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  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , kentucky, ,   

    Scam Round Up: Funeral scammers and more 

    Scam Round Up: Funeral scammers and more

    By Greg Collier

    It’s been a while since we had a scam round up. To any new readers, this is where we bring you a number of short scam stories. These stories usually can either be told quickly or are reminders of past scams.


    Earlier this month, we posted a story warning victims of floods to look out for scammers posing as FEMA agents. We also warned that scammers might also file FEMA claims in the victim’s name, while claiming any financial assistance for themselves.

    A report out of Kentucky, where floods recently devastated a portion of the state, says that flood victims are starting to see FEMA agents show up to their home when they never filed a claim. One victim had a FEMA claim filed under her maiden name and had FEMA agents show up to her home looking to make an inspection.

    If you think a FEMA claim might have been filed in your name, contact the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-3362.


    Speaking of government agencies, Medicare is probably the most targeted agency when it comes to scammers. What makes it worse, is that the scammers need someone enrolled in Medicare to scam the government.

    The Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning about the latest Medicare scam targeting recipients. Scammers are calling Medicare recipients and offering them free COVID-19 tests. Scammers actually want the recipient’s Medicare information, so they can fraudulently bill Medicare for a service or item the insured never receive.

    Please keep in mind that free COVID tests are easily available through the USPS website and are available to anyone.


    Lastly, we think this story might just be the lowest we’ve ever seen scammers stoop, and that covers a lot of ground.

    Recently, a family from Illinois had to deal with the tragic loss of their 16-year-old son. When a tragedy like this makes the local news, it’s almost a guarantee that the GoFundMe scammers come out of the woodwork, and that’s exactly what happened. Fake GoFundMe pages started springing up claiming to be collecting for the family. But that wasn’t the worst thing that happened.

    According to the family, there were scammers who were physically at their son’s funeral collecting money from mourners, stating that they were collecting for the family. Thousands of dollars were allegedly collected by the scammers at the funeral.

    GoFundMe is actually pretty good when it comes to cracking down on scammers once notified. They’ve stated that the money given to the phony GFM pages has not been released to scammers and can be returned to anyone who donated.

    It’s a travesty that a family dealing with the loss of a child had to deal with such a disregard for human decency.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have a recommendation on how to keep scammers out of funeral. It seems like such a grim thought to think that a funeral might need security.


  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , kentucky, , ,   

    How to donate safely to tornado victims 

    How to donate safely to tornado victims

    By Greg Collier

    We’re sure you’ve heard the news that over the weekend, at least 50 tornadoes touched down in eight states in the South and the Midwest. The state of Kentucky was said to have received the brunt of the storms and the most damage. While we have to yet see any reports of it yet, it’s almost guaranteed that charity scams will follow in the wake of the tornadoes’ devastation. Scammers have long used tragedies, both natural and man made, to try and take money that could be better used providing relief to the victims.

    The State of Kentucky is trying to get ahead of these scams by letting donators know that the state has set up an official relief fund website where anyone can donate money to assist the victims in Kentucky. Fundraising platform GoFundMe has also set up a portal to help guide contributors to legitimate fundraising channels to help the victims in not only Kentucky, but the other state’s as well. And you can always donate money or blood to the Red Cross.

    People looking to donate to a relief fund should be wary of phone or email solicitors that come from generic sounding entities like ‘Disaster Relief Fund’. If a charity appears to be trying to pressure you into making a donation either over the phone or online, there’s a good chance that they’re scammers.

    If you’d prefer not to donate to any of the charities listed above, you can always check the legitimacy of a charity by going to websites like Charity Navigator and Give.org that can let you know which charities are legitimate and which ones aren’t. You can also check with the IRS to see if a charity is registered with them, which goes a long way in showing the charity’s legitimacy.

    The following video is from the 2011 Joplin, Missouri, tornado disaster, but the tips remain just as relevant.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , kentucky, ,   

    Brushing scam is sending out PPE 

    Brushing scam is sending out PPE

    Brushing scams have been grabbing a lot of headlines lately due to the seeds sent to Americans from overseas. Again, if you’re unfamiliar with brushing scams, it’s when scammers send products to people unsolicited. The scammers do this to use you as a verified purchase to post fake reviews to their product page on platforms like Amazon. Often, these scammers have a stake in the product being sold. Brushing scams tend to be perpetrated by overseas scammers.

    As we mentioned, the most infamous brushing scam recently involved an overseas company sending an untold number of seed packages to people all over the country. Now, the Attorney General of Kentucky and the U.S. Attorney’s office is warning of a new brushing scam that involves personal protection equipment, or as it’s better known, PPE. These are the masks, gloves, and face shields used to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Many residents of the Bluegrass State have said that they’ve received unsolicited packages of PPE from companies with overseas addresses. When a scam like this hits one state, it’s usually not long before it starts hitting others. It is recommended that if you receive one of these packages to not use any of the PPE contained inside as the quality of the items can not be verified.

    While you are within your legal rights to keep anything that you didn’t actually order there are pitfalls to being involved in a brushing scam. The scammers could have gotten your information from a previous data breach somewhere online. That means that at least one of your online accounts may have been compromised but if you use the same password for multiple accounts, more could be compromised. It’s recommended that if you’ve been sent items from a brushing scam that you change the passwords on your online accounts and you should use different passwords for each account. A password manager is recommended to assist you with that. Also, you should keep an eye on your credit as brushing scammers could potentially have your financial information as well. You should also check your accounts on retailers like Amazon to make sure that purchases or reviews have not been made in your name.

