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  • Geebo 9:23 am on March 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: coupon scam, florida, , ,   

    Social Security Suspension, Fake Coupons, Florida is #1, and cancer patient scammed out of $32K 

    Social Security Suspension, Fake Coupons, Florida is #1, and cancer patient scammed out of $32K

    It’s that time again to bring you the scams of the week that are happening around the country that could eventually come to your area. This week, we also have one that is particularly heinous.

    First up is a new scam targeting senior citizens. A number of our more mature members of society are stating that they are receiving phone calls that tells them that their Social Security numbers are being suspended. Since many seniors rely on Social Security benefits they could be prone to fall for this scam. The FTC is warning seniors that Social security numbers cannot be suspended and to not give any information to anyone calling you pretending to be the government and that if there is an issue with your Social Security the government will contact you by mail.

    Next, we have an online coupon scam that seems to be circulating on social media. If you see a coupon for the pizza chain Little Caesars promising you three free pizzas for their 60th anniversary it’s a scam. If you click on any links regarding this phony coupon it could lead to malware being installed onto your system. Little Caesars themselves has even issued a warning to consumers to avoid this coupon at all costs.

    In scam related news it turns out that Florida is the scam capital of the nation but the victims aren’t who you might think. While many seniors either live or spend a lot of time in Florida they’re not the main targets of scammers. Instead, scammers are targeting people of the so-called Millennial generation. Victims have fallen prey mostly to debt collection scams which seems to track since many Millennials are burdened with outrageous student loan debt. Once again, consumers are being warned about making any kind of payment through wire service or gift cards as these are clear indicators that any collection calls they receive may be a scam.

    Lastly, we have quite the heartbreaking story out of Northern California where a man in the Sacramento area has been taken in by a scam to the tune of $32,000. What makes this particular scam egregious is that the victim is currently struggling with cancer. The man wanted to travel the country with his wife in a motorhome. Unfortunately, the man wired money to someone posing as eBay Motors. Again, wiring money is usually a sure sign of a scam as once the money is wired it’s almost impossible to get it back.

    If you feel like you’ve been the victim of an online scam it is recommended that you contact the FTC at their complaint website.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: florida, , , , Robert Kraft   

    Why the charges against Patriots owner Robert Kraft matter 

    Why the charges against Patriots owner Robert Kraft matter

    New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft

    It was made public this past Friday that the owner of the New England Patriots, 77-year-old Robert Kraft, had been charged with two counts of allegedly soliciting prostitution in Florida. These charges stemmed from a much larger human trafficking investigation that targeted massage parlors in Orlando, Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. Investigators claim that they have video evidence of Kraft in the act. Kraft has not yet been arrested but a warrant may be issued shortly. While Kraft is the biggest name among those arrested for solicitation, other prominent figures have been arrested during the same investigation.

    The investigation itself is said to have revealed that women were being held against their will inside the massage parlors after being brought over from overseas. In many similar cases, the victims of sex trafficking are brought into the country and are forced to work off their ‘debt’ to the traffickers by being forced to work inside the massage parlors. The victims are also often shuffled from location to location among other massage parlors not only to try to law enforcement off the tracks of the traffickers but to also prevent the victims from knowing where they are or where they can get help.

    While it’s refreshing to see that high-profile johns are being charged in this investigation, the fact that a man like Robert Kraft may be engaging in the solicitation of prostitution almost normalizes trafficking in the eyes of some. Add to that many of these massage parlors are not just in seedy urban areas but many of them are ensconced in strip malls all throughout suburbia. Comments surrounding the Robert Kraft story have already been of the ‘I don’t see what’s so wrong about it’ variety, and then the cycle of trafficking continues. If people refuse to see that holding women hostage in multiple locations and coercing them into performing these acts is wrong than what hope do we have for fighting this crisis.

