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  • Geebo 10:01 am on February 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , scam   

    Why online modeling jobs are bad news 

    Why online modeling jobs are bad news

    Earlier this week, we put up a blog post about two girls from California were saved from potential human traffickers after being offered a bogus modeling job. More recently, another modeling scam appeared, this time in Michigan where someone was offering modeling jobs on craigslist and Facebook for a store whose owner had no idea their store was being used in a scam. While the false promises of modeling jobs are often used by human traffickers, they’re used by online predators as well.

    While those are drastic situations, there are other modeling scams that involve trying to get you to spend money on things you shouldn’t have to. For example, many ads for modeling jobs that you’ll find online or hear about on the radio aren’t jobs at all. There actually more of a sales pitch to get you to buy things like classes and photos, but only through them.

    While you may be able to find one or two legitimate modeling jobs online, for the most part legitimate modeling jobs are done through modeling agencies. If someone is advertising for models on craigslist it’s more than likely they don’t have the best intentions in mind to say the least. The Federal Trade Commission website has some tips on how not to get scammed by modeling ads.

     
  • Geebo 10:28 am on January 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , scam   

    Fake lift ticket scams hitting the slopes 

    Fake lift ticket scams hitting the slopes

    With winter weather hitting the country hard recently, a number of people are using it as an opportunity to hit the ski slopes in many of the nation’s ski resorts. Unfortunately, scammers are also using this opportunity to defraud those looking for a fun time in the snow. In Colorado, there have been reports of phony lift tickets being sold on craigslist.

    This particular lift ticket scam works the same way many phony ticket scams do. The scammer purchases the tickets using a stolen credit card hoping they get the tickets before the fraudulent charges are caught. They then advertise the tickets for a deep discount. However, when the buyer reaches the slopes, the phony charges have been caught by then and the tickets are rendered null and void leaving many skiers and snowboarders stranded at the bottom of the hill.

    It’s not just ski resorts that deal with this problem either. Many vacation hotspots such as theme parks have encountered this scam as well.

    When buying any kind of vacation ticket, stick to purchasing the tickets from authorized vendors or the destination itself. If a price online seems too good or comes with some kind of story attached, it is more than likely too good to be true.

     
  • Geebo 9:58 am on December 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Santa Barbara, scam   

    Craigslist used in multi-million dollar real estate scam 

    Craigslist used in multi-million dollar real estate scam

    Real estate scams are nothing new for craigslist. They’ve been going on for almost as long as the website has been around. As we’ve detailed in the past, the way these scams normally work is someone posts an ad for a property for rent at a price often deemed too good to be true. The scammer then usually offers some excuse as to why they can’t show the home and asks for some kind of deposit or application fee. Then it turns out that they don’t even own the property. However, a couple from California were recently indicted in federal court for exploiting people for millions of dollars using a new twist on the old scam.

    49-year-old Michael Davenport and 51-year-old Cynthia Rawlinson of Santa Barbara, California have been indicted in federal court for running a real estate scam that allegedly bilked thousands of people out of close to $27 million. How the scam is said to have worked is that the pair, doing business under several company names such as MDSQ Productions, LLC, Housing Standard, LLC, Anchor House Financial, American Standard, American Standard Online, and Your American Standard, would post ads on craigslist about properties for sale and rent at bargain prices. Once someone would inquire about the property they would be told that they would have to purchase the company’s list of properties. The problem with the list was that many of the properties were not owned by any of the companies and some were even said to be non-existent. This scam is said to have gone on for seven years before any charges were finally brought against the alleged scammers.

    This really should come as no surprise as when one thinks of committing real estate scams the first place they probably think of pulling it off is craigslist. Due to the fact that craigslist never seems to review their ads for potential fraud, nor doesn’t appear to do anything else to dissuade fraudulent ads, it makes craigslist the perfect breeding ground for scams large and small.

     
  • Geebo 10:08 am on December 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , scam   

    Beware the phony iPhone X 

    Beware the phony iPhone X

    Since the iPhone X has been released it has been touted by some in the Apple ecosystem as the greatest cell phone ever invented, while others have said the iPhone 8 is an upgrade enough. However, if you find yourself in the market for an iPhone X, you should be on the lookout for phony knock off versions of the popular phone being sold online.

