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  • 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, , Hulu, , Roku, , ,   

    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.

     
  • Geebo 9:15 am on December 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , customer service, ,   

    New Cash App scam drains man’s bank account 

    New Cash App scam drains man's bank account

    Cash App can be a great resource for people who have been historically underserved by traditional banks. However, it is also open to an inordinate amount of scams. This leaves Cash App users in a particularly vulnerable position when they could use better support from Cash App.

    A man from Raleigh, North Carolina is a landlord and allows his tenants to pay through Cash App. After collecting the rent from his tenants, he had over $20,000 in his Cash App account. He wanted to transfer the money out of his Cash App and he received a call from someone claiming to be from Cash App customer service. The caller gave the man directions on how to transfer his money out but in reality, they were instructing the man to give scammers his money. Not only that but they also raided his bank account which was connected to his Cash App account. Before it was all said and done, the man lost close to $25,000.

    What you may not know is that Cash App does not have a customer service department that can be reached by phone and they don’t randomly reach out to users of the app. In the past, we have seen instances where people have called what they thought was a customer service number they found online only to be scammed out of their money. This is the first instance we’re aware of where the scammers reached out to a Cash App user first.

    Even after being contacted by a local news station, Cash App didn’t appear to be much help. It seems like all they did was to issue a statement saying essentially ‘people should be more careful’. The man who lost his money stated that when he was in contact with Cash App customer service, they were no help in trying to get his money back.

    Cash App doesn’t seem to have any good system in place to protect consumers from fraudulent charges. On its own help page, it says to wait until the transaction is marked as complete, then contact the merchant to dispute the charge. But Cash App makes it too easy for the scammers to just block the person they just scammed.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , customer service, , ,   

    Cash App continues to be connected with scammers 

    Cash App continues to be connected with scammers

    Mobile payment service Cash App can’t seem to keep itself out of the headlines lately and those headlines continue to be about scams. Cash App is supposed to allow quick mobile payments between friends or vendors but has allowed an industry of scammers to flourish.

    Cash App scams usually work in one of two ways. In the first way, a scammer will be claiming to provide some good or service if you just send them payment through Cash App. However, once the payment goes through the scammer can then block the victim on Cash App. The only way to get a refund on Cash App is if the person you sent the money to agrees to send it back. The scammers can then close out their Cash App account after cashing out.

    The first Cash App scam usually leads to the second one which is a customer service scam. Cash App has no customer service number where you can reach a representative to dispute any charges. In order to contact Cash App’s customer service, you need to navigate through a rash of menus within the app and even then you probably won’t reach a real person.

    So some people will do a web search for Cash App’s customer service number. Just because Cash App doesn’t have one doesn’t mean that a Google search won’t bring one up. The thing is that these phone numbers belong to scammers and not Cash App. Just about anyone can take out a search engine ad claiming to be a customer service number. Once you call one of these phony customer service numbers, the scammers will lead you through a process that will drain your Cash App account of your money.

    Now, these customer service scammers aren’t even waiting for victims to call their fake customer service numbers. One victim says that she received an email that appeared to be from Cash App stating that $500 was about to be taken from her account if she didn’t call the attached number. The victim called the number and ended up losing $1600 to the scammers.

    To better protect its users maybe it would benefit Cash App if they set up an official customer service phone line that was easily accessible from the app.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , customer service, ,   

    Victim taken twice in Cash App scam 

    Victim taken twice in Cash App scam

    Cash App is a wallet app made by the company Square, who developed a popular system that allowed anyone to accept credit card payments on their smartphones. The Cash App allows users to make or receive online payments. With just about anything that involves money and the internet, Cash App has been used in a number of scams.

    One of the most common scams is called ‘money flipping’. Scammers will go on social media promising their victims a large amount of money if the victim just sends the scammer a small payment. For example, a scammer might promise $500 if you send them $50. As you might expect, the scammer just makes off with the small payment. However, that’s not the scam we’ll be discussing today.

    A woman in Pennsylvania received a request on Cash App from who she thought was her husband for $250. The person making the request appeared to have the same first name as her husband so she sent the money. It wasn’t until she got home and spoke to her husband that he told her he didn’t send the request. So now, the woman was out $250.

    To be fair, this could have just been a coincidence that the person making the request had her husband’s first name and made an erroneous request from the woman in Pennsylvania. However, we wouldn’t put it past scammers to either request money from random Cash App users, or stalk their victims on social media and pretend to be their spouses. The woman who lost the $250 did request a refund from the person who made the initial request but her refund request was denied meaning it could have been a scammer.

