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  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bank scam, job scam, , smishing, , Wells Fargo   

    Text message scams are on the rise! 

    Text message scams are on the rise!

    We’ve talked about email and phone call scams before but we’re pretty sure we’ve never discussed scams that specifically target you through text messages. Well, we’re going to correct that today.

    The Better Business Bureau recently reported on an employment scam that uses text messaging to try to swindle their victims out of their money or personal information. If you’re currently looking for a new job you could potentially be at risk for this scam. If you post your resume online you could be contacted by text from someone claiming to be a reputable company looking to hire you. They’ll then either ask you to pay for supplies or try to get your banking information for direct deposit. If they say you’re hired without even having you come in for an interview, it’s more than likely a scam.

    In Knoxville, Tennessee, a woman suffering from a cancer recurrence was recently scammed for hundreds of dollars in what’s referred to as ‘smishing’. That’s short for SMS phishing. She received a text message from one of her phone contacts telling about a grant she qualifies for that would provide $50,000 for her cancer treatment. The hook was that she would have to pay $500 first. After she mailed a $500 money order out of state she received another text asking for more money. This time the scammers were asking for $5,000. Luckily, her bank made her aware that this was a scam before she lost the $5,000. Text messages can be spoofed to make it look like they’re from someone you know. If a friend or associate texts you about a too good to be true offer, call them to make sure they sent the text.

    And lastly, the Utah Division of Consumer Protection is warning about a similar smishing scam that involves the Wells Fargo Bank. The text message says that there is an urgent discrepancy in your bank account that requires your immediate attention. You’ll then be instructed to click on a link or call a phone number to correct the discrepancy. You’ll then be asked for your ATM card number, PIN, expiration date, 3-digit security code, Social Security number, billing zip code, and your last known checking account balance. If you ever receive one of these text messages from any bank do not call the number or click on the link in the text. Instead, call your bank’s verified customer service number which you can usually find on their website.

     
  • Geebo 8:05 am on June 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , job scam, ,   

    Don’t take out a loan for that job! 

    Don't take out a loan for that job!

    While we’re far from the authority on online scams, we are surprised when we hear about one that we’ve never heard of before. Often these online scams are just variations of only a handful of scams such as the phony check scam. Not to mention that we thought we’ve heard of every job scam under the sun. However, even we were taken aback when we read about this job scam from Arizona.

    According to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, there was an employment scam going through their state in 2017. Two men were posting help wanted ads for phony clerical and administrative jobs. They would then tell the applicants that their credit score wasn’t good enough for the position but that they could improve their credit score by taking out a loan. The scammers would then request the money from the applicants claiming that they would pay the loans back for them but of course, never did. Thankfully, the Attorney General’s office was able to prosecute these scammers but we have to wonder if the victims’ credit ever recovered after these incidents.

    While there are some jobs in the financial sector that require you to have a good credit score, you should never have to pay anything to get a job. If a company offers you an immediate position do some research to make sure they are a legitimate employer. And as always, if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , job scam, ,   

    Summer is scam season for jobs! 

    Summer is scam season for jobs!

    With Memorial Day Weekend behind us and many schools ending the year, a number of people will be looking for seasonal employment during the warm weather months. Whether it’s students looking for some pocket money for weekend activities or adults and retirees looking to supplement their incomes, many of these temporary positions are in demand. That doesn’t mean that scammers take the summers off. They’ll be using this influx of job seekers to try to fleece their victims any way they can.

    The Better Business Bureau is warning people to be on the lookout for certain scams targeting seasonal applicants. One particular scam is said to target college students by sending spoofed emails that look like official emails from the college the student is attending. In reality, it’s another take on the fake check scam. The student will be sent a phony check that the scammers say is for the supplies the student needs for the position and will be asked to deposit the check and will then be asked to wire the money to phony vendors. Again, once the bank where the check was deposited finds out the check is fake the victim will be on the hook for the money owed to the bank.