    One man in Chandler, Arizona, fell victim to one of these knock offs. He purchased the phone from someone on the OfferUp app. The seller had a good reputation on OfferUp which could possibly lead one to believe that seller reviews on OfferUp could be faked. The box was sealed, the package had a serial number and an IMEI number which was said to have been verified. The man paid under the list price of $1000 which should have been a tip-off. No one is selling an iPhone X at a loss. The scam became obvious when the man fired up the phone and an Android prompt greeted him. Android is the Google made operating system used by most phones that aren’t iPhones, while iPhones use Apple’s iOS. These knock off phones have been around even before the iPhone X was released.

    While OfferUp has removed the alleged seller from their app, what’s stopping them from creating a new account to start the scam all over again? As slick and glitzy as the OfferUp app might be it still seems to have the same old problems like the antiquated craigslist, rampant crime and scams galore. The more things change the more they stay the same.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on October 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Houston Astros, scam, , world series   

    Family tricked into buying fake World Series tickets from craigslist 

    Family tricked into buying fake World Series tickets

    How about that World Series huh? A lot of people have been calling one of the best World Series in a long time. Wouldn’t it have been great to see the thrilling nail biter game 5 live in Houston? Or how about the possible Astros victory during game 6 in Los Angeles tomorrow night. You might be thinking about running out to try to get tickets, but remember there are a ton of fakes out there.

    For example, a family in Texas bought a number of tickets from a man on craigslist. The man even met them at Minute Maid park in Houston. The family even tried to have the ticket booth review them for authenticity. They were told that the tickets seemed to be legitimate. However when they tried to enter game 3 they were turned away at the gate with the tickets turning out to be fraudulent.

    Usually how scammers get their hands on authentic looking but fraudulent tickets is that they use stolen credit cards to buy the tickets. The purchase is usually then cancelled by the actual credit card holder and the tickets are voided but the scammer still has the paper tickets. When buying tickets to a major event like a world series you should only deal with reputable dealers and resellers. Otherwise, you may just find yourself in the parking lot of a historic game you can’t attend having lost a great deal of money with noting to show for it.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on July 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , scam   

    The cost of online rental scams 

    The cost of online rental scams

    A number of people tend to think that the real estate rental scams that take place online are no big deal. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Currently, southwestern Florida is experiencing a surge in these rental scams. The scam is the same one that’s been plaguing certain classifieds sites for years. A con artist, or artists, will copy an ad from a property that’s being sold and change the ad to make it appear that the property is for rent. Then the scammers will claim to be renting it at a reduced price that’s hard to resist. On top of that, they’ll try to lure in people who are either undocumented in this country or people with low credit scores. Of course the scammers will put restrictions on how you deal with them such as only contacting them through email or not letting you view the property before sending them some form of down payment or processing fee.

    WFTV in Florida supposes that if one of these scammers collected the $310 ‘processing fee’ that the scammers are asking from two people a day, the scammers could end up with a quarter million dollars in a short amount of time. That’s not even taking into account the victims who will not only be out of their money but could also find themselves without a place to live.

    The best way to find out who the true owners of the property are and if it’s for rent is to go to your county’s appraiser website. However, the best way not to get scammed is to not use that certain classifieds site that is the flame to the moth for real estate scammers.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on July 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bees, , , scam   

    Camper full of bees 

    Camper full of bees

    This past Friday, we posted about scams involving campers that usually involve trying to steal your money. However, a family in Texas fell prey to an entirely unheard of scam that also involved a camper. The family was desperate to find a housing solution and purchased a pair of campers to live in at an RV park. They found the campers on a less than reputable classifieds site; I’m sure you could guess which one. The seller told them all the electrical work was new and the plumbing was new, but the family couldn’t check that out since the campers weren’t hooked up to anything. They took the seller at his word. When they got the trailers back to the RV park it turned out the water didn’t work at all. That was after they discovered the beehive that filled the trailer with bees overnight.

    Here is a dramatic reenactment of the discovery.