    In the long run, Kraft could not only have the charges against him reduced or dropped but the NFL will probably not sanction Kraft in any real damaging way and that’s where the problem is. If johns are only going to receive slaps on the wrist for encouraging human trafficking then fighting the problem is only going to continue to be like trying to hold the ocean back with a broom.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on November 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , florida,   

    Don’t fall for the craigslist copycat rental scam 

    Don't fall for the copycat rental scam

    On other classifieds sites, there are rental property scams abound. One of the most common scams is that the con artist will copy an ad from a legitimate real estate site, then will repost the ad on a site like craigslist claiming that they are in control of renting the property. Since a lot of people’s first go to site for rental properties may be craigslist scammers will use that site in droves to try to take your money. But what if you see an ad on a real estate site then see an ad on craigslist for the same property at a different price?

    While this is a rare occurrence, a woman from New York was looking to find a rental property in Florida. She first found a property on a legitimate vacation rental site but then found the exact same property for rent on craigslist for a cheaper price. Wanting the better deal, the woman sent money to the person who allegedly placed the craigslist ad. The woman sent $3500 for a rental deposit, the check was cashed and the woman never heard back from the craigslist renter. The alleged con artist also tried this scam on a Canadian family and law enforcement was involved leading to the suspect’s arrest.

    If you see two ads for the same property and the one on craigslist is at a lower price, it’s almost guaranteed that the craigslist ad is a scam. On craigslist the ‘if it’s too good to be true, it probably is’ adage applies more than on any other classifieds site since craigslist doesn’t moderate their ads or submit them to any kind of review process. They only care about the quantity of ads and not the quality.

     
  • Geebo 9:05 am on May 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 13th Amendment, , florida, Florida Abolitionist, ,   

    Anti-trafficking group uses new approach to sue Backpage 

    Anti-trafficking group uses new approach to sue Backpage

    Backpage has been no stranger to lawsuits in its controversial history. In the past, many of its lawsuits have been dismissed due to protections afforded them by the Communications Decency Act of 1996 which stated that a website was not responsible for third-party content posted by a user. Even with the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) being passed into law and the criminal charges being filed against Backpage, a lawsuit win against Backpage still isn’t a slam dunk. However, an anti-trafficking group from Florida is trying a new tactic in an attempt to ensure judicial success against the website.

    In one of their arguments, Florida Abolitionist is claiming that Backpage violated the 13th Amendment rights of the women FA is representing by allowing them to be trafficked on Backpage’s listings. For those of you who may not be familiar with the 13th Amendment, it’s the Amendment that was supposed to end slavery in the United States. The text of the Amendment states…

    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    While the 13th Amendment was designed to end slavery in the wake of the Civil War, the Amendment has rarely been used to show a violation of rights has been committed. With Former Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer recently admitting that Backpage was complicit in the practice of sex trafficking, maybe we’ll see a new landmark case where the 13th Amendment is instrumental in addressing the future rights of trafficking victims.

     
  • Geebo 9:29 am on May 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: florida, , ,   

    Elaborate used car scam hits OfferUp 

    Elaborate used car scam hits OfferUp

    The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recently released a report detailing a used car scam that has unfolded in Florida. In Daytona Beach, a man found himself out of $20,000 after purchasing a vehicle through the marketplace app OfferUp. The lengths to which the scammer went to can almost be seen as ingenious if they weren’t so contemptible.

    After the man purchased the truck he took the title to the Florida DMV who told him the title was a fake. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) came back to a truck of similar make and model that was being sold on a car dealer’s lot in California. After contacting police, investigators found there had been three different VIN plates glued to the car. To make matters even worse, police found a GPS tracking device inside the vehicle. Investigators suspect the scammer was tracking the vehicle to try to steal it and resell it.

    Any worthwhile classifieds app or website will have the VIN included in the ad for the car. For example, Geebo vehicle ads require a VIN to be placed with the ad. This way a consumer can check it with one of the many services that provide a car’s history. And as always, if a deal sounds too good to be true it probably is.

     
  • Geebo 10:50 am on March 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: animal sanctuary, , florida   

    Craigslist used in elaborate animal scheme 

    Craigslist used in elaborate animal scheme

    Yesterday, headlines from all over the country discussed how several exotic animals were allegedly stolen from a wildlife sanctuary in South Florida. The animals taken included at least seven lemurs, 12 tortoises, four monkeys and five marmosets. The theft was blamed on a craigslist ad placed in the area that claimed the sanctuary was going out of business and anyone could come claim an animal for free.