    The BBB is also warning to be on the lookout for employment listings that say things like ‘no experience needed’ or ‘immediate start.’ These are red flags for potential scams. Don’t be in a rush to accept any position that may come your way. Ask as many questions as possible from your potential employer and try to get everything in writing. Real positions will be willing to provide any information you might need while the scammers will try to convince you otherwise. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll have a productive and enjoyable summer.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alexa for Business, , job scam, , phone security, Virgin Vinyl,   

    Using a second phone number, Virgin Records on the seas, and Alexa for work 

    Using a second phone number, Virgin Records on the seas, and Alexa for work

    Popular Science is offering a pretty good deal for an app called Hushed. Hushed allows you to have a secondary phone number that you can give out to people or companies that you may not be comfortable in giving your primary number to. The deal PopSci is offering is a much better deal than you can get from the Hushed website. However, if you would prefer a free alternative there is always Google Voice where you can also get a secondary number. The drawback to Google Voice is that even though the service has been around for years, Google has a habit of killing a number of their most beloved services with little to no warning.

    Previously, we’ve posted about Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s vacation cruise line with a more modern and extravagant appeal. Not surprisingly, there will be a record store aboard Virgin Voyage’s cruise ships. It won’t be a record store in name only as Virgin Vinyl will be selling actual vinyl records. Customers won’t be stuck with a record and nothing to play it on while on the cruise as the rooms come equipped with turntables.

    Amazon’s ubiquitous Alexa service will soon be offered to companies to use as a corporate assistant tool. Alexa for Business will offer several modules called Blueprints that companies can use to free up other resources.

    The blueprints include many of the questions employees regularly bug HR or IT desks about, including; “What’s the guest WiFi password,” “When does open enrollment start?” and “How do I set up email on my phone?” Other Alexa for Business blueprints can help with onboarding new employees, answer common questions, and even broadcast pre-recorded messages.

    However, it’s currently not made clear how secure the Alexa devices would be on corporate networks but one would have to assume it would be more secure than just bringing an Echo from home and letting employees plug in their own devices.

    Speaking of Amazon, they are once again on another hiring spree, this time for jobs in their Tech Hub in Austin, Texas. At current, Amazon is looking to fill 800 positions in Austin, however, if you’re in the market for one of these positions be careful of job scams that seem to crop up around Amazon hiring phases. Keep in mind that Amazon only has one official employment portal at Amazon.jobs and any other website with Amazon in the URL is more than likely run by scammers.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: car wrapping, , , job scam, ,   

    Wrapped car jobs, more from the IRS, and DNA scams 

    https://wwmt.com/news/local/better-business-bureau-warns-of-car-wrap-scam-found-in-local-newspaper

    What a wrapped car may look like.

    We have three scams happening across the country for you again. As we’ve stated before, if the scams are happening in one community, they could be happening in yours.

    If you think you’re not going to get scammed by using your local newspaper’s classified section you’d be wrong. While not as prevalent on some of our competitor’s sites, scams do happen on print classifieds as well. For example, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the BBB is reporting that a number of people have submitted complaints about an ad promising $300-$400 per week by driving your car around with advertisements on it. It’s called car wrapping and is usually as much as a legitimate job as a secret shopper. And the goal of the car wrapping scam is the same as the secret shopper. People who applied for the job were told to cash a check they were sent, keep some of it as your payment, and send the remainder to someone else. The check turns out to be phony but if you cashed the check your bank will make you foot the full amount of the check. Remember, there’s no such thing as easy money.

    With the annual income tax deadline looming, the IRS has released their Dirty Dozen of IRS scams. Some of these scams we’ve covered before such as don’t take calls from someone claiming to be the IRS as they ever rarely call someone over tax issues. One of the scams that we’ve not mentioned before is to be wary of shady tax return preparers. While most tax professionals would never try to rip off a client, there are some shifty ones who would use your tax return as a way to steal your identity. They may also promise you an unusually high return. The IRS also warns you not to avoid paying taxes by claiming that income tax is somehow illegal or unconstitutional. No one has ever proven that and you’ll end up owing the government a lot more money than you did before.

