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  • 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.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 20, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , police scam, , Tacoma, ,   

    New scam poses as Border Protection 

    New scam poses as Border Protection

    A new police impersonation scam has emerged in the Tacoma area of Washington state. This time, the scammers aren’t just posing as any local law enforcement, though. The scammers are posing as U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, so they can target a specific segment of the population.

    This scam works like most police impersonation scams. The scammers call their victims posing as law enforcement and tell the victim that they’ve been connected with some crime. The scammers will then ask for payment over the phone to magically clear up the situation. As with most scams, the scammers will ask for payment in untraceable means like gift cards, prepaid debit cards, or through wire services like MoneyGram or Western Union.

    In this particular scam, the scammers are posing as Border Protection agents and are specifically targeting Latino residents of Tacoma. The scammers are telling their victims that a box full of drugs and money has been intercepted at the border that has the victim’s name on it. Then the scammers ask for payment to rectify the situation.

    This scam is particularly disturbing as it further victimizes a group of people who may already feel marginalized. This is especially true for someone who may be undocumented. When faced with the threat of the current state of detention or being deported, a victim may pay the scammers out of fear. Then the scammers could capitalize on that fear by continually requesting payments from the victim. That essentially results in extortion.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection has stated that they do not call anyone to solicit money for any reason. No legitimate government agency will ever ask for payment through things like gift cards. If you receive one of these phone calls it is recommended that you hang up and not engage with the scammers.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , police scam,   

    Police impersonation scams are never ending 

    Police impersonation scams are never ending

    We haven’t discussed police impersonation scams in a while. We felt the need to remind our readers about them because they are probably one of the most common scams occurring today. Whenever we are researching a new type of scam, we’ll come across multiple stories about scammers posing as local police departments. Just today we found stories of police impersonation scams from New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and they happen in towns both big and small.

    Police impersonation scammers will spoof the phone number of a local police department. That will make it appear like your local police department is calling you. The scammer will identify themselves as a police officer, and they often use the name of an actual police officer. They’ll give one of several reasons why they’re calling you. It can be as something as innocuous as a traffic fine or something as serious as a major criminal investigation that your name has been implicated in. The most common scam is that you have a warrant out for your arrest. The scams all have one thing in common. They’ll want you to make a payment over the phone to ‘clear everything up.’

    They’ll want that payment to be made in non-traditional means like gift cards, cryptocurrency, or wire transfer. These are all potentially untraceable once the payment is made.

    No real police department will ever ask for payment over the phone. If you’re overdue on a traffic fine you’ll receive a notice in the mail. If police are investigating a crime, they’ll send an officer to your home to speak with you. No legitimate agency or business will ever ask for gift card payments over the phone.

    If you ever receive one of these calls it’s recommended that you contact your local police department at their non-emergency number. Don’t just press redial because that will just have you back talking to the scammer.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , police scam,   

    New scam threatens you with human trafficking arrest 

    New scam threatens you with human trafficking arrest

    Police impersonation scams are nothing new. They can range from something innocuous like owing a traffic ticket to something major like your Social Security number being involved with a major crime. All of these impersonation scams rely on one thing, and that’s a fear of being arrested. Scammers will use that fear to try to pressure you into either making a payment to them or giving them your personal information. A new scam not only tries to take advantage of that fear of arrest but also uses the fear of potential public embarrassment.

    Police in Colorado Springs, Colorado are warning residents about an impersonation scam that’s affecting their area. Scammers are posing as police detectives and calling their victims to tell them that the victim’s phone number was found in a human trafficking ring. While the report we’ve seen doesn’t specify, we imagine that the scam’s victims are being told that their phone number was found to have been used soliciting the services of a human trafficking ring.

    Usually, in a scam like this, victims are told that payment can make a situation like this go away. The payment is almost always made in some form of untraceable funds like gift cards, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. However, in the case of the Colorado Springs scam, the scammers are directing victims to a website and enter their personal information. The victims are also being told that if they don’t go to the website, a warrant will be issued for their arrest. It seems like these scammers aren’t after a quick payout but are after identity theft for a bigger score.

    More often than not, if your phone number were to pop up during a police investigation, investigators would be sent to talk to you personally. However, if you were to receive one of these phone calls, it’s recommended that you take down the caller’s name and badge number then contact the department’s non-emergency number to verify if what the caller says is true or not.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , police scam,   

    Police scam takes affluent area for millions 

    Police scam takes affluent area for millions

    Every once in a while, when we get feedback from one of our posts someone will inevitably say that they can’t believe that someone fell for whatever scam we’re posting about that day. The reality is that anyone can fall for a scam if they don’t have the information to recognize a scam. Things like economic status and education level mean do not automatically protect you from con artists.

    For example, take Montgomery County, Maryland, Not only is the Washington DC suburb one of the most affluent counties in the United States, its residents have the highest percentage in the country of residents over 25 years of age who hold a post-graduate degree. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped various police impersonation scams from taking $1.5 million from local residents.

    While the scammers are using different variations of police impersonation scams, they are tweaking them slightly for their upscale targets. In one case, the scammers called a psychotherapist and told them that they avoided a subpoena in a case where they were supposed to testify as an expert witness. In order to avoid arrest, the victim was told to pay a $7000 fine. They were instructed to buy a prepaid debit card because no one could come into the police department because of COVID.

    With other victims, the scammers have used the rental car trick. They’ll pose as police to tell the victims that a rental car was found in their name that contained drugs. Again, the scammers will request payment to ‘clear up’ the situation, usually through some untraceable form of payment like gift cards, prepaid debit cards, money transfer, or cryptocurrency. In Montgomery County’s case, the scammers added that if the victim pays quickly they’ll avoid media attention.

    In one case, someone made payment to the scammers by putting $100,000 into a shoebox before mailing it to California.

    In the majority of cases, police will almost never call you to resolve any kind of legal matter. You’ll either be contacted by mail or officers will come to your home. Also, no legitimate government agency will accept payment in untraceable means like the ones listed above. If you ever receive a phone call like this and think there might be an issue, hang up and call your police department’s non-emergency number and explain the call to them.

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