    On the surface, that doesn’t sound too implausible. Craigslist has often used by either pranksters, or people with vendettas, who post ads that say anything from a single item to an entire property full of items are being given away, even though the poster has no authority to do so. Due to craigslist’s lackadaisical attitude when it comes to moderation, this has become an all too common occurrence.

    However, this story goes beyond the usual craigslist vandalism when it was reported that the sanctuary owners were not only the ones who allegedly stole the animals themselves, but also were said to have placed the craigslist ad to try to throw authorities off their tail, so to speak. Police believe the owners staged the fake burglary to prevent any more animals being taken from the sanctuary as they previously had other animals seized by authorities.

    While this is one of the more unusual crimes committed through craigslist, at this point it should really come as no surprise.

     
  • Geebo 9:59 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: florida, ,   

    Florida wants to allow human trafficking victims to sue hotels 

    Florida wants to allow human trafficking victims to sue hotels

    With its year-round beaches, spring break destinations, and theme parks, the Sunshine State of Florida has long been a popular vacation destination for people of all ages for generations. Because of that popularity, Florida also has a reputation of being one of the biggest destinations for human traffickers.

    Recently, the Florida State legislature has considered a bill where hotels could be sued by human trafficking victims if the hotels either turned a blind eye, or helped others engage in the modern-day slave trade. While the bill has not been opposed in public, some claim that big names in Florida tourism have been working behind the scenes to undermine the bill.

    However, there is an out for the hotel industry in Florida. If the hotel provides proper training in how to recognize human trafficking and provide a protocol for reporting trafficking then those hotels could not be sued under the proposed legislation.

    While some fear this could cause a new cottage industry for overly litigious Florida attorneys, it could also provide new allies in the fight against the trafficking of women and children in what is supposed to be the ‘happiest place on earth.’

     
  • Geebo 10:10 am on September 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: florida, Hurrican Irma,   

    Florida suffers price gouging in wake of Hurricane Irma 

    Florida suffers price gouging in wake of Hurricane Irma

    Before Hurricane Irma even made landfall in Florida, the state Attorney General’s office received over 8,000 complaints about price gouging. In what has unfortunately become the norm during natural disasters, some retailers took it upon themselves to raise the prices on such necessities as gas, food, water and lodging. Some reports have indicated that some gas stations in the affected area raised their prices to $8 a gallon during the evacuation period. While some may call this just a simple case of supply and demand, price gouging like this is illegal in Florida and the Attorney General has been serious about fining infractions.

    Violators can be fined $1,000 per infraction and can be fined up to $25,000 in a 24 hour period. Now, with the devastation in the area becoming even more widespread, price gouging is even expected to rise. The way the state determines price gouging is that they compare prices from 30 days prior to the date of the infraction and see if the price has been raised in an outrageous fashion.

    If you feel a retailer is taking advantage of the Hurricane you can report them to the state’s Price Gouging Hotline at 1-866-966-7226, or their website at myfloridalegal.com. It is recommended that you either keep your receipt or take a picture of the inflated charge before submitting a report.

     
  • Geebo 10:08 am on June 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: florida, jacksonville, , ,   

    Dad sells son’s truck online for smoking weed 

    Dad sells sons truck online for smoking weed

    Possibly inspired by the Minnesota mom who sold her daughter’s truck for skipping class, a Florida father recently sold his son’s truck online. A Jacksonville, Florida, man recently sold his son’s Ford Explorer online because of the 16-year-old’s penchant for smoking weed and ‘acting all thug’ in the father’s words. To add a little insult to injury the father offered to take $250 off the price if the buyer lived in the same neighborhood so his son could ‘see it every now and then and be reminded of how good he had it’.

    The father continues…

    “Now he can put those Jordans to use walk his a** off on these hot summer days!” his father wrote in the post.

    The sale of the truck seems to be working as the father has said that his son has approached him about turning over a new leaf.

    How do you feel about the viral ad? Is online embarrassment of an unruly teen really the way to go for parents? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

     
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