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

    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, ,   

    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 9:00 am on November 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Police,   

    Police dispatcher foils grandparent scam 

    Police dispatcher foils grandparent scam

    In recent times, we’ve posted about how scammers are upping their game so to speak when it comes to grandparent scams. As you may know, the grandparent scam specifically targets the elderly as the name implies. The scammer will pose as one of the victim’s grandchildren and claim that they need money for bail or some other kind of emergency. They’ll ask the victims not to say anything to the rest of the family.

    Since the grandparent scam has become prevalent, we’ve seen stories of scammers sending someone to the victim’s home to collect the money, scammers keeping their victims from hanging up the phone, and scammers claiming there is a gag order in place to prevent the victim from talking to relatives. Now, at least one scammer has tried to get local police involved to convince the victim that they were a grandchild.

    In Falmouth, Maine, a police dispatcher was able to thwart one of these instances. The scammer is said to have called police claiming to be a relative of an elderly resident. The scammer asked police to check in on the woman since they had not heard from them in a while. This type of call is not unheard of by police as many people will ask police to conduct a welfare check. The thought here is that if actual police visit the victim’s home, the victim will believe the scammer is actually one of their grandchildren. Luckily, the dispatcher personally knew the victim in this instance. The dispatcher was able to ask the scammer questions that only a family member would know before the scammer’s story started to fall apart.

    While the dispatcher is to be commended, we can’t all have personal friends at the police department looking out for us. As with any grandparent scam. never let the caller keep you on the phone. Always reach out to someone who knows the grandchild’s whereabouts or call the grandchild directly. Reach out to family even if the caller says not to. Even if the call is real no one is going to be sentenced to life in prison if you hang up on the phone call from the supposed grandchild.

    If you know an elderly person or couple who live alone and do not have access to the internet, please let them know about this scam. Also, consider setting up a family password for just such emergencies so you can verify the person calling is who they say they are.

  • Geebo 9:05 am on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Kurt Stokinger, , Police   

    Armslist sued by Boston cop shot by illegal gun 

    Armslist sued by Boston cop shot by illegal gun

    Armslist, the so-called ‘craigslist of guns, is back in the news once again. Previously, Armslist has been tied to a domestic violence-related murder and the murder of a Chicago police commander. In both cases, the guns used to commit these crimes were purchased through Armslist by people who were forbidden by law from owning a gun. Much like Backpage did before it was seized by federal investigators, Armslist hides behind the Communications Decency Act of 1996 claiming that they’re not responsible for their users’ actions. A new lawsuit is looking to change Armslist’s tired tune.

    In 2016, Boston Police Officer Kurt Stokinger was shot in the leg by a known drug dealer. The incident left Officer Stokinger with considerable medical issues. The gun used to shoot Officer Stokinger was not only bought through Armslist but the seller had sold over 60 guns with the serial numbers removed. Officer Stokinger is suing Armslist, the shooter, and the seller. The lawsuit claims…

    “Armlist chose to establish an online firearms marketplace which facilitated sales to illegal purchasers and did not include reasonable safeguards to minimize the risks of illegal and dangerous conduct.”

    As has been mentioned before, Armslist falls under the gun show loophole where firearm sales from private sellers do not require a background check. In my opinion, there’s no way Armslist could have gotten into this business without realizing that their platform would be used for a plethora of illegal sales. Much like how Backpage was well aware that they were dealing in the human trafficking trade. And much like how the time eventually came for Backpage, the time will come for Armslist as well if they don’t change their policy of allowing anonymous firearm sales with no regard for human life.

  • Geebo 2:01 pm on July 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: know your rights, Police   

    Help protect yourself during a police stop 

    Help protect yourself during a police stop

    Police in the United States have a tireless and thankless job. While most of them will go through their entire careers without having any issues, as we have seen recently, some are not up to the task and innocent lives have been tragically lost in the process. Although not all situations can ever be predicted and no solution is perfect there are steps that can be taken to help protect yourself and your rights.

