Tagged: impostor scam Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , impostor scam, ,   

    New delivery scam in time for the holidays 

    By Greg Collier

    By now, many of us should be familiar with the text message delivery scam. In that scam, scammers send out text messages posing as popular delivery services such as UPS, FedEx, and even the United States Postal Service. The text message claims a delivery can’t be made to the recipient’s address, and asks the recipient to click on a link provided in the message for further instructions. Once the link is clicked, the recipient is taken to a malicious website that asks for personal and financial information, so the delivery could be made. In reality, the scammers are looking for this information to commit identity and financial theft.

    This is a popular scam throughout the year, but incredibly popular during the holiday season, when most people are expecting deliveries to their homes. Now, scammers are taking a more straightforward approach by calling their potential victims directly. The callers are identifying themselves as drivers for the various delivery services. The phony drivers claim they have a delivery for you, but can’t find your home. Then, like the text message scam, the scammers start asking for personal and financial information so they can supposedly make their delivery. If you tell them you’re not expecting a delivery, the scammers will try to tell you that you’re being sent a gift from a friend or family.

    The best way to protect yourself from this scam is to keep track of your deliveries and who they’re being delivered by. Most vendors will provide you with a tracking number from that delivery service. If you receive one of these scam calls, but still have concerns, hang up and call the delivery service customer service number from their website. They’ll be able to let you know if you’re receiving a legitimate delivery and its status. Never give out your personal or payment information, even if someone is claiming to be from a company you trust.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 14, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , impostor scam, ,   

    Is Zelle issuing refunds to scam victims? 

    By Greg Collier

    Since this past June, thousands of banks that use the Zelle payment app have been issuing refunds. Why are these banks issuing refunds? For at least the past two years, Zelle has been a boon to scammers. Zelle has been instrumental in allowing scammers to take money from their victims.

    Primarily, Zelle is used in bank impersonation scams. They start out when a victim receives a text message that appears to have come from their bank. The message asks the victim if they recently made a large purchase or transfer and to reply with yes or no. Once the victim replies, the scammers call the victim while posing as the bank’s fraud department. The victim is told their bank account has been compromised, and they need to move their money to a safe account to protect it. The scammers walk the victim through instructions on how to transfer the money to the safe account on Zelle. Then the victim unknowingly transfers their money to the scammer’s account.

    The banks that implement Zelle have been hesitant to issue any refunds to customers. They typically claim that since the customer authorized the payment, there are no grounds for a refund. The banks also claim if they start issuing refunds, then scammers will try to work their way into the refund process.

    In that vein, Zelle has been pretty quiet about how consumers can go about requesting a refund. Nor has it given any indications on any kind of timeline for refunds or whether refunds can be requested retroactively. However, in their defense, Zelle has enacted new prompts within the app that are supposed to warn users if the app feels like the user is making a risky transfer. Zelle claims this has significantly cut down on scams.

    But the best way to protect yourself is to not take the scammer’s bait. Your bank will never tell you that you need to move your money to protect it. That’s just not a thing. If you receive a text message or phone call that claims to be coming from your bank, do not respond. Instead, call your bank at the customer service number from your debit or credit card, and they’ll be able to advise you on if there is anything wrong with your account. And also keep in mind that Zelle is only supposed to be used between friends and family. Anyone else who is asking for payment through Zelle could be trying to scam you.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 31, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gold bars, impostor scam, , ,   

    Gold bar scammers scammed by police 

    Gold bar scammers scammed by police

    By Greg Collier

    When it comes to collecting money from their victims, scammers prefer instant and untraceable forms of payment. In that vein, scammers frequently ask for payment in gift cards, cryptocurrency, money transfers, or through payment apps like Zelle and Venmo. Some scammers even try to coax cold hard cash out of their victims. While cash is largely untraceable, it presents problems when trying to collect it. When a scammer asks for cash, they usually ask for it to be sent through courier services like UPS.

    Then, every once in a while, there are scammers who demand payment in one of the most conspicuous ways possible, gold bars. While technically untraceable, not only does the movement of gold attract a lot of attention, most people wouldn’t know how to convert their cash into gold in a short amount of time.

    That didn’t stop some scammers from trying their hands at getting some gold out of an elderly couple from Georgia. The couple received one of those infamous pop-ups on their computer that said their computer had been hacked. They called the number included in the message, and talked to a phony tech support call center.

    The fake support representative told the couple they definitely had a virus, then asked if they ever used their computer for online banking. They said they did, and the scammer asked which bank they used. After telling the scammer, the couple was told they were being transferred to their bank’s fraud department, which was just another member of the scam ring.

