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  • Geebo 8:01 am on September 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , police scam, , ,   

    Scam Round Up: Counterfeit Cash, Timeshares, and more 

    Getting scammed after being scammed

    By Greg Collier

    Here we are bringing you another handful of scams that you should be aware of.

    ***

    We start off with a scam out of the state of Delaware. A restaurant in the state’s capital, Dover, received a call from someone posing as the U.S. Marshals Service. The caller told an employee that they received complaints that the restaurant had been giving out counterfeit money as change. The caller also said that they would be at the restaurant in 30 minutes to ‘inspect the cash’. The employee was even threatened by the caller, stating they were currently watching the restaurant. The employee called the actual police instead. We’re not sure what the endgame of this scam was, but keep in mind that law enforcement will never call you to tell you what they’re investigating.

    ***

    In the state of New York, the Attorney General’s office is having to deal with scam letters that were sent out posing as the AG’s office. The letters indicate that the recipient is entitled to money due to a debt settled over the sale of timeshares. The NY Division of Consumer Protection has come out to let the public know that these letters are fraudulent, even though they contain the state seal. If we had to hazard a guess, we’d say that the scammers were probably trying to get New York residents to pay a ‘service fee’ to get their supposed pay out. This is known as the advance fee scam. If you get a letter like this and have doubts to its authenticity, call the agency at a phone number on their website and not one that’s on the letter.

    ***

    Police in Grand Island, Nebraska, are warning residents about a number of complaints they’ve received about scammers posing as employees of Apple. The scammers are telling residents that there has been suspicious activity on their Apple accounts and that they need to remotely access your computer to resolve the problem. As you can guess, once scammers have access to your computer, they can take all the information from it, including your banking info if you use your computer for that. Monolithic companies like Apple will never call you to tell you there’s a problem. The same goes for Microsoft, Facebook, and Google. If you can’t even call some of these companies, they’re not going to call you. Anyone who asks you for remote access to your computer is almost always going to be a scammer.

    ***

    While these scams might not be happening to you now, they could in the future. Hopefully, you’re now prepared to recognize them.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: border patrol, , police scam, ,   

    FBI: The Border Patrol is not coming to get you 

    FBI: The Border Patrol is not coming to get you

    By Greg Collier

    Previously, we’ve seen the Border Patrol scam target seniors almost exclusively. In this scam, the scammers would call up an elderly target posing as an officer from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The scammers claim that someone rented a car using the target’s identity near the Mexican Border, and the car was found with drugs in it. The target will then be informed that there’s now a warrant out for their arrest. However, the scammers will say they believe that the target’s identity has been stolen. They’ll just need a payment in some non-monetary form to supposedly secure the target’s identity. Without the payment, though, they’ll still be forced to arrest the target.

    The FBI is now warning citizens that there has been a dramatic increase in this scam, and it’s not just targeting the elderly. A reporter from Los Angeles recently received one of these calls. She knew it was a scam and played along with it anyway. It was a robocall that warned the recipient that CBP has seized a car registered under their name that contained illicit drugs. The reporter was then asked to press 1 to speak to a CBP officer. When the ‘officer’came on the line, the reporter said she knows this is a scam and wanted to know where the caller was from. The caller said he was from Afghanistan and threatened to blow up the reporter’s home. According to an FBI agent, there’s no evidence to indicate that the caller was from Afghanistan or that the threat was credible.

    As with most scams, the FBI recommends not answering phone calls from numbers you don’t recognize. In this case, the scammers used a block of numbers used by the reporter’s employer. So even if it looks like a local call, the number can be spoofed. Also, if you take a moment to think about it, the call makes less sense. No law enforcement agency is going to call someone that they’re supposedly investigating. Even if it was a case of stolen identity, and the car full of drugs existed, agents would want to speak to you in person. Lastly, you may also want to keep in mind that police or federal agents will never ask you for money over the phone.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , police scam, , ,   

    FBI twist added to sweepstakes scam 

    FBI twist added to sweepstakes scam

    By Greg Collier

    Police in Oregon are warning about a new rash of sweepstakes scams or advance fee scams, as they’re sometimes known. In this scam, the scammers pose as a sweepstakes company, usually Publishers Clearing House since they’re the most well-known. The victim will receive a call, text or email telling them that they’ve won a big jackpot, except they need the victim to pay them taxes or a processing fee. Also, the victim needs to keep this matter private, so the local media supposedly doesn’t find out. These scams often target the elderly and when a victim pays once, the scammers will keep coming back for more. Now, scammers are using a new tactic to make sure the victim keeps paying.