    All joking aside, after the campers were sold to them, the family found themselves with little recourse. The website they used said they wouldn’t intervene since the ad had been deleted. The seller is said to have stopped taking phone calls from the family.

    When inspecting a vehicle or camper from classifieds sites, don’t take the seller’s word at face value. If they say to trust them, you shouldn’t. It sounds very pessimistic, but unfortunately that’s the world we live in today. On unmoderated classifieds sites, there are tons of con artists looking to prey on desperate people who need something that lives may depend on. Also, if you find yourself on the raw end of a deal like this, you should not only contact local law enforcement to see what can be done (use the non-emergency number), but you can also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on July 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , scam   

    Beware the camper scam this summer 

    Beware the camper scam this summer

    During the summer months, a lot families like to go camping and to do that, a number of families will look online to buy a camper they can tow behind their car or truck. Online fraudsters are acutely aware of this fact and will use their usual tricks of the trade to try to scam you out of thousands of dollars.

    For example a man in Colorado was planning just such a trip and went to the classifieds site most often connected with these scams. He kept making inquiries into various campers that were supposedly for sale and he kept running into similar stories over and over again. The sellers were either claiming they were deployed military personnel, or were getting ready to deploy, or they were getting rid of the camper cheap after the death of a loved one. In every case the seller was looking to get rid of the camper quickly and at a cheaper than normal price. Some sellers even asked him to wire money in order to put a deposit on a camper. This scam is not just limited to the Colorado area and has been going on for some time as this video from two years ago will attest.

    Thankfully, this man was able to recognize the signs of an online scam. In this case the signs were the claims of military deployment, convoluted stories in order to evoke an emotional response, and the wiring of funds. These are scams that have been used since almost the dawn of online retail that you should always look out for. As we and many others always say, trust your instincts. Always walk away from a deal if it doesn’t feel right to you. If you do that, the worst thing that will happen is you get to keep your money. Conversely, if you do fall for these scams, you could find yourself out of money with nothing to show for it.

     
  • Geebo 10:37 am on February 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , scam,   

    Google ad for Amazon was actually link to scam site 

    Google ad for Amazon was actually link to scam site

    Many tech news sites are reporting that there was a false ad for Amazon this past week when you searched for the retail giant on Google. The ad, that would come first in the search results, did not take you to Amazon, but instead took to you to a site that tried to perpetrate a tech support scam.

    If you went to the site on a Windows computer the site would emulate the infamous blue screen of death and advise you to call a tech support number. If you were in an Apple computer you’d receive a warning that your machine had been infected by ransomware and again be given a number to call. As long as you didn’t call the number your machine would be relatively ok.

    This scam has been around for about as long as the internet has. Fictitious sites would inundate you with pop ups telling you that your computer had been infected with some kind of malware and if you call an ‘official’ tech support number your computer will be fixed. When you call the number usually a ‘technician’ would gain access to your computer remotely with your permission and would use that opportunity to root around your computer for any information worth stealing.

    The problem with this particular scam is that it was perpetrated through Google, possibly the most perceived legitimate site on the internet. Google says that the problem has fixed but still leaves users concerned since this fake ad made it through their screening purpose. In the future users may want to not click on ads on Google’s search page and instead click on the listings instead, at least for now.

     
  • Geebo 11:02 am on February 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: credit report, , scam   

    Beware of new twist on rental scam 

    Beware of new twist on rental scam

    Previously, if you’ve responded to an ad for a rental property from less than reputable classifieds sites, you may have come across a certain scam. The scam artists posing as the renter would say that you can’t see the property due to dubious reasons but would ask you for a rather large deposit. An unsuspecting victim would pay the deposit only to find out that the property isn’t actually for rent.

    Now, the Federal Trade Commission is reporting that a new twist in this old scam has appeared. Instead of having victims pay for deposits, they now have them pay for credit reports to companies that the scammers owned as part of a non-existent background check. The scammers will try to keep the address of the property hidden due to ‘security reasons’.

    As usual the same caveats remain with any of these scams. If the price seems too good to be true it probably is. If something feels wrong during the transaction, don’t be afraid to walk away. It’s better to be disappointed than out of a ton of money and possibly scrambling for shelter.

     
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