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  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Safety, ,   

    Grandparent scammers victimize woman three times 

    Grandparent scammers victimize woman three times

    One of the many problems with being a scam victim is that often the scammers will try to victimize from you again. Usually, the scammers will try to fool you again with a different scam. For example, a scammer might have fooled you with a police impersonation scam. Then, the scammers may try to fleece you again using a Social Security scam. It’s rare to hear of a scammer using the same scam multiple times on the same victim but that’s exactly what happened to an elderly woman in upstate New York.

    In Amsterdam, New York, an 88-year-old woman was contacted by someone who claimed to be her grandson. The scammer said they had been arrested and needed $7,000 in cash for legal fees. The woman gathered the money and sent it to an address in New Jersey.

    A month and a half later, she received another call from the same ‘grandson’. This time they were asking for $10,000 in cash after the phony grandson claimed to be in a car accident.

    Later on, the victim was contacted again. Once again, the phony grandson was asking for another $10,000. This time, an employee at the shipping service she was using asked her about the package. When the woman told them it was cash for grandson the delivery employee believed she was being scammed and contacted the state police.

    Unfortunately, if you’ve fallen for a scam in the past, it’s likely that scammers will try to target you again. Like we said previously, it’s usually with a different scam but it’s not unheard of for scammers to use the same scam multiple times and the grandparent scam is the perfect scam to use that way. If a victim believes the scammer is their grandchild once, they may believe it again.

    As we always advise when it comes to the grandparent scam, if you receive one of these calls, hang up. Then call the actual person the scammers are claiming to be to make sure they’re not in any actual trouble. If it were a legitimate call from a grandchild, they’re not going to be in any more trouble if you stop to take the time to verify their story. You can also ask the caller a question that only they would know or set up a family password to indicate the call is legitimate.

    Again we ask that 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.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 31, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Safety, ,   

    Scammers are showing up at seniors’ doors 

    Scammers are showing up at seniors' doors

    If you’re not a senior citizen yourself, you may have an elderly relative. They may live alone and a great distance from you. Would you want strangers showing up to their door and taking thousands of dollars in your relative’s money? How upsetting to you would that be if it happened to someone in your family? Unfortunately, this is happening to many families around the country in this scary new twist on the grandparent scam.

    Just in case you’re unfamiliar with the grandparent scam it’s when a scammer calls a senior citizen and poses as one of their grandchildren or some other relative. The scammers will say that they’re in some kind of trouble. Usually, they’ll say that they’ve been arrested and need money for bail. Other times they’ll say that they’re in the hospital and need money for treatment. We’ve even seen some cases where they’ll say they’re overseas and they need money to get home.

    As you can see, the common goal of the scam is to get money from elderly victims. Scammers used to get money from their victims in this scam by having them buy gift cards and having the victims give the gift card numbers to the scammer over the phone. Just as an aside, we’d like to remind you that gift cards are commonly used in all sorts of scams, so please keep in mind that no legitimate company or agency will ask for payment over the phone in gift cards.

    Now, grandparent scammers have developed an increasingly worrying tactic. Instead of asking for gift cards over the phone, scammers are employing go-betweens who act as couriers to pick up the money personally. In at least one case in Ohio, a woman was scammed out of $15,000 when a scammer posed as her grandson in Florida claiming to need bail. The scammers had someone go to her home and physically collect the $15,000 in cash.

    While we haven’t heard of any of these scammers getting physical with their victims, the potential is always there.

    The best way to deal with these scams is to contact the person the scammers are claiming to be. Scammers may sound convincing due to the fact that they get a lot of their information from social media. However, even if the call is real no one is going to be sentenced to life in prison or thrown out of the hospital 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.