    The scammer posing as the fraud department told the couple their accounts had been compromised, and close to $200,000 in fraudulent transactions could leave them penniless. Then they were transferred to someone claiming to be an agent of the Federal Trade Commission. Again, this was just another scammer. However, the phony federal agent told the couple that in order to protect their money, they would need to withdraw their savings and convert into gold bars. The gold bars would need to be sent to Washington, D.C., where the FTC would issue a check to the couple. A courier would have to come to the couple’s home to pick up the gold.

    Currently, gold is around $2000 per ounce. For $200,000 that would be 100 ounces, which is 6.25 lbs of gold, or roughly 3 kilograms. The couple purchased the gold from a legitimate gold seller in Texas, but before they gave the gold to the scammers, they went to their local police.

    Knowing this was a scam, police set up a sting operation and waited for the courier to show up. Once he did, police were quick to apprehend him. It’s believed the scammer flew from Southern California to Georgia just to steal from the couple.

    This couple should be commended for following their gut when they did. Too often, we’ve seen elderly victims lose their life savings to less convoluted scams.

    Anytime someone you don’t know is telling you that you need to move your money to protect it, or pay yourself, they are trying to scam you. Moving your money is not a thing, and it doesn’t matter if you’re being told this by someone claiming to be from your bank, law enforcement, or any other position of authority, the person telling you this is an impostor.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 13, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , impostor scam,   

    New bank scam has scammers collecting your debit card 

    New bank scam has scammers collecting your debit card

    By Greg Collier

    Bank impersonation scams are nothing new. The typical banking scam starts off with a text message asking if you have made a large purchase or transfer. The text message asks you to reply with either a yes or a no. Once the victim replies ‘no’, they’ll receive a phone call from the scammers, posing as their bank’s fraud department. The victim will be told there is fraudulent activity in their bank account, and they need to ‘move’ their money to protect it. From here, the scammers walk the victim through moving their money to a supposed protected account. However, this account belongs to the scammers, who disappear with the victim’s money.

    In that version of the scam, the scammers have the victim move their money electronically. Now, a new scam has developed, where the scammers are physically collecting their bounty. This new scam starts out the same way with the text message and the phone call. Instead of being told to move their money, victims are now being told that a courier will be by to pick up their compromised debit card. Some victims were even told to leave their debit cards in their mailbox for the courier to pick up. From there, the scammers take the victim’s money from nearby ATMs.

    Thankfully, the ways to protect yourself are still the same. If you receive a text message claiming to be from your bank, do not respond to it. Instead, call the bank directly to see if there is an actual issue with your account. If someone calls you claiming to be from your bank, politely end the conversation, and again, call your bank directly to ask about any issues. Lastly, don’t give any personal information to a caller claiming to be from the bank. Your bank should have all the information they need and shouldn’t be requesting information like your PIN or account number.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 15, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , impostor scam, ,   

    Bank tells scam victims they gave ‘consent’ to scammers 

    Bank tells scam victims they gave 'consent' to scammers

    By Greg Collier

    Bank customers are being scammed on an almost daily basis. At least the ones who report the scam anyway, It’s more likely that the majority of recent bank scams aren’t reported to the police or media out of embarrassment. It seems that reports of banks not helping their customers who have been scammed has emboldened the bank scammers to fins more victims since they know the bank won’t do anything about it.

    For example, CBS 2 out of Chicago has done a follow-up story on five local bank customers who lost a total of $100,000 to bank impersonation scams.

    Scammers often follow a typical approach where they contact their targets through calls or messages, asking about their recent transactions. They then use coercive tactics to convince victims that transferring their funds to a different account is the only way to protect their bank accounts. Unfortunately, the account to which the money is transferred is usually controlled by the scammer. These accounts are usually regular checking accounts available through major banks and not offshore accounts.

    Out of the five Chicago victims who CBS 2 spoke with, all five were customers of Chase Bank, and only one of them has been reimbursed. The rest of the victims were told by the bank that since they gave personal information to the scammers, the bank considers that the consent of the customer.

    It also doesn’t help that the legislation designed to protect bank customers doesn’t protect victims from wire fraud. If someone uses the victim’s credit or debit card to commit fraud, customers can be reimbursed for that, but victims of wire fraud are out of luck due to a gap in the regulations. We might also add that these regulations were written in the 1970s. Electronic banking has changed a lot in the past 50 years, but the regulators haven’t kept up with the times. We knew that lawmakers are slow when it comes to updating the law to reflect current technology, but we didn’t realizer they were this slow.

    Some consumer advocates recommend that the banks should require some kind of digital ID before a wire transfer could be made. Others suggest the banks should institute a 24-48 hour delay for wire transfers. While these may sound like good ideas, practical application of them could be a headache for customers.

