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  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 12, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: deceased, , , , , ,   

    Scam Round Up: Homeless victim loses savings in scam and more 

    By Greg Collier

    In this week’s round up, we have an update on a recent scam, a reminder of a grim scam, and a heartbreaking story on how heartless scammers are.

    ***

    You may remember a story from our last Scam Round Up where teachers in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area were being targeted in a jury duty scam. More recently, this scam moved westward and is now targeting teachers from the Cleveland, Ohio area, with at least one teacher falling victim to the scam.

    This is where scammers pose as local police and tell their victims they missed jury duty and a warrant is about to be issued for their arrest. However, a payment over the phone will supposedly resolve the matter.

    Much like in the Pittsburgh scam, scammers are calling schools in the Cleveland area asking for specific teachers and threatening them with arrest. One teacher is said to have lost $2000 to these scammers.

    Again, when it comes to jury duty, all communication is done through postal mail and not over the phone.

    ***

    In Upstate New York, police there are warning residents about a scam affecting the families of the recently deceased. Scammers are calling these families posing as an actuarial company claiming there’s been a data breach of the deceased’s information. The families are then asked for personal identifying information of the deceased.

    In this instance, scammers are likely trying to commit identity theft. They want to do things like open credit cards or take out loans in the deceased’s name before the credit companies update their record.

    If you were ever to receive a phone call like this, the best thing to do is to ask for them to send a request in writing. While not a guarantee, this does go a long way on discouraging these kinds of scammers.

    ***

    If that story wasn’t disturbing enough, a homeless woman from Florida was recently taken for over $1000 in a rental scam. After saving up enough money for her and her newborn baby to rent a home, she responded to an online real estate ad. She was texted by the supposed landlord, who asked her to pay a $75 application fee over Zelle. She was told she couldn’t see the property for a few days since it was currently occupied. Then she was asked by the supposed landlord to send $1049 for the first month’s rent. Fearing she might not get the home, she sent the money.

    Anytime a prospective landlord can’t show the property for whatever reason, there’s a good chance they’re not really the landlord.

    ***

    We hope that our readers never have to deal with scammers like this. But if you do, we hope we’ve prepared you enough to detect them.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , deceased, , , violent crime   

    Crime victim’s family taken advantage of by scammers 

    Crime victim's family taken advantage of by scammers

    By Greg Collier

    Today, we’re going to discuss a scam that doesn’t happen to everyone. We wish it didn’t have to happen to anyone. However, it once again shows just how low scammers will sink to try to take advantage of someone during a time of crisis.

    The death of a loved one is never easy. Losing a loved one to violent crime is even more difficult, to say the least. Now imagine having that happen to you, and then a con artist tries to use your loved one in one of their scams.

    That’s what happened to a woman living in Atlanta who recently lost her adult son to violent crime. As she was grieving for her son, she received a phone call from someone claiming to be with Atlanta Victim Assistance. The caller told the woman that she would receive $6500 from the organization to help pay for her son’s funeral. The caller asked her for her son’s personal information, such as his Social Security number. The grieving mother realized she may have spoken to a scammer when she spoke with the actual Atlanta Victim Assistance office. They told her that they only request that information after a family applies for funds.

    So why would someone try to get the personal information of a man who is deceased? As horrible as it is to say, the recently deceased can be prime targets for identity theft. An identity thief can potentially use that person’s identity for months before credit agencies and the like are notified of the victim’s passing. This is not unlike how identity thieves will steal the identities of minors and use their identity for years before any fraudulent activity is discovered.

    Security experts recommend that you notify the IRS, the Social Security Administration, and the major credit reporting agencies of your loved one’s passing to avoid having their identity stolen. It’s also recommended to try to limit the amount of personal information used in an obituary, as these often contains enough information for identity thieves to start their scheming.

    It’s a shame that this is what the world has come to, but hopefully, you’re now somewhat prepared if an unfortunate event like this happens to someone you know.

     
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