    According to a report out of Oregon, the sweepstakes scammers make the victims pay by check. Once the scammers receive that check, they’re calling the victim back, posing as the FBI. The phony investigators tell the victim that the check they wrote was fraudulent. The scammer then threatens the victim with arrest if they don’t make another payment. Essentially, the scammers are combining two scams into on, the advance fee scam and the police impersonation scam. As you probably surmised, the police impersonation scam involves scammers posing as police, usually telling the victim they have a warrant out for their arrest, and that the victim needs to pay over the phone to make the warrant go away.

    Please keep in mind that you can’t win prizes from a sweepstakes you never entered. Plus, it’s also illegal for any sweepstakes to make you pay for any prize. As far as the FBI goes, no law enforcement agency will call you on the phone asking for money and threatening you with arrest if you don’t pay. The report from Oregon gives a great tip when it comes to police impersonation phone calls. Ask the caller for their phone number and tell them that you’ll call them back after speaking with your attorney. If they try to pressure you into staying on the phone, it’s more than likely a scam.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , police scam,   

    Your church isn’t calling to arrest you 

    Your church isn't calling to arrest you

    By Greg Collier

    One of the more common scams is the police impersonation scam. As you can probably guess, this is when scammers spoof the police’s phone number and try to convince you that there’s a warrant out for your arrest. The scammers will then pressure you into making a payment over the phone that they claim will make the warrant go away. Usually, they’ll ask for payment in nontraditional and untraceable means, like gift cards or cryptocurrency. It seems that people aren’t exactly picking up phone calls that purport to be from their local police department as much as they used to. Recently, scammers have changed one of their tactics to get their victims to answer the phone.

    In the Springfield area of Missouri, scammers have taken to spoofing the number of a local church to try to get their targets to answer the phone. Churches are no stranger to being used as part of a scam. Often, scammers will send out emails posing as a priest or pastor asking their congregation to buy them gift cards. However, in this instance, the scammers are still posing as police to threaten victims with arrest. While police are allowed to use a certain level of deception when conducting an investigation, It would be a huge PR nightmare for them if they posed as a church to make threatening phone calls.

    The arrest warrant scam at its heart preys on people’s lack of knowledge on how arrests actually work. No law enforcement agency is ever going to call you on the phone if you have a warrant out for your arrest. You might receive a notification in the mail, but more than likely you’ll be visited by the police in person. So, even if your church seems to be calling you, you can’t be arrested over the phone.

    We wonder how long it will be before scammers are able to spoof the numbers of your immediate family members. Once they can do that, almost no phone call will be able to be trusted.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , pet sitting, police scam, ,   

    Scam Round Up: Pet sitting, Bitcoin, and Magazines 

    By Greg Collier

    Today, we’re bringing you another trio of scams that warrant your attention. This week, we have three scams that variants of other scams we’ve discussed.

    If you’re in college, or have a child in college, the Better Business Bureau is warning about a particular job scam. It appears that in both Florida and New York, college students are being offered part -time pet-sitting jobs for a pretty good wage. However, this is just a ruse to send the college student a fake check as payment. The students will be told to deposit the check, purchase some supplies, and return a portion of the check. While the bank will honor the deposit at first, they will eventually determine it’s fake and put the financial burden on the student since they were the one that deposited the check.

    ***

    In Northern Ohio, authorities there are reporting victims there are falling for a Bitcoin scam, but it’s more like the police impersonation scam. The scammers are posing as federal investigators who tell the victims that someone in Texas near the Mexican border has rented a car in the victim’s name and a large cache of illegal drugs were found in the car. In order to avoid arrest, the victim is told to pay a substantial amount of money. Previously, the scammers would have victims mail cash or buy gift cards. In this case, the scammers are instructing victims to make payments through Bitcoin ATMs, which we’ve previously discussed here. No law enforcement agency is ever going to threaten you with arrest if you don’t make a payment in cryptocurrency or other untraceable means of payment like gift cards.