    What these banks really need to do is to prevent scammers from opening the accounts where the victims’ funds are being wired to. They could even institute a delay when an account tries to close out suddenly.

    At least for now, it’s up to the consumer to protect themselves from these scams.

    In case you receive a text message that appears to be from your bank inquiring about fraudulent activity, avoid using the callback feature provided in the message. Similarly, if someone calls you claiming to be from your bank and asks about fraudulent transactions, it’s best to end the call and directly contact your bank through the phone number provided on the back of your debit card.

    If you’ve been the victim of this scam, don’t hesitate to file a police report. While it’s not a guarantee of getting your money back, it does go a long way in helping.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 16, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , impostor scam, , ,   

    A good change in Social Security brings out the scammers 

    A good change in Social Security brings out the scammers

    By Greg Collier

    The most impersonated government agencies are the IRS, Social Security, and Medicare. Scammers often use these three offices to intimidate their victims into doing what they want. I mean, who wants to be contacted by the IRS? They typically use the other two offices to intimidate older Americans or the disabled into thinking they’re either going to lose their benefits, or they make benefit promises that are better than what the government is offering. Whenever the law or policy changes happen within one of these offices, the scammers are right on top of it, looking to use it to take advantage of their victims.

    At the end of this year, millions of Social Security beneficiaries will be receiving an almost 9% cost of living increase in their benefits. If a beneficiary is eligible for this increase, there is nothing they have to do. They will receive it automatically. Scammers will contact their victims posing as the SSA. They’ll tell their victims they need their personal information, a payment, or both to receive the increase. This could lead to the victim’s identity being stolen, or the loss of hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

    To better protect yourself or someone you know from this scam, the best thing to do is keep in mind that government agencies like this will not reach out to citizens first. Unless you already have an ongoing matter with Social Security, they will not just call someone out of the blue. Most government agencies will contact someone by postal mail if they need to be notified. Also, no one should have to give their personal information to the SSA, as they should already have it if you’re a beneficiary. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the SSA, hang up and contact the SSA at 1-800-772-1213, or their contact page at SSA.gov.

  • Geebo 8:03 am on November 3, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , impostor scam, ,   

    Scammers can look just like your friends on Messenger 

    Scammers can look just like your friends on Messenger

    By Greg Collier

    Facebook Messenger has become a popular tool of scammers in recent years. If a scammer can hijack someone’s account, they can attempt to scam everyone on that user’s friends list. But it’s easy to be skeptical when it’s a text-only message asking you to invest in cryptocurrency, or telling you that you’re eligible for a government grant. But what if it was a video call on Messenger where your friend is asking for money for an emergency? With technology advancing every day, this is now possible for scammers to do.

    Police in Michigan have reported numerous scams where victims got a video call on Messenger that appeared to be from a friend. The video looked just like their friend, where the friend would be moving around as normal. The calls only lasted a few seconds, but that would be enough time for scammers to ask the victims for money. Victims would then be directed to send the money through Cash App.

    The report doesn’t say how this video trick is done. However, if we had to hazard a guess, we’d say it’s done through the same technology that many face apps use. For example, there are apps where you can submit a picture and using rudimentary AI, the app can make the pic look like it’s singing New York New York by Frank Sinatra, or any other song.

    A good way to tell if you’re being scammed in this way is if there’s picture, but no sound. While the scammers can make it appear as if the picture is talking, they’ll type out the message, since they can’t make the picture say anything they want and have it sound like the friend. In all instances, even if a friend is in dire straits and does need a helping hand, always verify with them through a second method of communication such as a phone call or email.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 5, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , impostor scam, ,   

    Lottery winners are not giving away money 

    Lottery winners are not giving away money

    By Greg Collier

    The lottery winner scam is reportedly making the rounds again. If you’re unfamiliar with this scam, scammers will claim to be someone who won one of the major lottery prizes in the country. The scammers will use the names of real lottery winners to make the scam seem more legitimate.

    The scammers will then text, email, or send a private message to their potential victims telling them that they’re giving away part of their winnings. Typically, the offer is for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The messages also include articles that show the news of the actual lottery winner.

    The scammers are usually after one of two things. The first is personal and financial information. They may ask for your banking information in the guise of sending you the money. They may also ask for identifying information, such as a copy of your driver’s license. This leads to either the victim’s identity being stolen or their bank account being hijacked.

    The other thing these scammers are usually after is your money. After promising victims all this money, the scammers will try to get money out of the victim by saying that some form of taxes or processing fees need to be paid first. This is known as the advance fee scam and is quite common when it comes to lottery and sweepstakes scams.

