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  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ohio, , , , Secret Santa   

    Scam disguises itself as ‘Secret Santa’ program 

    Scam disguises itself as 'Secret Santa' program

    We’ve discussed the repackaging or reshipping scam previously. Traditionally, scammers will advertise this scam as a work from home position where your job is to inspect packages you receive from the scammers. Then you’d be instructed to send the contents of the packages to a third party. The third party is usually someone overseas. These positions are often advertised online with such titles as ‘shipping coordinator’, ‘warehouse distribution coordinator, or ‘local hub inspector’. Now, some scammers are adding a Christmas twist to the reshipping scam.

    Police in Ohio have reported a number of complaints they’ve received from residents who have received emails asking them to help in a ‘Secret Santa’ program. The email says that participants will have items shipped to them. They’re then supposed to photograph the items before repackaging the items and sending them overseas. We’re guessing that scammers are using the Secret Santa ploy to appeal to our generosity.

    The reshipping scam is potentially one of the most damaging scams to its victims for the sole reason that even if the victim is an unwitting participant, it could land them in jail. The items that the scammers send to the reshippers are often either stolen or purchased with stolen financial information. If a reshipper were to falsify shipping documents under the instruction of the scammers to get around US customs they could potentially face jail time.

    Another pitfall to the reshipping scam is that the reshippers are often paid with phony funds. Often, the scammers will send a fake or stolen check to the reshipper as payment. The scammers will tell the reshipper to use the phony check to buy supplies and keep a big part of the check as payment. The scammers will then ask for some of the difference back. Once the bank discovers the check is phony, the reshipper would be responsible for the full amount of the check.

    If you think you may be a victim in a reshipping scam there are steps you can take. If you’ve already received items don’t mail them. Instead, contact the USPS Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Ohio, pandemic unemployment assistance, , PUA, , ,   

    New unemployment scam promises $7600 

    New unemployment scam promises $7600

    If it seems like we’re hitting you over the head with unemployment scams, we’re sorry. We try to keep the content as diverse as possible but it seems that new unemployment scams have been popping up all over the country lately. This time, the scam is coming out of Ohio.

    The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is warning residents of an email phishing scam. The scam is said to be targeting anyone in the state that has received pandemic unemployment assistance. This is an assistance program Ohio uses to help those not normally eligible for unemployment such as the self-employed and gig workers.

    The email, which can be viewed here, states that applicants can receive an additional ‘7,600 USD’ if they click on the link that says ‘Accept My Claims’. If you were to click on the link it would no doubt take you to an official-looking but phony web page where you’ll be asked to input your personal information. If you’re on a laptop or desktop computer you can hover your cursor over any link to see where it’s really going to take you.

    There are a couple of red flags with this scam if you know what to look for. The first is that the email said payment would be 7,600 USD. USD is normally only used outside of the country to indicate how much something may be if you’re purchasing it from overseas. There are also some grammatical errors in the email that you may overlook if you’re not too careful.

    The whole situation in Ohio leaves a question that we think needs to be asked. How were the scammers able to obtain the email addresses of people who are and were on the pandemic unemployment assistance?

    We’d also like to remind you that just because it’s happening in Ohio doesn’t mean a similar scam couldn’t come to your state. If you receive an email like this, do not click on any of the links contained in it. Instead, if you think there’s an issue with your unemployment go directly to your state’s unemployment website.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Ohio, , ,   

    Couple scammed by phony landlord in person 

    Couple scammed by phony landlord in person

    We often discuss a lot of different scams. Sometimes we even discuss the same scam on a number of different occasions. While the advice we give about avoiding scams are often good rules to follow in general, sometimes they don’t apply to every situation. For example, when it comes to renting a property, we always say don’t rent a property where the supposed landlord either won’t meet you or refuses to show the property. While that is a good general rule to follow, what do you do when a scammer does show up to show you the property?

    This happened to a couple from Ohio recently. They found a rental property on Craigslist that appeared to be a bargain. They called the number on the Craigslist listing and the man on the other side of the call said he would meet them at the property. Instead, a woman showed up who claimed to be the landlord’s wife. The wife did not have the key to the property but was able to access a lockbox at the property that did contain the key.

    The couple signed an official-looking lease and gave the woman a $475 money order as a deposit. The couple started moving in their belongings and even had internet installed at the property.

    It was a few days later when the actual landlord showed up to tell the couple that they had been duped. The scammers had copied a legitimate rental ad and posted it to Craigslist while changing the rental amount and the phone number. It’s believed that the scammers even posed as potential renters to get the code to the lockbox. The current landlord is willing to work with the couple but not everyone who’s taken in a rental scam like this is that lucky. Too often victims of these scams find themselves out on the street.

    However, there are steps you can take to avoid falling for a scam like this. The first is that you may want to avoid using Craigslist barbecue it has become a haven for scammers of all sorts. If the listing has pictures, do a reverse image search to see if the pictures are being used on a realtor’s website. If the pictures appear on a realtor’s website and Craigslist simultaneously, it’s almost a guarantee that the Craigslist ad is a fake. Lastly, always check with the county assessor’s website or office to find who truly owns the property.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on December 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ohio, , ,   

    Rental scammer goes to great lengths to fleece victim 

    Rental scammer goes to great lengths to fleece victim

    When we talk about rental scams we usually give advice on how to spot one. In a typical rental scam situation, we warn our readers to never agree to rent any property sight unseen and never wire money or pay with gift cards. But what if it’s an atypical rental scam? Those may be harder to spot if a scammer is willing to go the extra mile to ripoff unsuspecting victims. That’s exactly what happened to one family in Ohio when she rented a property that she thought was perfect for her.

    The mother of five found an online listing for a home for rent in the Columbus area. She met with a man claiming to be the landlord face to face. He reportedly even had the keys to the home and showed her around. Legal documents were signed and money changed hands. Two days after the family moved in someone else came into the home and they had just rented the property from the legitimate landlord. While the fake landlord presented identification and contact information, the addresses were fake. The driver’s license the fake landlord presented to the victim listed an address where someone else lived. Here’s another example of an elaborate rental scam.

    People who find themselves in a situation like this are often in a desperate search to find housing quickly for whatever reason. This leaves them vulnerable to scammers since they’re looking for shelter fast. In order to avoid this type of scam, even with elaborate scams like this one, research is key. Take the time to thoroughly vet the property. try doing a reverse image search to make sure the property ad isn’t being copied from a legitimate realtor or landlord. Check with the county assessor’s office or website to find out who the true landlord is. That is public information that’s available to anyone.

    It’s better to put in the extra time so you don’t end up losing money and a roof over your head.

     
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