     
    • Dave Smith 8:45 pm on August 31, 2020 Permalink

      They sound convincing, one called me and sounded just like my grandson from of out state.
      When I ask him what his mother’s name was, what was my name, what was his father’s name he started acting like the phone connection was bad, I told him until he could answer my questions I wasnt sending him anything. He hung up the phone. They are very convincing,
      If I hadn’t worked in Security I would have believed the story. DO NOT DO ANY BUSINESS ON THE PHONE!

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Safety,   

    A scammer at your door 

    A scammer at your door

    Scammers have always been quick to adapt their scams so they can steal your money as quickly as possible. Before, scammers would have their victims wire them money or they would make them buy a bunch of gift cards and the scammers would take the card numbers over the phone. More recently, scammers have started taking great lengths to make sure that nothing stands between them and stealing their victims’ money. One ploy we recently discussed was scammers keeping their victims on the phone during all aspects of the scam to make sure the victims were actually going through with the payment. Now it seems scammers are getting even more up close and personal.

    Various police departments and law enforcement agencies in Iowa are reporting that a number of residents have reported grandparent scams in their area. A grandparent scam is when the scammers pose as an elderly person’s grandchild and claim to be in some kind of trouble. This can vary from the scammer claiming to have been arrested, to being in an accident, and being stuck in a foreign country. They all have the same goal and that’s to get the victim to send them money. In one case in New York, one elderly woman gave a grandparent scammer $40,000 before realizing she had been scammed.

    The difference in these recent scams as opposed to grandparent scams of the past is that the scammers are showing up at the victim’s door to collect the money. Rather than risking someone tipping off the victim to the scam, scammers are posing as couriers and collecting money directly from the victim. This is concerning on a number of levels. Not only just for the scammer taking an elderly person’s money but the safety risk involved as well. Keep in mind that scammers are in fact criminals.

    If you ever receive a call like this, don’t hesitate to call a trusted relative to make sure the person claiming to be your grandchild is ok. If you hang up it’s not like the grandchild would be sentenced to life in prison.

    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 9:00 am on November 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Safety,   

    Some tips to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving 

    Some tips to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving

    With so many people cooking, traveling, or both for Thanksgiving, it’s time to once again for tips on how to keep your Thanksgiving safe. If you’re traveling by car this week, please drive carefully as Thanksgiving rivals New Year’s Eve and the 4th of July as far as alcohol-related accidents go. And even though it should go without saying, if you have too much to drink this week please make the proper arrangements so you don’t find yourself behind the wheel. Also, for your personal safety, you may want to let a friend or relative know your travel route in case something happens where you can’t get to a phone. If the unfortunate happens and you do have an accident, if the car can still move please move it to the side of the road to help prevent further accidents.

    As far as the kitchen goes, Thanksgiving is the worst day of the year for home fires. In general, you should always have a fire extinguisher in the home but you should especially have one for Thanksgiving. If a fire starts on the top of the stove, use a fire extinguisher to put it and out. Never use water as it could make a grease fire even worse. If a fire starts in the oven, close the oven door and dial 911. However, the biggest fire hazard for Thanksgiving seems to always be from deep frying turkeys.

    While deep-fried turkey may be delicious, it has the potential to be very dangerous if not done properly. Fires from deep frying turkey incidents have caused millions of dollars of damage to homes over the years and have the quickest potential to spread. Always make sure that the turkey is completely thawed before putting it in the deep fryer as the extra moisture will cause a hazardous situation. Deep frying should also be done outside and at least 20 feet from the home.

    With that please have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Safety,   

    Craigslist to start charging $5 for cars, Kids in Ubers and Lyfts, and no trafficking in Robert Kraft case 

    Craigslist to start charging $5 for cars, Kids in Ubers and Lyfts, and no trafficking in Robert Kraft case

    What a $5 car may look like

    As of today, craigslist will start charging $5 for car listings. So as of tax day if you’re selling your car on craigslist it will cost you a fiver. While craigslist has not publicly stated the reason for the change, many speculate that the move will cut down on scam listings. It will be interesting to see if craigslist users will balk at the new fee and if scammers will be willing to pay the fee. Not to mention that it’s almost ironic that craigslist is now starting to act like so many newspaper classifieds that they helped close down.

