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  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: phone scam, ,   

    Kidnapping scam claims more victims 

    Kidnapping scam claims more victims

    We’ve discussed the virtual kidnapping scam before. While it’s an uncommon scam, it does seem to be becoming more prolific. It sounds like something out of a movie or TV show where you receive a call telling you that a loved one has been kidnapped and you need to pay the ransom. Actual kidnappings for ransom, no matter the amount asked, are incredibly rare. However, when you receive a phone call telling you that a family member has been kidnapped, you may not act in the most rational way since you believe that someone close to you is in danger.

    Recently, a woman in Alabama received such a phone call. The person on the other end claimed to be her grown son and that he was in trouble. Another person got on the phone and told the woman that her son’s friend owed a gang $5,000 and they were keeping her son hostage until she paid them the money. The scammers had her pay by making her purchase pre-paid debit cards, known as vanilla cards However, they didn’t stop there. The scammers also made her wire part of the phony ransom and made her send the rest in gift cards. The scammers even instructed her on what to say if any store employee got wise that this was part of a scam. In the end, her son was never in danger and the caller even admitted that they scammed her.

    If you receive one of these phone calls, you should hang up and call police. If you end up engaging the caller, don’t say the name of the person they’ve claimed to kidnap. If you are concerned about your loved one’s safety, try texting or emailing them while you’re on the phone with the supposed kidnappers. A similar occurrence happened recently in Kentucky as well. The scammers are hoping to capitalize on you being in an emotional state, but if you just stay calm you can prevent these scammers from terrorizing you.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , fund raising, , phone scam, , ,   

    Scammers took advantage of late teen’s fundraiser 

    Scammers took advantage of late teen's fundraiser

    Here are some more scams happening to various communities from around the country. Always keep in mind that if they’re happening in one place, they could be happening somewhere near you.

    In Arkansas, a 15-year-old boy passed away after a freak accident that happened at his home. His grandparents took to social media in order to raise funds for the boy’s funeral expenses. While the family was able to raise the money needed, scammers set up fake social media accounts also posing as the boy’s family. The scam targeted people who already donated asking for phony donations in Amazon gift cards. Thankfully, many of the victims were able to get their money back. However, it shows what depths scammers will stoop to just to make a few hundred bucks.

    In Central Texas, a local police department is warning residents about a phone scam that has been worrying local residents. In it, the scammers pose as agents from the Social Security Administration claiming that there have been bank accounts opened using your Social Security number and that they’re tied to criminal activity. They threaten to freeze all of your bank accounts unless a payment is made over the phone. These calls are reportedly coming from overseas while appearing to be from local phone numbers.

    The last scam may seem like it’s an urban legend passed around on Facebook but according to police in Indiana, it has happened to a number of victims. Police there say a man has been going to WalMart and using the self-checkout to scam victims. The scammer has been allegedly using the self-checkout to scan gift cards but not paying for them. Then, the next person who uses the self-checkout inadvertently ends up paying for the gift card that the scammer scanned. While this sounds like a simple scam to foil, anyone could fall for this if they’re not paying attention. Always make sure that there are no already scanned items on the self-checkout screen. If there are, go to another scanner or contact a store employee.

     
    • Nk 9:36 pm on November 5, 2019 Permalink

      I spoke yesterday to a young man who was in India who originally claimed to be from social security. I admonished him for lying and stealing from people. He was very serious and proud of himself and his team because they don’t wipe out anyone’s money. They only take half. He said that if they have $1000 in their account, they only take $500. He said that’s because they show compassion.

  • Geebo 8:30 am on July 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Equifax, , phone scam, ,   

    Just how bad are military romance scams? 

    Just how bad are military romance scams?

    In a military romance scam, the scammer poses as a member of the US military and target potential victims. Like in most other romance scams, they’ll have the victim believing they’re in some type of relationship before asking for money. These scammers are largely from Nigeria where many of the scammers claim that these scams pay more than honest work. It’s become such a problem that the Department of Defense has employees that constantly scan social media for phony military accounts and report them to the platform in question. The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command receives numerous complaints about these scams but since the scams actually involve civilians it’s out of their jurisdiction.

    If you’ve been following the news lately you may be aware of the settlement that credit reporting company Equifax has been ordered to give because of a massive data breach that happened in 2017. The Federal Trade Commission has ordered Equifax to pay $425 million to consumers affected by the breach. his has meant that you may be able to claim $125 from the settlement. Of course, where there’s a payout there’s likely to be a scam. Fake websites are popping up claiming to be the official Equifax settlement website. The goal of these phony websites is to either to get you to give up your personal information or pay for a settlement that will never come. The official FTC settlement site can be found at https://www.ftc.gov/Equifax.

