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  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , home repair scam, Michigan,   

    It’s door-to-door scam season 

    It's door-to-door scam season

    By Greg Collier

    With the weather being warmer, scammers are starting to move from online scams to scams that come to your door. Many of these scams target older people who are home during the day especially if they live alone. One of the more popular scams is the home repair scam. In these instances, scammers will knock on your door and tell you that they have left over supplies from a job they just completed and will do repairs to your home for cheap. Typically, these jobs are shoddily done if anything is done at all after you pay. However, in at least one community, the scam starts out this way, but has a much more nefarious purpose.

    In the Southwest corner of Michigan, several communities have reported home repair scammers in their area. These scammers are said to travel in nondescript trucks with no company markings. Some vehicles are even said to have tinted windows. The men in the trucks will go up to the homes of elderly residents offering home repair services. They’ll then try to get the resident to come out of the house by showing parts of the outside of the house that could potentially need repairs. Meanwhile, the scammer has a partner who goes in through the unlocked door to steal items from inside the home. One victim had thousands of dollars in cash taken from inside their home.

    If someone approaches your door offering you services unsolicited, there’s a good chance they may be a scammer. Legitimate salesmen, as annoying as they might be, will leave product information and their business card if you’re interested. Scammers will try to pressure you into making a decision right there and then. One of the best ways to avoid these scammers is to not answer the door if you’re not expecting anyone. A better way is to have a camera doorbell installed. This way, you’ll be able to see and communicate with the person at your door without opening your home to them.

    If you have family that is older and possibly living alone, please let them know about this scam.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: medical license, , Michigan, physical therapist,   

    Healthcare professional loses life savings in licensing scam 

    Healthcare professional loses life savings in licensing scam

    By Greg Collier

    The scam we’re talking about today doesn’t affect every day consumers all that much. It’s geared more toward medical professionals. By medical professionals we mean any healthcare worker who requires a license to do their job. This not only includes doctors but also nurses and many other healthcare workers. However, this particular scam is a great example of how far con artists are willing to go to steal money from their victims.

    The licensing scam is not new. It’s been targeting medical professionals for a while now. Typically, a scammer will contact a licensed healthcare worker while posing as someone from their state government. The scammers will tell the healthcare worker that their license has been suspended due to a drug trafficking investigation. Sometimes the scammers will even go as far as to confuse the victim with official looking paperwork. The scammers will then try to pressure the victim into making some kind of payment so the healthcare worker can preserve their license.

    This recently happened to a physical therapist in Michigan. Scammers told her that her license was in jeopardy because it had been used in a drug trafficking scheme that had also laundered $2.4 million. They told her to go to the nearest UPS Store to receive notification in writing. The letter she received appeared to be on official letterhead from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The scammers even posed as agents from the LARA and the FBI. They convinced the physical therapist that she could spend six months in jail if she did not sign a federal bond agreement with the Department of Justice. This bond agreement was then paid by money transfer. The amount she paid to the scammers was not disclosed but was said to be her family’s life savings.

    The lengths these scammers went to has to be marveled at. The thing is with scams like this is they don’t have to fool many people. They only need to fool a few who are willing to pay large sums of money.

    And again, if anyone was under investigation for drug trafficking, you would be visited by law enforcement personally and wouldn’t just receive a phone call. Also, law enforcement agencies whether local, statewide, or federal will never ask for any kind of payment over the phone while simultaneously threatening arrest. If you receive a phone call like this, hang up and call whatever agency the caller is claiming to be from.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Michigan, ,   

    Kidnapping scam threatens to sell your family’s organs 

    Kidnapping scam threatens to sell your family's organs

    The virtual kidnapping scam is probably one of the more disturbing scams we’ve discussed here. If you’re unfamiliar with the scam, the virtual kidnapping scam is when a scammer calls a victim and claims to have one of the victim’s loved ones held hostage. The scammers will usually embellish the scam by having someone screaming in the background. Then a ransom will be demanded for the release of the loved one. Usually, the payment is requested in some form of untraceable payment like gift cards or a money transfer. Meanwhile, the supposed hostage is safe and unaware of what’s going on.

    A man in Michigan recently received one of these distressing calls. The man on the other end of the call said that the man’s son had been in a car accident and the caller was holding the teen hostage. Instead of falling for the scam, the Michigan man did the right thing by getting police involved. Local police were able to locate the boy at a friend’s home. Knowing that his son was safe, the man asked the caller to speak to his son. The caller then threatened the man by saying that he was going to take his son to the border and sell his organs. Even knowing that his son was safe, this had to be harrowing to hear from a total stranger.

    As we’ve discussed in the past, kidnappings for ransom are actually rare in the United States. However, your reaction to this scam should always be the same. Remain calm and locate the person the callers are claiming to have kidnapped. In cases like this where a car accident has been claimed, you can call police, and they’ll be able to tell you if a crash actually happened. Also, you should avoid giving the caller any personal information. If they say they have someone in your family, ask them who it is rather than asking if they have your 17-year-old daughter for example. The scammers will just use that information to their advantage. Lastly, you should always contact the police even if your loved one is safe to let them know this scam is making its way through your area.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Michigan,   

    Grandparent scam still sending strangers to your door 

    Grandparent scam still sending strangers to your door

    The grandparent scam is terrifying enough as it is. It preys on the elderly and convinces them that a family member is in grave danger. Then if the scam is successful, it can take thousands of dollars that an elderly person needs to survive. That’s not even taking into account the embarrassment victims often feel after being scammed. In recent times, scammers have even sent strangers to victims’ homes to pick up the money that the victims think is getting their loved one out of trouble. Such a thing just happened to an elderly couple in Michigan.

    The couple received a call from someone claiming to be their granddaughter. She said that she had been arrested after a vehicular accident. The impersonator then instructed the couple to call a friend’s father who happened to be a lawyer. When the couple called the supposed lawyer, they were told their granddaughter was in serious trouble and would $12,000 for bail. The phony attorney then sent a ‘courier’ to collect the money. The next day the lawyer called back saying he needed an additional $14,000. Thankfully, the actual granddaughter showed up before they lost any more money.

    These couriers that the scammers send could literally be anybody. They could just be an unwitting participant, or they could be the scammer themselves. At best, you’re ‘just’ losing money to the scammer. At worst, they could be someone who is scouting out the home for a possible burglary or worse. If you’ve already given the scammer money, they could always come back and try to get more, or your valuables.

    As always, it is recommended that if you receive a call like this to contact the person first who is supposedly in trouble. If you can’t contact them, you can always call the police department where they’re supposedly being held, and they should be able to tell you if this is a scam or not.

    And as we always recommend, if you know an elderly person or couple who live alone and do not have access to the internet, please let them know about this scam. Also, consider setting up a family password for just such emergencies, so you can verify the person calling is who they say they are.

     
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