    ***

    KATU in Portland, Oregon is reporting on a new safety concern when it comes to using ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber. Their investigation found that many minors are using the ridesharing services even though their terms of service require a passenger to be at least 18. Some drivers will refuse the fare if they know the passenger is under 18, however, there are many drivers who either don’t know the rules or don’t care. According to KATU, some parents are even ok with their older kids using an Uber or Lyft. If you’re a parent, would you be ok with letting your kid use an Uber or Lyft alone?

    ***

    Lastly for today, it was recently reported that the investigation that allegedly caught New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft using a massage parlor did not find any evidence of human trafficking. Critics have dismissed this investigation as a witch hunt of sorts and that police were just looking to arrest workers and johns. However, in many cases, those being trafficked are unwilling to testify against their traffickers due to fears of reprisal or threats of violence against their families. To refer to human trafficking as an overblown problem is to dismiss the safety and welfare of all those being trafficked against their will who are treated as slaves.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Safety, Samantha Josephson,   

    Ridesharing safety at the forefront after murder of college student 

    Ride sharing safety at the forefront after murder of college student

    The safety of ridesharing users, especially women, has been a topic of concern lately after a University of South Carolina student was murdered by a man allegedly posing as her Uber driver. Last weekend 21-year-old Samantha Josephson got into a car that she thought was her Uber. Instead, the man who picked her up had no affiliation with Uber and is accused of stabbing her to death and leaving her body in a wooded area. While the tragedy that befell Ms. Josephson may be the most high-profile incident of assailants posing as Uber drivers it is unfortunately far from the first.

    The New York Times has collected a number of incidents that happened to female passengers who thought they were getting into Ubers or Lyfts before being assaulted by the driver. In some instances, their attackers had the sticker in their car windows in order to make it appear as if the attacker was a legitimate driver. These phony rideshare drivers tend to lurk around places where most rideshare services are requested such as bars and hotels. At one point in 2017, Uber even had to issue a statement warning customers about people posing as their drivers.

    If you’ve never used one of these services before you download the app of whichever service you want to use. The service requires you to upload a picture of yourself so the driver can recognize you and also for their safety. Conversely, the passenger will receive a profile of their driver that includes their name, what make and model of car they’re driving, their picture, and their license plate number. When your service arrives, make sure the driver tells you who they’re supposed to pick up and if they don’t know your name that’s a red flag not to get into the car. It’s also recommended that you message someone trusted that you’re about to get into an Uber or Lyft. Above all else, if you ever feel unsafe for any reason ask your driver to stop and if they won’t don’t hesitate to call 911.

     
  • Geebo 7:59 am on April 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Safety   

    Bashing the competition 

    Bashing the competition

    Recently, an article from MakeUseOf was brought to our attention. The article, written by Saikat Basu, was another one of these ‘top alternatives to craigslist’ and Geebo was listed as one of the choices. Mr. Basu says some very complimentary things about Geebo including referring to Geebo as an industry veteran and that Geebo has a more personal atmosphere than the competition. On that we can agree, however, Mr. Basu also says a couple of things that we feel the need to take issue with.

    The first item is that Mr. Basu states that the Geebo blog spends a lot of time bashing our competition for their sketchy practices. That is only half-true. We admit, that we do criticize some of our competition as often they are hypocritical in defense of their platforms. We’ve also criticized companies outside of our industry if we feel that they are misleading the public or violating the public’s trust. Conversely, we’ve also applauded companies and even competitors that we felt have been deserving of our praise.