    ***

    Lastly, in Rhode Island, an alert FedEx clerk saved a man from falling for a scam that could have cost the victim thousands of dollars. When the clerk asked about the man’s shipment, the man claimed it had $500 worth of old magazines in it. The clerk was suspicious and was worried that the man was being scammed. With a manager’s approval, the clerk opened the package and there was $15,000 worth of cash inside. While the news report doesn’t say what kind of scam the man had almost fallen for, the man said that he was promised a bigger payout if he mailed the cash. This sounds an awful lot like an advanced fee scam or sweepstakes scam where that victim was told to send cash intertwined in the pages of magazines. Remember, that you don’t have to pay any fees for a prize like that. Taxes for such prizes are usually figured out later.

    ***

    Hopefully, these scams don’t come to your area, but now you’ll be prepared if they do.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , police scam, , ,   

    Law enforcement scam claims to give you money 

    Law enforcement scam claims to give you money

    By Greg Collier

    Police impersonation scams are probably one of the most common scams out there. We’ve seen scammers imitate everyone from your local sheriff’or police department to federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency. The scams are generally the same, however. The impersonators will threaten you with arrest if you don’t pay them to resolve some imaginary indiscretion. Usually, this involves some nontraditional form of payment like gift cards, money transfers, or cryptocurrency. Now, we’re seeing a law enforcement agency being used in a typical scam along with a not so typical scam.

    Some scammers are now said to be posing as agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In a familiar sounding scam, the phony Border Agents will call their victims and tell them that they’ve intercepted a package that was addressed to the victim. It will then be claimed that the package contained drugs or some other illicit substance. In some cases, the scammers are asking for personal information to ‘verify’ who you are. This is done to steal your identity. In other cases, you’ll be asked to pay the phony agents to avoid arrest. In both cases, you’ll be threatened with arrest if you don’t comply.

    In a twist on the police impersonation scam, some scammers are posing as CBP Agents to tell you that they’ve intercepted a package that contains a large sweepstakes prize for you. Rather than being threatened with arrest, you’re asked to pay a large fee to pay for special shipping labels. This is a new variation of the sweepstakes scam where scammers will typically ask you to pay a processing fee to receive winnings from sweepstakes that you probably didn’t even enter. These scammers usually claim to be from Publisher’s Clearing House instead of a federal law enforcement agency.

    In either instance, a wary consumer needs to keep two things in mind. The first is that no real law enforcement agency will threaten you with arrest for not making a payment over the phone. The second thing is that you can’t win sweepstakes that you never entered. There’s really no such thing where someone is called out of the blue and told they’ve been chosen at random to win a big prize. That only happens in TV and movies.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , police scam,   

    Counterfeit scam targets businesses 

    Counterfeit scam targets businesses

    By Greg Collier

    No businesses were more hard hit by the pandemic than restaurants. Many restaurants struggled to stay open during the pandemic. However, due to the nature of how COVID-19 was spread along with government lockdowns, many restaurants closed their doors for good. Even without COVID-19, the restaurant business is a very precarious one. There’s an old joke that says the best way to make a million in the restaurant business is to start out with two million. Those that have survived the pandemic should be commended instead, some are being targeted by scammers posing as police.

    Scammers who pose as police is nothing new. The most common variation of the police impersonation scam is when scammers will call a victim and tell them that the victim has a warrant out for their arrest. In most cases, the scammer will say that the victim missed jury duty. The scammer will threaten the victim with arrest if they don’t pay a fine over the phone either through gift cards or prepaid debit cards.

    In Panama City, Florida at least one restaurant has fallen to a new twist on the police impersonation scam. The scammer called the restaurant claiming to be from the Panama City police. The restaurant was told that they had deposited counterfeit money into their bank account. Considering how much cash restaurants can end up dealing with, this could be a real possibility. To replace the supposed counterfeit money the restaurant was told to replace the counterfeit money with a prepaid debit card. In this instance, it was in the amount of $1000. Panama City police have said that this scam has been targeting other local small businesses as well.

    There are a few keys to this scam besides the obvious one of paying with a prepaid debit card. The first is that most business that deal in cash should already have safeguards in place to detect counterfeit bills, such as the marker that can detect counterfeit bills. Also, if you were to accidentally deposit counterfeit cash into your business’ bank account you would be charged by your bank and not the local police. You may get a visit from the Secret Service instead.