    Speaking of payments, a number of news outlets are reporting about a bank scam that’s affecting consumers. In this scam, you’ll receive a text message warning you that there’s been fraudulent activity on your bank account. You’ll then receive a phone call that appears to be from your bank with someone asking you to input your PIN. Once you do this the scammers will have control of your bank account. It’s easy for just about anyone to spoof a phone number to make it look like it’s coming from your bank. If you receive one of these calls the best thing to do is hang up and call the bank at the official number listed on the back of your credit or debit card.

     
  • Geebo 8:02 am on July 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bond scam, , , , , phone scam, ,   

    $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 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Expedia, , , phone scam, , ,   

    Scam strikes vacation sites! 

    Scam strikes vacation sites!

    If you’re still looking to plan your vacation for this summer, you may want to be extra careful who you book your vacation with. The Better Business Bureau has been warning potential vacation-goers to make sure you use the proper travel website when booking travel plans. While most reports we’ve seen have mentioned Expedia, we imagine that this could happen with any well-known travel website. The scam works like a lot of phishing scams by posing as a website that looks identical to sites like Expedia but directs you to call a different number than Expedia’s actual number. The scammers will then tell you that their system is down and can you make payment using a prepaid debit card. That should be your red flag as once payment is transferred from that card the money is gone. Real travel platforms will never ask you to pay by prepaid debit card or gift card.

    Speaking of the BBB, they’re also warning about a scam that’s currently happening in the Pacific Northwest. It appears that a genetic testing scam is happening there now. You may see commercials for services that promise to test your genetics to give you your ethnic makeup. Most of these are established services with decent reputations. However, there are scammers trying to cash in on this craze by coming to your door or setting up shop in senior centers. If you’re asked for any kind of medical insurance information such as your Medicare number it’s a scam. This particular scam is designed just to get your medical carrier information to be able to commit future insurance fraud with your information. This scam also tends to target those who are on Medicare or Medicaid.

    Lastly, we have a scam out of the Midwest where some Sheriffs Offices are warning residents about it. In this scam, you’ll receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a border agent from either the Canadian or Mexican border. These fake agents will say that a rental car registered in your name has been found with drugs in it. They’ll even try to say that your name has been connected with a drug cartel. The scammers will then try to ask you for financial information to try to clear the incident up such as your bank account or credit card numbers. If you receive one of these calls it’s recommended that you hang up immediately.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , parking lot scam, phone scam, , , theme parks,   

    This scam takes advantage of Prime Day purchases! 

    This scam takes advantage of Prime Day!

    As we mentioned yesterday, Amazon just had its annual Prime Day sale. If you decided to take advantage of the deals to be had online you should be aware of a particular scam that looks to take advantage of all the orders made on Prime Day. It’s called brushing and some retailers will send you a product of their’s unsolicited and at no charge to you. They’re looking for favorable online reviews and even if sent to you free of charge, the vendor can consider you a ‘verified purchase’ on Amazon. The main problem with brushing scams is that someone may have purchased these items on yours on someone else’s stolen account.

    In other scam news, reports are coming out of Northern California about a parking lot scam designed to pressure you into giving a stranger money. Several residents have complained about a scam where someone walks behind your car in a parking lot as you try to pull out. The scammer will drop their phone then act like it’s broken, or more than likely they’ll have dropped an already broken phone. They’ll then try to claim it was your fault and try to get you to give them money for their phone’s insurance deductible. If this scam happens to you, it’s recommended that you call the police.

    While this next scam happens all year round with places like Disney World, it picks up in the summer months due to other regional theme parks being open for the season. If you see a post on social media promising you free tickets to a theme park or other attraction it is more than likely a scam. This happened recently in the Sandusky, Ohio area where the popular Cedar Point theme park is. This scam is intended to get either your personal or financial information which the scammers will say is necessary in order to get the tickets. They could even ask for a processing fee. In the end, the scammers end up with your information and possibly your money and you’re left with nothing.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: phone scam, ,   

    What to do when a kidnapper calls! 

    What to do when a kidnapper calls!

    We’ve all seen it in movies or on TV. You receive a phone call from a stranger telling you that a family member has been kidnapped. You’re instructed not to call the police and you have to take a briefcase full of cash to a seedy part of town to make the exchange. In reality, kidnappings for ransom are extremely rare. However, that hasn’t stopped high tech scammers from fleecing victims of their money in what’s being called virtual kidnappings.

    The virtual kidnapping scam works by the scammer calling their victims using a spoofed number to make it look like they’re calling from a relative’s phone. They’ll claim to be kidnappers and that they have taken your relative hostage. They’ll instruct you to not call the police and then have you send them money either by making you buy pre-paid debit cards and giving them the card’s numbers or by having you wire the money somewhere. By the time the ordeal is over, you find out that your relative was never in any danger but the scammers have made off with your money and are virtually untraceable.