    The second item we’d like to address is the statement by Mr. Basu where he claims that Geebo is no safer than any other online classifieds site. We’d like to remind not only Mr. Basu but our readers and customers that we manually review each and every listing that is posted to Geebo. That in itself cuts down on a multitude of scams and illegal activity that most other platforms are plagued by. Geebo has never taken listings for ads that can be construed as being for prostitution and even eliminated our personals section for fear of it being used for human trafficking. We’re constantly rejecting listings for illicit drugs. We even stopped accepting listings for pets to the potential of abuse from puppy mills and other instance of animal cruelty. We stopped accepting ads for firearms even though no firearms-related crimes have ever been linked to Geebo. Most recently, we started monitoring responses to ad owners through the Geebo platform in order to weed out overseas scammers. Lastly, in the almost two decades that Geebo has been in business, there has never been a reported incident of robbery, rape, assault, fraud, or murder linked to Geebo. Unfortunately, not many of our competitors take the same care for their customers as we do ours.

    While we appreciate the kind words Mr. Basu has had for us, we’d like to invite not only Mr. Basu but the users of other platforms to get to know Geebo a little better and see how proud we are of our safety records and initiatives.

     
  • Geebo 11:03 am on February 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Safety   

    Geebo introduces new feature to better protect consumers 

    Geebo introduces new feature to better protect consumers

    Since the beginning, Geebo has always had user safety in mind. Not just personal safety but financial and emotional safety as well. Many of the safety choices made by Geebo have gone against what many would consider industry standards. However, we’ve always stood by those choices and have challenged other online marketplaces to do the same. For example, other classifieds sites rely on users to flag potentially fraudulent ads. This has led to abuses of the flagging system on other sites. Instead, Geebo employs a trained staff to moderate each ad for potentially fraudulent or illegal activity and the innovation doesn’t stop there.

    In 2010, Geebo took a stand against sites like Craigslist and Backpage by engaging in an anti-human trafficking campaign designed to bring awareness to the plight of victims trafficked through Geebo’s competitors. In that same year, Geebo closed its personal ads section due to the amount of trafficking that took place in the personals section of other sites. Even though there were no reported incidents about Geebo’s personals Geebo felt the removal of the section was necessary to further ensure user safety.

    In 2011, Geebo CEO Greg Collier wrote an open letter to other online classifieds asking them to take user safety more seriously by implementing such measures as moderating ads and removing adult-oriented ads. Many of those challenges were largely unheeded by other classifieds sites until media and government pressure forced them to remove their adult sections and their other ads are still largely unmoderated.

    In January 2013, Geebo made the decision to stop accepting ads for pets. In a company blog post, CEO Greg Collier noted puppy mills that sell abused or sick animals commonly use online classifieds.

    In May 2015, Geebo partnered with the AIM Group’s SafeTrade Station initiative in order to provide a list of safe trading spots at police stations across the country. Each Geebo ad contains a link to the SafeTrade Stations website so users can find a safe location to make their transactions.

    In 2016, in response to the Orlando nightclub shooting and other mass shootings, Geebo stopped accepting ads for firearms even though no firearms-related crimes were ever linked to Geebo.

    That brings us to Geebo’s latest innovation for user safety. Since late 2018, Geebo staff have been monitoring the responses to ads made through the Geebo platform. By doing this we can determine if the responses are coming from overseas which largely indicates that the ad’s respondent is more than likely a scammer. It also allows us to detect potential fraud from inside the country since our staff is trained in the detection of the most commonly used scams. We believe this proactive stance against scammers will go a long way in protecting the safety of our customers. While other sites and apps in our industry may see this as going above and beyond the call of duty we believe it’s the most logical and needed step in consumer protection.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Safety,   

    Safety still a concern among marketplace apps OfferUp and LetGo 

    Safety still a concern among marketplace apps OfferUp and LetGo

    Just because we haven’t talked about them in a while doesn’t mean that marketplace apps OfferUp and LetGo have gotten any safer. Just within the last 24 hours, there has been a spate of stories that show safety is not guaranteed when using these relatively new apps.