    Then the woman wanted to contact Cash App’s customer support and did a web search for their support phone number. She called the number that came up and was instructed to download another app called Quick Support and they would be able to get her money back. Cash App doesn’t have a customer support number, they can only be reached online. Instead of getting her refund, the customer support scammers were able to drain her account of over $4000.

    If you use any kind of wallet apps like Zelle, Venmo, or Cash App, use them judiciously as many of them are vulnerable to scammers. Always double-check that the person making a request for payment is actually someone you know.

    Also, never do a Google search for a company’s customer service number. Too many scammers take out ads on Google posing as legitimate customer service departments. Instead, go to the company’s website and look for a section that says ‘contact us’. It can be difficult to find sometimes and may be at the bottom of the website.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , customer service, , , , , , ,   

    A new series of scams to look out for 

    A new series of scams to look out for

    Here are some new scams that we’ve found out about that are going on around the country. Please keep in mind that just because they are not currently happening in your area doesn’t mean that they can’t.

    Another victim has been scammed through the freelancer platform Upwork. In Pennsylvania, a woman had accepted an editing position that she had found on Upwork. She was sent a check for $2000 by her ’employer’ in order to buy equipment for her position. She was then instructed to send what wasn’t spent back to her employer through Venmo and gift cards. The $2000 check later turned out to be fraudulent. Upwork has said that you should not communicate with a client outside of the Upwork platform. If you receive a check in the mail and are asked to send a balance back through untraceable means like Venmo or gift cards, it’s almost a guarantee that the job is a scam.

    In Northern California, at least one resident has reported a new scam that had happened to them. They say they received a text message where a cybercriminal claimed that they had total control of the victim’s cell phone including the microphone and camera. The scammer then tried to extort $1500 in cryptocurrency out of the person they texted. The odds are very slim that your phone will be hijacked in this way. That’s also not taking into account that when you pay a purported blackmailer like this, they will continue to try and squeeze as much money out of you as possible. If you receive a text like this you are asked to report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

    Lastly, in Tulsa, Oklahoma man fell for a customer service scam that left him out of $1500. The man was having issues with his Cash App account. He called what he thought was Cash App’s customer service department but was actually a scammer. Before it was all over, the man’s Cash App account had been drained by the scammers. In this day and age of everything being online, not every company has a customer service number you can call. Often scammers take advantage of this by advertising phony customer service numbers. If you need to contact a company for customer service, go directly to that company’s website and look for a link that either says ‘contact us’ or ‘support’. Don’t just do a web search for ‘company x’s customer service number’ as there’s a good chance that number could be fake.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , customer service, , , ,   

    Scams that use the Amazon name 

    Scams that use the Amazon name

    Over the weekend, a number of reports came out independent from each other that detailed separate scams that are using Amazon’s name and logo to fool victims into handing over personal or financial information.

    In the first scam, scammers are sending out emails with the official Amazon logo attached to them. The email thanks you for purchasing an Amazon e-gift card. The email then says that if you didn’t purchase the e-gift card to click a link to cancel the purchase or receive a refund. This is a phishing attack that will lead you to a website that is not Amazon where the scammers will try to get you to input personal or financial information in order to get your ‘refund’. In one instance, a victim was asked to buy Amazon gift cards from a local retailer to fix the problem. If you ever receive an email like this you should never click on any links. Instead, go straight to the retailer’s website to check your account.

    The second scam was reported as happening in the Pacific Northwest. In it, the scammers are sending consumers letters stating that their Amazon purchase didn’t go through. What’s troubling about this scam is that the scammers have gained access to information that allows them to know what you purchased from Amazon and how much you paid for it. The letter instructs you to go to a website in order to but again, asks you to input personal and financial information. It’s unknown how scammers have gotten the purchase information so if you receive one of these letters, it’s recommended that you change the password to your Amazon account.

    In the last scam, if you’re thinking about signing up for Amazon Prime or you have a technical issue with Prime, be careful of what links you click on after a web search. In some cases, if you do a web search for ‘Amazon Prime’ or ‘Amazon Prime customer support’ you may be presented with ads that take you to third-party sites that are definitely nor Amazon. In other cases, these ads will list a phony customer service number for Amazon Prime. Security researchers have stated that these ads will take you to sites that will try to get you to pay for services that would be free if performed by amazon. This is also known as the tech support scam. Again, if you have customer service needs that Amazon needs to address, go to Amazon.com in order to find the correct information.

     
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