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  • Geebo 9:01 am on November 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: pennsylvania, , , , ,   

    New sweepstakes twist on unemployment scam 

    New sweepstakes twist on unemployment scam

    The Keystone State of Pennsylvania was one of the first states hit hardest by the nationwide problem of unemployment scams. For those who may not have heard, scammers are filing for unemployment benefits in all 50 states. The scammers use the identities of people who had their information exposed in corporate data breaches. Due to the sheer number of unemployment claims that have been filed since the start of the pandemic, most states’ unemployment systems have been overworked. This has allowed scammers to take advantage of the crisis and slip through the cracks and steal benefits.

    Now it seems that the scammers aren’t content with using the stolen identities they got through data breaches. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, residents there have reported receiving emails and social media messages about having won a prize. The messages contain a link that takes them to a page that requests personal information so the ‘prize’ can be claimed. This is what’s known as a phishing attack. Once the scammers have the victim’s information, they allegedly use it to file for unemployment benefits in the victim’s name.

    Since this new variation of the unemployment scam is appearing in Pennsylvania it’s more than likely happening in your state as well. The unemployment scam is one of the rare instances where a scam has happened almost everywhere in the country at once.

    As with all sweepstakes scams, if you’ve never entered anything you can’t win anything. So any online message that claims you’ve won something is more than likely a scam. Once you give your personal information to a scammer it’s out there for good and can never be retrieved. Even if you clear things up with your state’s unemployment office, there’s a good chance that this could be the first in a long line of instances where you have to fight to prove your true identity.

    • Lorrie 3:13 am on November 28, 2020 Permalink

      I never got mine and I’m a victim of iidenty theft help!!!

  • Geebo 8:01 am on June 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , pennsylvania, , wic   

    New scam targets mothers on food assistance 

    New scam targets mothers on food assistance

    As if it wasn’t bad enough that scammers were targeting Pennsylvania’s unemployment system, now it seems the scammers are also targeting those in the Keystone State that are also in need of food assistance. According to state officials, scammers are now targeting recipients of the Women, Infants, and Children program otherwise known as WIC. WIC is a government assistance program that helps provide healthcare and nutrition to low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children under the age of five.

    According to reports, scammers are posing as WIC representatives and calling recipients promising them additional funds. The scammers will then ask the WIC recipient for personal information such as their Social Security information or banking information. Some scammers have promised to deposit the phony funds directly into the recipient’s bank account.

    The information stolen by the scammers can be used for any number of additional crimes such as identity theft or money laundering. Just because someone may be in a low-income situation it doesn’t mean that their personal information isn’t valuable to online criminals. Anyone with a Social Security number is potentially at risk.

    Pennsylvania WIC’s office says that if you’re unsure if a call from WIC is legitimate or not to hang up and call the WIC office directly.

    We’d also like to remind our readers that just because this scam isn’t currently happening in their state, that doesn’t mean it may not be in their state soon. The current unemployment scam problems started in one state and quickly spread to several others.

    We find this scam particularly reprehensible since it could potentially take food and healthcare away from those who need it most. We wonder when the scammers will start taking candy from babies.

  • Geebo 8:59 am on June 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , pennsylvania   

    Pa. conference shows the ugly truth about online trafficking 

    Pa. conference shows the ugly truth about online trafficking

    Ever since the shutdown of Backpage I’ve seen a number of increasing articles about how Backpage’s closure has made it less safe for sex workers. I personally find this hard to believe since being advertised on Backpage led so many victims to be assaulted, tortured and killed by either pimps or johns. Backpage made it more convenient for predators of all sorts to find their victims and have them delivered to them like a discount pizza. A human trafficking conference in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania was recently held to show how dangerous Backpage was.

    The conference was held at DeSales University in Upper Sacuon Township and was entitled ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’ During the conference a mother of a 15-year-old girl told the story about how her daughter ran away and was approached by another woman who handed her off to a pimp. That pimp then sold the girl for sex 108 days straight on Backpage where she would end up being raped by johns several times a day. Another eye-opening moment from the conference came from a 32-year police veteran who said that cell phones and the internet have put sex workers in even more danger.

    Lt. Detective Donna Gavin, a 32-year Boston Police veteran, who has most recently headed the department’s human trafficking unit, talked about how the Internet, and more specifically cellphones, changed prostitution from a local visible issue to an online, often hidden, crime of violence and exploitation.

    This story reminds me of a human trafficking conference that Geebo CEO Greg Collier and I attended a few years ago in Richmond, Virginia. I got the opportunity to talk to a woman who was the victim of trafficking and was advertised on both craigslist and Backpage. When I saw her sitting by the podium I assumed she was just another dignitary or politician who would talk about how legislation was proceeding within Virginia. When she stood at the podium she then introduced herself as a victim of human trafficking and told us of her harrowing experiences of being sold for sex by a violent pimp. She was barely able to escape that life and still had some psychological issues while trying to integrate back into a free world. Backpage didn’t exactly make things any safer for her and for countless other victims who were advertised against their will for sexual slavery.

    When people say that Backpage made sex work safer I also point them to this New York Times article from 2015 written by a former trafficking victim. She goes on to say how the consenting adult concept is largely a myth.

    I know there are some advocates who argue that women in prostitution sell sex as consenting adults. But those who do are a relatively privileged minority — primarily white, middle-class, Western women in escort agencies — not remotely representative of the global majority. Their right to sell doesn’t trump my right and others’ not to be sold in a trade that preys on women already marginalized by class and race.

    The effort to decriminalize the sex trade worldwide is not a progressive movement. Implementing this policy will simply calcify into law men’s entitlement to buy sex, while decriminalizing pimping will protect no one but the pimps.

    So basically what these Backpage defenders are saying is that they don’t care who gets hurt as long as they get paid.

  • Geebo 10:53 am on January 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle, pennsylvania   

    Man charged for selling bourbon online 

    Man charged for selling bourbon online

    If you’re not the imbibing type, you may never have heard of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. It’s said to be the holy grail of bourbon and is said to be the most difficult bottle of the sipping whiskey to obtain, it’s also said to be one of the most expensive. So it should come as no surprise that when someone came in possession of a bottle of it that they would try to flip it for a profit.

    A Pennsylvania man attempted to sell a bottle of the much coveted whiskey online, but instead of seeing a bidding war for his bottle he was instead visited by agents of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. As it turns out, according to Pennsylvania law, even reselling a bottle of bourbon requires a liquor license. The LCE bought the bottle from the man but it was unclear how much they paid for it. It may not matter how much they paid the man was charged with a misdemeanor and may need that money for court fees.

    So while this may not be Eliot Ness bringing down Al Capone, be careful of what you sell online as it may run afoul of state or local laws.

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