    On Long Island, police recently arrested two men who were arrested for allegedly using LetGo to either rob or swindle their victims. The pair is believed to have used the app at least five times to rob their victims. This particular pair would have their victims meet them in front of a certain housing development because it was reportedly an easy way for the suspects to escape.

    In Richmond, Virginia, a man was recently arrested for allegedly robbing a man of $1000 at gunpoint. The victim thought he would be buying a car from the suspect that he saw on LetGo. The suspect and the victim met at a public transportation parking lot where the suspect said that the car ‘for sale’ was on its way. Instead, the suspect is said to have robbed the man at gunpoint. Luckily, police were nearby and were able to apprehend the suspect.

    Police in Las Vegas arrested a man that they coined ‘the blue bucket bandit’. They named him that because he would stand on top of a blue bucket in order to allegedly steal home security cameras from local residences. The man was arrested after he was spotted trying to sell the stolen equipment on OfferUp. If you unknowingly buy stolen merchandise you probably won’t be charged with a crime but the items will be returned to their rightful owner. Your only course of restitution is to try to get the money back from the thief at which point there’s a better chance you’ll never see the money again.

    Lastly, our most harrowing story comes from Cleveland, Ohio where a woman went to an OfferUp meet up to buy a TV and took her 1-year-old child with her. The man purporting to sell the TV instead robbed the woman at gunpoint and threatened her child if she did not hand over the money. the victim, in this case, met the alleged perpetrator on a public street.

    What most of these stories have in common is that the victims did not take the necessary precautions when meeting someone from these apps. While these apps may have a slicker design than a site like craigslist, that doesn’t make them any safer. While LetGo and OfferUp have better safety precautions than craigslist unless you’re meeting someone at your local police station, you are playing a dangerous game. As we’ve stated many times before, the old rules of just meeting someone in a public and well-lit place with lots of people around don’t work anymore. People using these apps have been killed in broad daylight over the most trivial of items. Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that Geebo goes one step further than most other platforms by trying to better protect our users by moderating each ad for such things as scams, stolen goods, and potential setups. We also provide a link in every ad to the SafeTrade Station program.

    We’d rather make an honest living without risking the safety of our userbase.

     
  • Geebo 9:59 am on November 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Safety, ,   

    Geebo would like you to stay safe for Thanksgiving 

    Geebo would like you to stay safe for Thanksgiving

    With a number of people looking to get an early headstart on Thanksgiving traveling we thought it would be best if we published our annual Thanksgiving safety warnings today. As most of you probably know, Thanksgiving week is one of the most dangerous holidays to travel on. The amount of alcohol-related accidents during Thanksgiving week statistically rivals that of New Year’s Eve and is only somewhat behind 4th of July weekend. With a record number of people expected to travel this weekend, those statistics may see an increase this year. Please be mindful of your consumption and if there’s any doubt in your mind whether or not you should drive please call a friend, relative or rideshare service for a lift.

    Food safety is also a concern as improperly cooked turkey has the potential to send someone to the emergency room for food poisoning. Some tips include thawing your turkey out in your refrigerator in enough time for cooking. Also if you’re handling the uncooked turkey make sure you wash your hands often. Fire is also a safety concern for the holiday as cooking accidents can result in fires. The Red Cross has some tips here that include checking your smoke alarms’ batteries and having a fire extinguisher handy. And as always if you’re going to deep fry a turkey, always make sure the turkey is thawed first or the extra moisture in the cooking oil could result in severe oil burns.

    Lastly, consider the health and welfare of your pets this Thanksgiving. While your dog or cat may be persistent in wanting some scraps from the table it’s not recommended that they’re given any turkey. Most pets are on a consistent diet which does not consist of turkey and it could imbalance their digestive systems. This includes any fat, skin or drippings from the turkey. What you can do when they beg is to keep some dry dog or cat food nearby and give that to them when they beg.

    We here at Geebo see our userbase as more than just numbers and we would like to see you all return safely from your holiday.

     
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