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  • Geebo 9:01 am on October 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: counterfeit money, Scams   

    Beware of counterfeit bills when making a classifieds transaction 

    Beware of counterfeit bills when making a classifieds transaction

    This is a scam that has been going on since the advent of online classifieds and is still going on to this day, counterfeit money. Unfortunately, it’s not just something you see happen on TV or movies. You could take all the right precautions by going to a police station to make your transaction and bringing a friend with you and still get ripped off if you’re not careful.

    Thankfully, there are many ways you can check to see if a bill is counterfeit. One of the best ways is to purchase an anti-counterfeit pen. Anyone can purchase one of these pens that when you mark a counterfeit bill with it a black mark will show up. Also don’t forget about the security measures put in place in legitimate bills such as the security stripe you can see when you hold the bill up to the light, or the red and blue fibers that can be seen in genuine US currency if you use a magnifying glass.

    Back in the early days of online classifieds there used to be the adage of “local only and cash only”. Thanks to counterfeiters you can’t even trust that adage anymore. If you find yourself a victim of a counterfeiter, call police. Do not try to pass off the money yourself as that could lead to serious jail time. Then, not only will you be out your money and your merchandise, but you’ll also be out a substantial part of your life.

     
  • Geebo 9:21 am on October 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: new york, , Scams   

    Rental scammer goes the extra mile in fleecing victims 

    Rental scammer goes the extra mile in fleecing victims

    By now, we should all know how the craigslist rental scam works. A scam artist will copy a real estate ad from a legitimate realtor then paste it into craigslist but lowering the rental price to lower than market value. The ‘renter’ will then ask for the money to be wired to them and won’t let you inspect the interior of the home. Here’s a video about how the scam normally works.

    One family from Upstate New York found themselves victims of the rental scam, but their scammer used a completely different scam. According to the family, the scam artist represented himself as a real estate agent. He allegedly showed the family the inside of the home and even had them sign a lease before taking their money. It wasn’t until some time later when the bank knocked on the family’s door asking them why they were living in the home. The scammer was said to have had multiple victims, however, performing such an elaborate scam left him a large target for police who had no trouble in apprehending him.

    Again though, the same caveats apply to this rental scam as they do the others. Do your homework. Check the county appraiser’s website to find out who is actually renting the home if it’s even for rent. And as always the age-old adage applies, if it seems to good to be true it probably is.

     
  • Geebo 10:34 am on October 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: barcodes, Scams,   

    Don’t take pictures of your tickets 

    Don't take pictures of your tickets

    In the past, we’ve talked about online ticket scams and how to protect yourself from buying fraudulent event tickets. Whether they’re to a sporting event, a concert, or a Broadway show, there are many con artists out there with a myriad of way to produce fake tickets.

    But say that you have tickets and you bought them from a legitimate retailer. You’re good to go right? Not necessarily. When some people buy tickets to an event, they’re proud of the fact they were lucky enough to find these tickets, or they’re bragging to their friends. They’ll then take pictures of the tickets, or take a selfie with them, and post them to social media. That’s when the trouble starts.

    Tickets have barcodes on them and if your picture of them is clear enough, scammers can print out realistic looking tickets with your barcode on them. Then, if they, or the people the scammers have sold the tickets to, enter the venue before you, your tickets will be rendered null and void.

    You wouldn’t post a picture of your credit card online, this is very much along those lines.

     
  • Geebo 8:55 am on October 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , montana, repackaging, Scams,   

    Beware of new work at home repackaging scam 

    Beware of new work at home repackaging scam

    Many work at home job offers that you might find online are scams. In most of those cases, the scam is designed to either get you to pay money up front for ‘materials’ or some kind of background check. Again, you should never have to pay to apply for a legitimate job. However, a new twist on the work at home scam has been reported out of Montana and many of the state’s residents have fallen victim to it.