  • Geebo 9:33 am on September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baaki Abdul Majeed, Kahad A. Wuupin, kentucky, , , , Thomas D. Inkoom   

    Victim taken for +$750K in gold and jewels scam 

    Victim taken for +$750K in gold and jewels scam

    Three men from across the country have been indicted on federal charges of mail fraud for allegedly fleecing an unidentified Kentucky woman out of $757,000 in a military romance scam. Baaki Abdul Majeed, Kahad A. Wuupin, and Thomas D. Inkoom are accused of posing as a United States service member and engaging in an online relationship with the victim through social media. Much like the phony gold bar scam we’ve discussed before, the three men posed as a GI who was trying to get a fortune out of the country where they were supposedly stationed. This time it was $10 million of gold and jewels out of the West African nation of Ghana. While two of the scammers live in Washington and the third in New Jersey, they all have ties to Ghana.

    The suspects are said to have requested several checks from the victim over a four-month period with the largest being for $95,000. The scammers instructed the victim to put items like cars and real estate in the memo lines of the checks in order to throw the bank off from detecting a possible scam. Some checks were even sent from different bank accounts. While not mentioned in reports, we’re pretty sure this was also done to keep any bank from running across the scam. All three suspects are said to be facing 20-year maximum sentences.

    Again, we have to stress that romance scams like this can happen to anyone no matter how savvy or intelligent the victim might be. Millions of dollars are lost to romance scammers every year in the United States and have claimed victims from all socioeconomic classes. If you or someone you know is involved with someone online that you haven’t met face to face yet, you should be very suspicious if they start asking for money. If you give money to a scammer once, they’ll keep coming back for more and will try to prey on your emotions to get it. As always, If you think someone you know may be the target of a romance scam, please show them the FTC’s website about romance scams and/or our posts about romance scams.

  • Geebo 8:02 am on July 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , kentucky, , , ,   

    $4,000,000 stolen in romance scam by victim 

    $4,000,000 stolen in romance scam

    A woman in Northern Kentucky is accused of stealing in upwards of $4 million as part of a romance scam and has been arrested for the alleged theft. The thing is that even though she’s accused of stealing this large sum of money, she’s also the victim in this story. She was the one who was reportedly strung along by the scammers. Investigators say that she never kept any of her employer’s money and sent it all to someone she believed to be in a relationship with. This was after she had sent the scammers all of her own money. Now in most instances, you can’t find yourself in a position where you can embezzle large amounts of money like this without having some form of professional background meaning that even educated people can find themselves falling victim to a romance scam.

    In other scam news, residents of Southern California are being warned about a phony bond scam that has been plaguing the area. Some Sheriffs Offices have been receiving complaints about phony government agents calling residents and telling them that their Social Security numbers have been involved in various frauds. To avoid arrest the residents are being told to pay a bond. As can be expected in these type of scams, the residents are told that they can pay the ‘bond’ using gift cards such as Apple, Google Play, or WalMart gift cards. No government agency, whether it is local or federal, will ever ask you to pay any kind of fee using gift cards. If you are to receive one of these phone calls, it is recommended that you hang up immediately and contact your local police.

    Lastly for today, we have a reminder about the phony check scam. If you’re unfamiliar with this scam it’s one of the more prolific scams on the internet. Whether you’re trying to sell something online or applying for a job online, some unscrupulous scammer will send you a check and ask you to deposit the check in your bank account before sending them back the difference. The check is always a fake and once your bank discovers that, you’ll be on the hook for the money while the scammers make off with the funds. One of these phony checks recently targeted an online seller in North Dakota who was quick to notice the discrepancies in the scammer’s story. The texts they were receiving were from a California number while the check was mailed from New York and calls were coming from someone named Larry while the checks came from someone named Donna. If you ever feel like something is off when dealing with online sales and purchases it probably is.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , kentucky, , ,   

    Check out this bizarre double scam! 

    Check out this bizarre double scam!

    We’ve been telling you about numerous scams for some time now in order to help better protect consumers. Every so often we’ll post a story about a scam we’ve previously discussed to remind consumers that these scams are still out there. Occasionally we’ll post about a brand new scam that’s either brand new or one we’ve never heard of before. Then there are times like now where we bring you a scam so unusual it almost defies belief. One such scam just recently took place in the state of Kentucky where a woman was almost scammed twice by the same scammers using two different scams.

    The victim thought she was buying an iPhone online through a marketplace app. She paid $200 for the phone over the internet but never received the phone. Months later, she was contacted by someone posing as some kind of investigator. They showed her a copy of a receipt that was supposed to be for her phone and that the scammer had been caught and was being forced to pay restitution as part of a settlement. She was told that as part of the settlement she could receive $30,000 in compensation. Of course, there was a catch. All she had to do was wire some money to cover the costs of processing. Luckily, the woman’s mother warned the victim that this was nothing more than a scam.

    When dealing with marketplace apps that have no verified sellers, always deal locally and never send any money over the internet. Never wire any money either for any part of the transaction as marketplace apps are rife with wire fraud like this. Only deal locally and in cash. When you meet to make the transaction always do so at a local police station. With as great as a convenience online shopping can be, with marketplace apps there are too many variables that can’t be controlled.

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