    So what should you do if you receive one of these phone calls? Most experts agree that you should hang up immediately and call the police. If you do actually speak on one of these phone calls never give out any personal information especially the name of your relative that they’ve claimed to kidnap. If there’s another avenue of communication available, like another phone, call the loved one in question to make sure they’re ok. The FBI contends that these virtual kidnappings will only become more frequent over time so being prepared will allow you to better recognize one of these calls.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mauritania, one ring scam, phone scam, Sierra Leone, wangiri   

    Call this number back at your expense 

    Call this number back at your peril

    While this particular phone scam has been around for years, the FCC and other government officials are warning consumers about the ‘wangiri’ or one ring scam. The term ‘wangiri’ was coined by the Japanese and is said to refer to the scam’s method of ringing someone once and hanging up. The way the scam works is that the scammer will call your phone once and then hang up before you can answer. They will do this multiple times usually late at night trying to make it seem like it’s an urgent phone call. They’re trying to get you to call the number back, but once you do they’ve got you.

    The calls are coming from overseas. According to reports, the most recent calls are coming from either Mauritania or Sierra Leone. The phone numbers will show the international calling codes of either 222 or 232. If you call these numbers back you could be charged exorbitant fees by your phone provider. Not only is international calling expensive, but these numbers are set up as pay numbers much like 1-900 numbers. So on top of your carrier’s fee, you will be charged an additional by the minute fee from the overseas number.

    The best way to protect yourself against this scam is to not call back a number you’re not familiar with. If the call is important. they’ll leave a message. There are also apps you can get for your phone that can block robocalls or overseas calls as well. Don’t expect your phone carrier to be willing to waive the charge either. By most accounts, the phone carriers are saying that it’s the customer’s responsibility to keep from being scammed.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: arrest warrant, phone scam, , , utitlitiy company   

    Are these the top phone scams? 

    Are these the top phone scams?

    Residents of San Angelo, Texas have been reporting that there have been three particular phone scams plaguing them this year. While you may not be a resident of San Angelo if these scams are prevalent there then there’s a likely chance they’re prevalent in a lot of American towns.

    The first phone scam is someone calling you claiming to be from a local police department stating that you have a warrant out for your arrest for either failure to appear or missing jury duty. They’ll then try to pressure you into making some form of payment. When someone has a warrant issued for their arrest, police do not call them on the phone. Instead, they’ll take a more personal approach by sending officers to your door. If you receive one of these phone calls do not give out any personal information and call your local police department to report it.

    The second phone scam being reported is that of someone posing as a local utility company threatening to turn off power if payment is not made right away. If your account is in arrears you should receive several notices with your bill that the power could be turned off. The scammers may also try to pressure you into making a payment with either a gift card or pre-paid debit card. As usual, this should be a red flag that the call is more than likely a scam. If you receive a call like this one, once again hang up and call the number of the utility company that appears on your bill if you have any questions about your account.

    Lastly, is the most common phone scam that targets seniors and that’s the Social Security scam. In this scam, someone will call claiming to be from Social Security telling you that your benefits are about to be cut off or your Social Security account will be suspended because your Social Security number was used in a crime. These scammers are either looking for you to give them your Social Security number or will once again ask you to make a payment through gift cards. Social Security rarely calls recipients and will never ask for payment, especially not through gift cards. If you receive one of these calls hang up and call Social Security directly at 800-269-0271 during business hours.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on July 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: phone scam, ,   

    Social Security phone scams on the rise 

    Social Security phone scams on the rise

    You may be familiar with the IRS scam that plagues your phone. Someone calls purporting to be an agent of the IRS claiming that there’s some kind of issue and you need to give them your personal information. Often they try to intimidate you into giving the information by claiming you’re in danger of running afoul of the law. The problem with this scam is that the actual IRS doesn’t call taxpayers if there is a problem. They will contact you by mail instead. But what if you’re contacted by someone claiming to be from a government agency that does call people?

    According to this report by Forbes, the Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone has issued a warning saying that there has been an increase of con artists posing as employees of the Social Security Administration. As the Forbes article points out, the SSA does sometimes reach out to Social Security recipients in certain but rare circumstances.

    This is a particularly egregious scam since it mostly targets the elderly. So what should you do if you receive one of these unsolicited calls? Hang up immediately. Do not engage the caller, and if it’s a recording do not press any buttons except to hang up. If you answer any of their questions, even with an automated recording, it could give the scammers information that could result in more phone calls at the least and your identity be stolen at worst. Even if you feel the call may be legitimate hang up and call the SSA directly at 1-800-772-1213.

     
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