    In this new scam, the supposed job is that of a ‘repackager’. The ‘company’ sends products to your home then asks you to repackage them and mail the products to their destination address. The problem is that these products have been bought with stolen credit card information. Instead of having the items sent to the thieves themselves, they instead have them sent to an unwitting person who thinks they’re just doing the job asked of them. The victim then unknowingly repackages the products and sends them to the destination intended by the thieves. The victim has then transferred stolen goods and of course, the victim never gets paid.

    This isn’t just a stolen goods scam either. When a victim applies for this kind of job they’re asked to submit their social security number, address and a copy of their driver’s license. That in turn leads to identities being stolen scamming the victim twice in one go. If you believe you have been the victim of this scam it is recommended that you contact your local police.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on September 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams   

    New season for the Netflix phishing scam 

    New season for the Netflix phishing scam

    Much like the flu, phishing scams have their own seasons as well. They’ll go away for a while, lay low, then start sending out their legitimate looking emails again. These emails look like they come from legitimate websites and always ask you to update your information. This time around, the phishing emails appear to come from popular video streaming service Netflix.

    According to The Guardian, the emails appear to be coming from the email address of supportnetflix@checkinformation(dot)com. That should be your first tip that this is a scam. If Netflix were to send you an email it would be from a Netlfix.com email address. The email tells you that you need to update your financial information which should be another red flag. If you click on the link it takes you to a legitimate looking website with a form to update your payment information, but if you look at the address in your browser bar, it will not be at Netflix.com. If you ever do need to update any kind of user information on any website, always go to the website directly and never click an email link.

    In researching this story, it seems that this exact phishing scam happened around the country about 8 months ago as well.

    Like previously stated, these scams are cyclical and need to be watched out for at all times.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on September 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams   

    With new iPhones comes old scams 

    With new iPhones comes old scams

    It can hardly be argued that no company has a more loyal userbase than that of Apple. While the days of camping out in front of Apple stores may be a thing of the past, that doesn’t stop the devoted Apple fans from wanting to get their hands on Apple’s latest device as soon as possible and as cheaply as possible. This week, Apple unveiled a new line of iPhones in the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, and whenever Apple unveils a new iPhone you can count on the scammers to try to take advantage of those who are trying to obtain one.

    The scams that involve iPhones aren’t new scams, just twists on the same old scams. Mostly it will be people trying to get you to wire money to someone through Western Union or Moneygram in order to get the phone. As always, we recommend never wiring money to someone you don’t know personally, otherwise the scammers run off with your money and there will be no iPhone in your future.

    Some red flags to be aware of are things that indicate the ad poster may be from overseas. They can be little things as posting the + symbol before a phone number, or specifying prices in USD. Another good indicator the poster may be from overseas is if they list their WhatsApp number, as WhatsApp is not as popular in the US as it is overseas. Also look out for severely lowered prices for new iPhones with an accompanying story that says something like “A relative bought me this phone but I already had one”.

    If you’re an Apple fan, it may be better to just be patient and stick out the wait until Apple’s supply of iPhones levels off, or even skipping a generation until the prices become more affordable.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams   

    Beware of scams in the wake of Hurricane Harvey 

    Beware of scams in the wake of Hurricane Harvey

    Natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey often bring out the best in humanity with many people donating time, money, resources and even blood to help the victims who have been ravaged by the storm. Unfortunately, it also brings out the worst in humanity with people trying to not only scam the victims of the storm, but those who are willing to open their hearts and wallets to the victims.

    Victims of the storm need to be aware of fake contractors offering to repair their homes. A lot of people will approach storm damaged homes claiming to be contractors, however, almost anyone can claim to be one. Avoid paying contractors up front in full and try to stick with with people you know or people who have been recommended to you. Displaced storm victims also have to be aware of rental scams as well. As usual, don’t ever wire money to a prospective landlord and don’t trust anyone who won’t let you see the property first before renting.

    Lastly, for those of you wanting to donate to relief funds for the victims, be careful for a number of scams looking to take advantage of you. Stick with known charities like the Red Cross. The City of Houston also has its own relief fund you can donate directly too.

    Being a smarter consumer not only helps the victims of the hurricane but will also help keep these scams from propagating in the future.