    Previously we’ve posted about a scam where a scammer poses as your county and threatens to send you to jail for skipping jury duty. The scammers will try to make you pay a fine over the phone which most county governments never do. Now, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada is warning about a twist on that scam. In this new scam, the perpetrators claim to be local police and that your DNA has been found at a crime scene. They’ll then try to get you to make a payment through Bitcoin, wire transfer, or gift cards. Again, if you’re DNA was found at a crime scene, police would come to your location and not make a phone call. That’s not to mention that county governments would not ask for payment outside of check, cash or credit/debit card.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , job scam, , , Spokane,   

    Amazon job scam is permeating NW Washington State 

    Amazon job scam permeating NW Washington State

    Previously, we’ve mentioned how Amazon is hiring for new work at home positions and how job scams topped the BBB’s list of worst scams in 2018. Now, those two stories seem to have converged into one. One of the states where Amazon is looking to hire new employees is Washington. They are also looking to open a new fulfillment center in Spokane that promises an additional 1500 positions. Due to those factors. among others, scammers have decided to use Amazon’s hiring initiative in the are to embark on a massive fleecing of Amazon hopefuls.

    The scam appears to be overly elaborate but effective at the same time. It starts out with a robocall going out to local residents offering positions with Amazon that supposedly pay $27 an hour. The robocall directs victims to go to a website that has the Amazon name in the site’s address but isn’t an official Amazon website. Once there, victims are instructed to enter personal and financial information while the phony website makes it look like the victim is applying for a job at Amazon. More than likely, any unsuspecting victim of this scam will have their identity and possibly their finances stolen.

    Another aspect of the scam has the scammers trying to get their victims to pay the scammers money for phony employment fees such as processing fees or background check fees. The scammers will try to get this money through either requesting the money be wired to them or paid through gift cards, two of the most prevalent calling cards of a scammer. Amazon themselves have commented on this scam stating that they will never ask a prospective employee for financial information or request any kind of employment fee. These tips not only apply to Amazon but also to most major employers. If these tips are kept in mind hopefully your potential job search will be a relatively stress-free one.

     
  • Geebo 9:08 am on March 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , job scam,   

    BBB: Job scams were the worst in 2018 

    BBB: Job scams were the worst in 2018

    The Better Business Bureau is reporting that in 2018 job and employment scams topped their list of riskiest scams. More people lost money to job scams than any other scam the BBB tracks last year. The job scams even beat out standard scams like the fake check scam, phony online purchases, and tech support scams. In most employment scams the scammers will try to get you to pay some kind of advance processing fee for things like background checks while most legitimate employers will burden this cost themselves. Any prospective job that asks you for money is almost definitely a scam and should be avoided at all costs. Not only could you lose money but your identity could be stolen as well.

    So why were employment scams so prolific in 2018? The BBB attributes most of the job scams to Amazon’s search for their second headquarters last year. Not that Amazon is to blame but scammers took advantage of Amazon being in the news so much by offering fictitious Amazon jobs to unsuspecting victims often using websites and social media posts that mimic Amazon in a very convincing way. Amazon has only one official job application portal that can be found at amazon.jobs.

    The BBB also issued warnings against the other typical job scams to be on the lookout for. We’ve already mentioned any job that asks for money in advance. There’s also the work at home jobs that you have to be wary of since many of them are scams. You should also be wary of any job that offers you an immediate position without arranging an interview first. No legitimate employer would hire someone sight unseen. Lastly, you should be on the lookout for anyone trying to charge you to get you a government job as all government jobs are posted publicly by the government themselves. In today’s job market where so many people are desperate to find ways of supporting their family, this desperation can lead to not thinking clearly when it comes to finding a job.

     
  • Geebo 8:47 am on September 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , job scam, ,   

    Fake check scam hitting new highs 

    Fake check scam hitting new highs

    If you’ve been following our blog for a while you’re probably familiar with the fake check scam. It’s a scam that has been around since the early days of craigslist but has since expanded into other avenues. If you’re unfamiliar with the scam, a scammer will send you a check for various reasons and will ask you to deposit the check into your banking account then will have you wire them back a large portion of the money they sent you. The problem is, by the time the bank finds out the check is a fake, you’ve already sent the money back and you’re stuck with repaying the check amount back to the bank.

