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  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Idaho, , school shooting   

    There’s no tragedy scammers won’t take advantage of 

    There's no tragedy scammers won't take advantage of

    By Greg Collier

    A few weeks ago, there was a school shooting at a middle school in Idaho. The shooter was a sixth grade student who allegedly took a gun out of her backpack and began firing. Before she was subdued by a teacher, the shooter had struck three other students. Thankfully, there were no fatalities, but the victims of the shooting might have to deal with medical bills for years to come. Due to the enormous cost of healthcare in this country, fundraisers are often started to lessen the financial impact victims have to endure. For example, more people are said to use the fundraising platform GoFundMe for medical expenses than any other reason to raise funds. Unfortunately, this also allows any scammer to set up a fundraiser in a victim’s name even though the victim won’t see any of the money.

    The Attorney General of Idaho has issued a warning about scam fundraisers that have popped up in the wake of the shooting. While the Attorney General has stated that there have been scams, he has not identified which particular scams are being used. However, it stands that there are scammers out there who have no qualms about diverting money that could go to help a shooting victim into their own pockets. Even if children had died at this shooting, we have no doubt that scammers would still have tried to take money from the victims’ families.

    If you are looking to donate money on a situation like this, there are steps you can take to not only protect yourself but to also make sure the money goes to those who truly need it. If a GoFundMe has been set up, the best place to find the legitimate GoFundMe campaign is through local news websites. Local news stations do a good job of making sure the GoFundMe link used in their articles is the correct one. Don’t respond to any unsolicited requests for donations over the phone or through emails. And if you plan on giving to an already existing charity, you can use the Better Business Bureau’s Give.org to aid you in your research on the legitimacy of charities.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Idaho, , , ,   

    How scammers use the post office to steal from you 

    By Greg Collier

    The US Post Office does a lot to try to prevent their system from being used for fraudulent purposes. The United States Postal Inspection Service is the law enforcement arm of the USPS, and they do a lot to investigate and prevent mail fraud. Unfortunately, with the way the mail system in the US has become automated, scammers have taken advantage of the modern conveniences of the postal system. Here is just one of the ways scammers use the post office to separate you from your money.

    In Idaho, a man ordered some gardening supplies from a random website. The man used PayPal to pay for the items that only amounted to around $45. A week went by and the man did not receive the items he ordered. He tried contacting the seller but received no response. He then tried filing a complaint with PayPal. At first, his request was denied because the seller provided PayPal with a USPS tracking number showing that the item was delivered. The supposed delivery was sent close to the man’s address. Typically, in postal scams like this, the victim will be sent an empty box or be sent an item that’s well below the value of the item they ordered. The man was eventually able to get a refund from PayPal, but it took him a month to do so. Again, that’s more the exception than the rule.

    When ordering online from a small or unfamiliar business online, your best bet is to use a credit card instead of a payment app like PayPal. While there are advantages to using services like PayPal, they do not offer the same protections that a credit card does. And again, when making a purchase from an unfamiliar website, do some research first to see if the website has any fraud complaints against it before making any purchases. While this purchase may have been a negligible amount, if enough people fall for the scam the small amounts can add up quickly.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Idaho, ,   

    Scary scammer targets 10-year-old on TikTok 

    Scary scammer targets 10-year-old on TikTok

    Children love social media. If they’re not messaging their friends they’re either interacting with celebrities and personalities or even creating their own content. One of the most popular social media apps among children is TikTok. It allows its users to create short videos or they can follow and watch the videos of other creators. As with most social media, users can interact with each other through comments and messages. If these interactions are not monitored it could lead to inappropriate contact and other potentially dangerous situations.

    A 10-year-old girl from Idaho was on TikTok and was recently contacted by a stranger through the app. The person who contacted her said they were looking for a ‘sugar baby’ that they could spoil with gifts and money. While this sounds like the actions of an online predator’s attempt to groom a child, this interaction took a different turn. The person who approached the girl said that in order to ‘spoil’ the girl they would need her parents’ ATM and bank card information. Thankfully, the girl was smart enough to tell her parents about the messages who in turn called local police. However, the alleged scammer could be from anywhere and no apprehension has been made and the suspect may never be caught.

    While most children love apps like TokTok that doesn’t mean they should be on them unattended. Most platforms including TikTok set the minimum age of users to 13 in their terms of service. Even if children meet the minimum age requirement that still shouldn’t mean they can be left on any social platform without having some form of monitoring. A good rule in helping keep children safe online is to instill a no devices after bedtime rule. If your children are using iPhones or iPads, iOS has parental controls that you can learn to use here. If your children are on Android phones and tablets parental control instructions can be found here. You can also find tips and tricks to keep your children safe online at the US Attorney’s Office website and NetSmartz.org.

     
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