     
  • Geebo 9:05 am on August 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Scams,   

    New wrinkle on old tech support scam appearing 

    New wrinkle on old tech support scam appearing

    If you’re not familiar with the tech support scam, here’s how it works. You’re on your computer, browsing the web when all of a sudden a pop-up appears. It says something to the effect of you have a virus and you need to call a Microsoft technician right away. It then provides you with a toll-free number. When you call the number, someone says they’ll remove the virus remotely for a nominal fee. It’s a complete scam as Microsoft never asks you to call them for anything.

    Now, there’s been a new aspect added to this scam. According to reports coming out of Virginia, the scammers are asking for a new form of payment, then asking for additional payment on top of it. First the scammers ask you to buy a Steam gift card. Steam is a PC gaming platform and games can be bought with the gift cards. They’ll ask you for the Steam card’s serial number as the form of payment. Then they’ll say the number on the Steam card is invalid and they’ll give you a refund, but you need to then buy an iTunes gift card and give them that serial number. If you’ve made it that far, they’ll gain remote access of your computer and search for any vital information they can capitalize on. They’ll then sell the serial numbers to the two gift cards you purchased on the black market. So at this point, not only are you out of whatever money you spent on the cards, but you could have also exposed your financial information.

    Gift cards have become the new currency among scammers as of late. They’re easy to get and are virtually untraceable once the serial numbers are taken and sold. If you see any of these pop-ups that say you have a virus, never call the number on the pop-up. You should be able to restart your computer and you’ll be fine. More than likely you don’t have a virus in the first place, but just to make sure run a scan with your antivirus software.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on August 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: college, education, financial aid, Scams   

    College students need an education about these scams 

    College students need an education about these scams

    The beginning of the school year for most college students is fast approaching. With that comes a number of concerns not just for returning students, but especially for those heading to college for the first time. As with any life changing moment, there are unfortunately a great number of scammers looking to take students for a financial ride.

    A number of these scams are variations on scams we’ve touched on before. For example, if a student is looking for an off campus place to live and a prospective landlord asks for money in advance without letting them see the property, then it’s obviously a scam. Along the same lines, if a student has placed an online ad looking for a roommate and receives a check for an amount larger than they requested, the check is obviously fake and cashing it could overdraw your own bank account. Other scams are targeted directly at students, like an offer for financial assistance or employment, where money is asked for up front for things like processing fees or background checks. As with most scams, if something doesn’t feel right, or feels too good to be true, it’s better to walk away from it than taking a chance with your finances.

    There are also some things that may not be scams that still look to take advantage of students such as credit card offers. While the offer for a credit card may be legitimate, the card may carry a high interest rate. Another great tip for students is to keep their identification and bank cards secure at all times as dorm rooms can be high traffic areas for identity thieves.

    Hopefully this knowledge will go a long way in helping college students have a less stressful school year.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on August 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: missing pets, Scams   

    Watch out for this scam if you’ve lost a pet 

    Watch out for this scam if you've lost a pet

    In the summer months, our pets spend even more time outside. Unfortunately, that also increases the chance of them running off. Very few things are more heartbreaking than losing a beloved family pet and not knowing where they are or what has happened to them. In our modern technical age it’s easy to take to social media or online classifieds to post virtual missing posters for your pet and they can be helpful. However, there are people lurking out there looking for just such an opportunity to scam you.

    Scammers are always on the lookout to take advantage of such tragedies. Loss of a pet is no different to them than any other moment where they seek to capitalize on your grief in order to make money. If you post your missing pet’s information online along with your phone number you could get a text from someone claiming to have your pet, but they will only return them if you send them money. They don’t have your pet though. So if you send them money you won’t get your pet back and you’ll be out the money.

    The best thing to do if you receive one of these texts is to ask the person for a photo of your pet. If they make some excuse as to why they can’t send a picture they’re more than likely a con artist. You can also better protect yourself by omitting some of the identifying marks on your pet from the description. This will better allow you to tell if someone really does have your missing pet. And as always, never wire any money or send any prepaid debit or gift card numbers to the caller.

     
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