. Usually, these packages come from Amazon and contain low-cost items. This is done so third-party vendors that sell through Amazon can give themselves good online reviews in your name, and the review shows up on Amazon as a verified purchase giving the phony review more legitimacy. In turn, this leads to these products being more recommended by Amazon. Sometimes, these items are charged to someone’s Amazon account.

    Today, we’re going to talk about what we’re going to call the false order scam. In this scam, the victim receives an email that looks like it came from Amazon. The email claims that expensive and high-end items have been charged to you. It then conveniently goes on to say that if you didn’t order these items, call the toll-free number contained in the email. The phone number goes to a phony customer service department that will either try to steal your personal and financial information or your money.

    Recently, a woman in North Carolina fell victim to this scam and lost $16,000. She received a scam email and when she called the fake customer service number she was instructed that she needed to buy thousands of dollars in gift cards to cancel the phony purchase. What made this scam particularly egregious was when the scammer stayed on the phone with the woman the entire time she went from store to store buying multiple gift cards. When she started suspecting this was a scam the scammer allegedly said that “You called us, scammers call you.”

    This is nowhere near being true. Scammers often set up phony customer service numbers for popular platforms. The Cash App customer service scam is one that immediately comes to mind.

    There are several ways to protect yourself from this kind of scam. The first is to check the email address from the sender. If it’s not from Amazon.com, it’s a scam. Also, before you go calling anyone suggested by the email, you can go into your Amazon account and check your order history to see if the order is real or not. Lastly, if you actually need to call Amazon, you can click on the Customer Service tab at the top of Amazon’s website for more information.

     
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