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) not only has apps that can be used to record police stops they also have a plethora of information regarding your rights when it comes to being stopped by police. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) also has information regarding your rights when it comes to recording police activity.

    While apps like Facebook Live and Periscope have been used recently to record police another good idea might be to have a dash cam installed in your car. Most models can record audio as well as video and some models can swivel between the external view and internal view.

    As I said before, most police do their job without incident however, the ones that either willfully or ignorantly abuse their authority need to be put on notice that they can be monitored by citizens while they’re on duty.

  • Greg Collier 1:48 pm on March 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Fair Girls, , , Johns, , , Pimps, Police, , ,   

    Keeping the Fight Alive against Online Sex Ads 

    I recently came across a couple of articles in the New York Times that really left me feeling disheartened, kind of frustrated and definitely sad. They both focused on human trafficking trends, specifically the use of online classifieds sites as a forum for luring, pimping and selling young girls into the sex trade.

    The first, titled “Online Sex Trade Flourishing Despite Efforts to Curb It,” left a sting in me, not just because I’ve been behind many efforts to curb the use of online ad sites for soliciting sexual encounters but more because police seem to have a “love-hate” attitude about the online sex ads.

    What can anyone possibly love about this online sex trade? Yes, it’s a sad state of society that this modern-day slavery exists, but police explain that online ads have given them a new tool to learn more about this once-underground world and “crack the code” that pimps and johns use to set-up sexual encounters. While I won’t dispute the need for police to be up-to-speed on the latest techniques and technologies, we can’t lose sight of the fact that every ad that law enforcement takes time to study is an ad for a real person trapped in this horribly violent world.

    The second article, an Op-Ed titled “Where Pimps Peddle Their Goods,” honed in on the sites that turn a blind eye on these sorts of advertisements, specifically Backpage.com, an online classifieds operation owned by Village Voice Media. For many companies, a scathing set of words in the New York Times would be devastating but the folks at Backpage are defiant and defensive about all of it. After all, they’re trying to protect their bread-and-butter.

    The AIM Group, a research firm, reports that online prostitution advertising on five U.S. web sites generated at least $3.1 million in February 2012, a jump of nearly 10 percent from February 2011. Of that, nearly 80 percent – or about $2.5 million – came from Backpage. On an annual basis, the AIM Group estimates at least $36.6 million in advertising revenue, with more than two-thirds – $26 million – generated by Backpage.

    As the owner of Geebo, an online classifieds site that doesn’t host a forum for “personals” ads, I’m not reaping the financial rewards that come from these sorts of ads – but my conscience and I are sleeping well at night. I killed the personals section on Geebo in September 2010. For some time now, I’ve been standing out on that limb all alone, asking my industry counterparts to join me in removing personals ads from their sites but instead being met with a deafening silence in response.

    Fortunately, while my industry counterparts stay silent, other groups, such as FAIR Girls, are turning up the heat on these site owners and working to raise awareness about what’s really happening on these sites. Andrea Powell, co-founder and executive director of FAIR Girls, takes exception to the idea that Backpage is being responsible, as it claims, because it says it tries to screen ads for minors and alerts law enforcement when it suspects trafficking.

    “As an advocate who also searches for missing and exploited girls, I can say honestly that it is very hard to find sex trafficked girls using the online classified ad sites,” Powell said. “Pimps hide their victims in hotels, use fake names, and make a real effort to keep us from helping their victims escape. Online classified sites like Backpage.com make it easier for pimps, not victims. It’s the new frontier of sex trafficking, and we want to see these sites shut down.”

    At the very minimum, it’s time for sites like Backpage to recognize that they’re not helping the problem but instead are making it worse, providing pimps and johns with an anonymous access to an online marketplace for sex. Certainly, I’d welcome any of my competitors in classifieds to shut down but if they want to stay in the game, I’ll just keep asking that they at least kill the area of ads where pimps and johns continue to destroy innocent lives.

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