    If you run a small business, you may want to warn your employees of any calls from someone claiming to be the police demanding payment and let them know that those calls are probably scams.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , police scam,   

    Arrest warrant scammers now showing up at people’s homes 

    Arrest warrant scammers now showing up at people's homes

    By Greg Collier

    One of the most common scams is the arrest warrant scam. A scammer will call a victim out of the blue claiming to be with the local police. The scammers will then tell the victim that there’s a warrant out for their arrest. Most of the time, the scammers will say it’s because the victim missed jury duty. This makes the thought of an arrest warrant more believable since missing jury duty is a pretty innocuous crime that most people could see happening to them. The victims are then instructed to make some kind of payment over the phone, usually by untraceable means like gift cards or money transfers. We want to stress that these scams were normally done over the phone because in at least one community a scammer has added a dangerous step to the scam.

    In Suffolk, Virginia, a man showed up at a woman’s doorstep asking for the woman’s son. The man said that he was with the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office and that her son had a warrant out for his arrest. The scammer identified himself as Lt. Johnson, however, the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office does not have a Lt. Johnson working for them. Thankfully, the woman did not open the door to the scammer, but the story doesn’t end there. The scammer called the son telling him there was a warrant for his arrest unless he made a $1500 payment in gift cards. In the family’s defense, none of them had ever been arrested before and didn’t know that this was not how arrest warrants work. Once payment was made the scammer even called them back to gloat. We can only imagine what would have happened if the woman had opened her door to the scammer.

    If there is a warrant out for someone’s arrest, police will approach the suspect’s home which makes this new version of the scam incredibly dangerous for the victim. However, typically, police will send at least two officers to execute an arrest warrant. Also, please keep in mind that no law enforcement agency whether local, state, or federal will ever ask for any kind of payment in gift cards.

    We believe scams like this continue to happen because there is not enough education about situations like this. Please consider sharing this post on social media so more people can be protected from this scam.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on March 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , police scam,   

    DEA issues warning about impersonation scam 

    DEA issues warning about impersonation scam

    By Greg Collier

    The Drug Enforcement Agency issued a warning about scammers posing as their agents and demanding money. One of the more popular versions of the scam has the scammers calling their victims and accusing the victims of being involved in a crime. The scammers will even spoof a DEA phone number while telling their victim that someone rented a car using the victim’s identity and the car was found to have drugs in it near the Mexican border.

    The phony agents will threaten the victim with arrest if the victim doesn’t pay a fine. As with the majority of scams, the scammers will ask for payment of the imaginary fine in nontraditional ways like gift cards or money transfer. This is because these methods of payment are largely untraceable.

    Another version of the scam has scammers calling their victims claiming that the victim’s bank account has been compromised by criminals. The scammers then instruct the victim to send them money in order to assist them with their investigation.

    These scammers will often target medical professionals as well. The scammers will threaten doctors and providers with arrest claiming that someone used the doctor’s identity to write illegal prescriptions.

    In their warning, the DEA states that they would never call someone demanding payment and threatening arrest. This also goes for virtually all law enforcement agencies.

    If you receive a call from one of these scammers, you’re asked to report it to the FBI at http://www.ic3.gov/.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , police scam,   

    Police impersonation scams using payment apps 

    Police impersonation scams are one of the more stressful scams you can find yourself in. Scammers will spoof the number of your local police department and try to convince you that there is a warrant out for your arrest. For most people, this will catch them off guard and probably instill more than a little fear into them. The scammers like using high-pressure tactics like this to get their victims to send them a phony payment. Often, the scammers will ask for the payments in untraceable ways like gift cards and wire services. Now, some of these impersonators have switched to a new way of taking money from their victims.

    In the San Antonio area of Texas, police there are reporting that police impersonation scammers are now asking for payment through PayPal. Meanwhile, in South Florida, police there are reporting something similar except the scammers are using Cash App. Just like in most police impersonation scams, the scammers are saying the victims have a warrant out for their arrest, but it can be resolved if the victim makes a payment to the person on the phone. We can guess that some scammers are moving to these payment apps because not only do they get their payment instantly, but it’s also easy to block the victims from trying to get their payments back.

    As with most scams, the scammers are trying to get you flustered emotionally, so they can pressure you into making a payment. If you get one of these calls, take a moment to think about the situation. We know this is easier said than done sometimes, but it is imperative to avoid being taken in a scam like this. If there was a warrant out for your arrest, even an erroneous one, police are not going to call you. They will send officers to your house. If there is a warrant out for somebody’s arrest, you can’t just resolve the warrant by making a payment over the phone. Any payments that need to be made in regard to the process almost always need to be made in person.

     
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