    Since this scam has been around for such a long time and has been written about a myriad of times, one could assume that the scam was on the decline. Not so says the Better Business Bureau as a new report they recently released claims that as many as 500,000 people in the US fell victim to this scam last year at an average rate of $1200 per person. If their estimation is correct, that means scammers cost their victims around $600 million altogether.

    As I previously stated, this scam has evolved into taking many different forms although there are many common ones. The most common is when you’re trying to sell something online and you receive a check for more than the amount your asking. Another common tactic the scammers take is tied to an employment scam, like secret shoppers. They’ll send you a check for phony expenses and have you wire the money to a phony vendor. Sweepstakes scams are another favorite tactic of fake check scammers where they will send you a check but you need to wire someone the taxes or fees needed to handle the cost.

    Any time someone you don’t know personally asks you to deposit a check into your bank account is more than likely trying to scam you. Another good tip-off to being scammed is when you’re asked to wire any kind of money to a third-party. Scammers have been taking advantage of money wiring services for years as in many cases they can receive the money anywhere and walk away with your cash completely anonymously.

     
  • Geebo 9:48 am on May 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , job scam,   

    Couple falls for Bitcoin laundering scam 

    Couple falls for Bitcoin laundering scam

    An anonymous couple in Colorado have had their identities stolen and assets seized after they applied to what they thought was a work at home job. The couple started working for a company called Golden Potatoes that was said to be headquartered in Portland, Oregon. The couple was told to open bank accounts so they could receive payments from supposed customers who were buying potatoes from the company. The couple would deposit the payments in the new bank accounts then purchase Bitcoin to send to their bosses. The couple was told they could keep 5% of all deposits. This wasn’t your typical wire fraud or fake check scam either as the couple were making actual money from the transactions.

    It all fell apart when someone was using their identity to allegedly scam people on craigslist. You just knew craigslist had to be involved somewhere didn’t you? Anyway, the scammers were using the couple’s identities to place ads on craigslist claiming to be selling high-end items like cars and ATVs. That’s when the banks got involved believing the couple may have been committing fraud and shut down the accounts. As you can probably expect, not only did Golden Potatoes not exist as a legitimate company, but they also don’t even have a physical location at their purported Portland address. It was all just a scheme to allegedly launder money into Bitcoin.

    Many work at home positions have been the work of scammers for years even before the internet. Not to beat a dead horse, but if it seems to be too good to be true it usually is. Any type of job where your asked to open a separate bank account or deposit money into your own account is not legitimate. No legitimate company would ask employees to do such things unless they were trying to hide money illegally. If you were to fall for one of these scams, you could not only be held liable for any losses your bank my incur but you could potentially be looking at criminal charges while the scammers get away with their now laundered money.

     
  • Geebo 9:58 am on December 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , job scam,   

    Avoid the secret shopper scam this holiday season 

    Avoid the secret shopper scam this holiday season

    With the holiday season approaching, many people are turning to seasonal part-time jobs in order to supplement their income in order to provide a better holiday for their family. One of those positions that seems to proliferate during the holiday season is that of the secret shopper or mystery shopper. Many retail outlets hire or outsource people to go shopping at their stores who then report back how the experience was. The main problem with trying to find a secret shopper job is that it’s probably the position that is most connected with job scams.

    This scam can take the form of two other scams, either the fake job scam or the fake check scam. The fake job scam is when the so-called employer asks you for a payment up front for either background check or service materials. With the fake check scam, the scammers will sen you a fake check meant to cover your expenses. They’ll ask you to deposit the check then return whatever part of the money you don’t need. When your bank discovers the check is fake you’ll be on the hook for whatever money is used.

    Of course, you’ll find these phony positions mostly on unmoderated classifieds sites like craigslist. While this scam has been around even before the internet they seem to proliferate mostly on craigslist since they appear to do little or no research into whether or not thee jobs are legitimate. If you’re looking for one of these positions, try to stick to corporate employment websites or those of marketing firms. Always research the company as well before you apply.

     
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