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  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , covid testing, , Georgia, , , omicron variant,   

    New variant brings same old scams 

    By Greg Collier

    With the advent of the Omicron variant, the demand for COVID testing has increased to the point of scarcity. Unfortunately, scammers and other con artists are well aware of this crisis and are looking to take advantage of it, so they can line their pockets. It’s gotten so bad in the state of Georgia that the state Attorney General’s office has issued a warning about scams related to COVID testing. While a testing shortage might not be happening in your state currently, Georgia’s current situation can be used as a reminder to look out for these scams.

    The Peach State is warning its residents to be aware of anyone going door to door offering COVID testing. Residents have also been told to be wary of anyone wanting to charge a fee for in-person testing. If you live in Georgia, you can go to the Department of Public Health’s website that has a listing of legitimate testing centers. While not mentioned by the Georgia Attorney General, some COVID scammers are after the medical insurance information of the heir victims, especially if they have Medicare. You should only give your healthcare information to a trusted medical provider.

    These phony testing scams aren’t just dangerous to the victim, but they’re dangerous to the public as well. If a victim is told they had a negative test result by a scammer, but actually have COVID, they could go on to spread it to their family, friends, and community with disastrous results. If you’ve spotted a COVID testing scam or have been a victim of one, it’s recommended that you contact your state’s Division of Consumer Protection.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Georgia, , , multilevel marketing, ,   

    Potential pyramid scheme targets young people on Instagram 

    Potential pyramid scheme targets young people on Instagram

    By Greg Collier

    There’s a fine line between pyramid schemes and multilevel marketing. In pyramid schemes, the top level of the pyramid asks you for money with a promise of getting multiples of your money back. All you have to do is recruit more people who are willing to pay you, so you can in turn pay the top of the pyramid. With MLMs, not only do you have to pay to get in, you have to sell a product, and recruit more people to join.

    Pyramid schemes are illegal in the US, but MLMs are not. If an MLM makes more money from recruiting new people rather than selling a product, it’s then considered a pyramid scheme and is violating US law. This hasn’t stopped some MLM’s from continuing to operate.

    One thing that pyramid schemes and MLMs have in common is that the lower someone is on the hierarchy, the less money they make. Both also tend to target people in lower-income areas who may not have had the best educations. They both also tend to target younger people who may not have the life experience to recognize a potential scam.

    Recently, The Office of the Attorney General in Georgia, has issued a warning to young people about a potential pyramid scheme/MLM that has been trying to recruit them on Instagram. The ‘company’ clams to give money to college students so they can establish credit. They say they’re looking for recruiters and that someone can earn $350 for each person the recruit. However, to become a recruiter, you need to pay $100 to join.

    If you have to pay money to join some network marketing plan, you’re not running your own business, as they may claim. What you really are is a paying customer who has quotas on how much you have to buy and how many people you need to recruit each month. Social media, with Facebook and Instagram being the most egregious, is where most MLMs will try to recruit you. Think about that person from high school you haven’t seen in years all of a sudden has a ‘business opportunity’ for you. They’re just looking for suckers of their own so their ‘business’ isn’t suffering. Before you know it, everyone involved except the top of the food chain are further in debt. This isn’t a business, it’s a predatory practice.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Georgia, , ,   

    Nationwide grandparent scam foiled 

    Nationwide grandparent scam foiled

    By Greg Collier

    Whenever we talk about scams, we usually talk about two things, the scam itself, and how to protect yourself from the scam. However, every so often we talk about the inner workings of a particular scam. For example, we discussed how gift card scammers used runners to drain the cards quickly. Today, we have an insight to another popular scam that’s seen a sharp rise in the past year. That would be the grandparent scam.

    Again, for those who may be new readers, the grandparent scam is when scammers will pose as an elderly victim’s grandchild. They’ll say that they’ve gotten into some kind of legal trouble and need money to rectify the situation. Requests for bail money are usually the more popular versions of the scam, although requests for emergency medical expenses are a close second. The scammers will often ask for payment in some kind of untraceable form like gift cards or money transfers, but one scam ring got very creative in getting their stolen money.

    One scam ring based out of Georgia that consisted of several people were arrested after allegedly trying to collect money they scammed out of some unwitting victim. They’re accused of traveling from city to city finding victims only to have them send cash to unoccupied homes. The scammers would then drive buy the homes and grab the packages off the porches. This particular ring was said to have traveled to Indiana, Illinois, South Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi and Ohio. They were caught trying to get one of the packages from an Indiana porch where police were waiting for them.

    If the scammers had put this much effort into something beneficial instead of a nationwide scam, they’d probably be just as successful and not have to worry about a potential jail sentence.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Georgia,   

    Anybody can be the victim of a scam 

    Anybody can be the victim of a scam

    Whenever we post about a victim of a scam we’ll inevitably get a comment from a reader that states that they would never fall victim to a scam. Sometimes, we’ll get less respectful comments like “How can someone be so dumb to fall for that?” The truth is that anyone can fall victim to a scam. It doesn’t matter what your education level is or your financial and social status. Scammers tend not to discriminate and will target just about anyone, from the poorest of the poor to the one percent.

    Recently, a successful professional man was scammed out of $13,000 after he attempted to purchase a boat he found on craigslist. The man lives in Georgia while the boat was said to be in Miami. The Georgia man took every precaution and then some when researching the boat and the people who claimed to be selling it. He even formed his own LLC in order to transfer the money for the boat to the purported sellers. However, like most online vehicle scams, the boat never arrived and the $13,000 was long gone. Investigators say that it’s highly unlikely the man will ever get any of his money back.

    Scammers will adjust their approach depending on their target. Considering this man was fairly educated the scammers employed many different tactics than they would if their target was a less financially well off person. Please keep in mind that whenever we discuss romance scams, the victims in those tend to be above the average when it comes to terms of wealth.

    In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re living paycheck to paycheck or if you have a vast stock portfolio. Anybody can be the victim of a scam and it can be just as devastating financially and emotionally no matter who you are.

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