    While there are legitimate lottery winners who have been generous with their winnings, they do not hand out hundreds of thousands of dollars to random people. The logistics and legal wranglings of doing so would be a procedural nightmare to say the least.

    As with most giveaway scams, it’s good to keep two sayings in mine. ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’, and ‘If it seems too good to be true, it probably is’.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , impostor scam, , ,   

    Uber driver loses week’s wages in scam 

    By Greg Collier

    The scam we’re about to talk about today exclusively targets rideshare drivers. Even though the majority of our readers probably aren’t rideshare drivers, we think this story can be useful to our other readers as well. Not only does it show how gig economy workers can be vulnerable to scams, we also think it’s a commentary on how some gig economy companies treat their workers.

    The victim in today’s story is an Uber driver from Salt Lake City. He loves his work and seems to be very successful at it. Rather than driving as a means to make extra money, the driver dos it full-time and is able to make a comfortable living. As an aside, that’s the exception rather than the rule, but that’s neither here nor there for right now.

    Last week, the man received a call from someone claiming to be from Uber. The caller said that the driver had received a complaint and needed to issue a refund. He was instructed to log into the Uber app and given directions on how to issue the supposed refund. What actually happened is that scammers were directing him to issue $1200 directly to the scammers. This wiped out a week’s worth of wages for the driver. Our story doesn’t end there, however.

    The driver reached out to Uber for assistance, who said they investigated the matter, but the man wasn’t due for a refund. It wasn’t until the driver reached out to his local media before Uber issued him a refund.

    Our earning to not only rideshare drivers but other gig economy workers, if you receive a phone call from the company you’re working for about your earnings, contact them through official channels before issuing any supposed refunds. You may also want to research how refunds are actually handled beforehand, so you know what’s a scam and what isn’t.

    However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out how similarly Uber acted like the banks that have had customers scammed through Zelle. Just like in the Zelle scams, Uber didn’t act in the worker’s interest until it became a potential PR issue.

    Learn your rights before joining a gig economy company. In the majority of these companies, you’re not an employee, but rather an outside contractor. These independent contractors do not receive nearly the same protections as an actual employee.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 11, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , impostor scam, , , , , ,   

    Scam Round Up: Other Valentine scams and more 

    Scam Round Up: Other Valentine scams and more

    By Greg Collier

    Today, to help start the weekend, we’re bringing you four scams from around the country you should be aware of.


    With Valentine’s Day approaching, we’ve already discussed the romance scams you should be on the lookout for. However, there are additional scams you should be aware of. The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about impostor websites where you might be buying Valentine’s Day gifts such as jewelry and flowers from. Even if you’re shopping for gifts at the last minute, make sure the retailer you’re shopping at is a legitimate one. Check for reviews of the retailer to see if anyone has been scammed already through them. Avoid deals that seem too good to be true. Make sure the website isn’t posing as another retailer by checking the web address, known as a URL, for slight misspellings. Lastly, pass on vendors who only accept payment through cash transfer apps and cryptocurrency. Use a credit card whenever possible, since that provides the most consumer protection.


    A news report out of Pennsylvania is warning residents there about an inheritance scam. The report states that the scam starts out when the victim receives a letter in the mail from a supposed Canadian bank. The letter states that a distant relative of the victim has died, and the victim is in line to receive a multi-million dollar inheritance. While situations like this make for great TV drama, the reality is much more disappointing. In reality, the victim will either be asked to pay thousands of dollars for either phony taxes or legal fees. Or the victim will be asked for their banking information under the guise of having the inheritance sent to their bank account. If you receive one of these letters, you’re asked to just ignore it.


    If you live in an area that recently endured the winter storms, you may want to keep an eye out for this scam. In Missouri, residents are reporting receiving text messages that appear to come from the United States Postal Service (USPS). The text messages state that since service was delayed, you can request a re-delivery by clicking on a link. The link takes you to a website that looks like the USPS website and asks you for $3.30 re-delivery fee, which you can pay for with debit or credit card. This is designed to steal your financial information. The USPS will never ask for a re-delivery fee.


    Lastly, we have a scam that targets the migrant population in our country. In Indiana, police there say that people who are working to become citizens have received calls from scammers posing as local police. The victims are told if they don’t pay a fee, they could lose their status and be deported. Since the victims may not be familiar with US law, they may be easily persuaded to fall for this scam. No law enforcement department or agency will ever threaten arrest over the phone or ask for money over the phone. It’s recommended that if you receive one of these calls to contact the Department of Homeland Security. If you know someone who might be vulnerable to this scam, please let them know.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc