Tagged: Scams Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 10:06 am on June 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 419 Scam, Nigerian Scams, Operation Wire Wire, Scams   

    FBI busts major cyber-scam ring 

    FBI busts major cyber-scam ring

    Most of us are aware of the Nigerian Prince email scams also known as the 419 Scam. It’s been a well-known scam since the dawn of the internet. It usually takes the form of someone claiming in an e-mail that they need your help in getting a large sum of money out of their country promising you a large share of that money. However, they need your help in the form of paying for various hurdles required to get the money released. As you can probably ascertain, no large fortune exists and the victim is out in upwards of thousands of dollars typically. While the 419 scam has become the stuff of comedy these days that doesn’t mean the scammers have gone away. Instead, they have moved on to new scams and new targets.

    Recently, the FBI announced the results of an initiative called Operation Wire Wire where a major organized crime ring that specialized in e-mail scams had been arrested. In total 74 people had been arrested including 42 in the U.S., 29 in Nigeria, and 3 in various other countries. Instead of targeting gullible victims looking for a quick payday this new generation of scammers target businesses and executives by posing as intermediaries in high-dollar business deals. This recent operation by investigators was able to reclaim $14 million in wire transfers, the scammers preferred method of payment.

    However, some of the old scams still proliferate inside our inboxes. These can include romance scams where someone from overseas poses as a romantic interest who needs money to escape a fictitious situation where they need to escape their country. Also, beware of unsolicited lottery scams where someone tells you that you’ve won some lottery or sweepstakes that you weren’t even aware you had entered. While this bust by the FBI may have stopped a major ring there are still many others out there.

     
  • Geebo 9:58 am on June 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams   

    Craigslist modeling job turns into blackmail 

    Craigslist modeling job turns into blackmail

    We’ve posted about online modeling job scams in the past, specifically those found on craigslist. At the very least these scams could rip you off for thousands of dollars on phony classes or portfolios. For instance, a lot of those radio ads you hear for modeling jobs are actually just sales pitches for these services. In some drastic but not unheard of cases some online modeling ads are actually trying to lure victims into the world of human trafficking.

    One of the other modeling scam outcomes we haven’t discussed yet is blackmail. One woman in Fort Worth, Texas, unfortunately, found this out the hard way. The 22-year-old woman responded to a craigslist ad for a supposed modeling agency. The alleged agency asked her to send some risqué photos including those in various states of undress. However, the agency turned out to not be an agency at all but instead was just one man who threatened to post the photos to social media if the victim didn’t supply more. The victim went to police who are currently investigating the matter.

    Blackmailers typically don’t expect people to go to police out of fear of embarrassment and sadly, this has become an increasingly common occurrence among modeling ads. While there are legitimate modeling opportunities online, they are few and far between compared to all the ads that promise fame and fortune. On the FTC website, there is a page dedicated to how to not only protect yourself from modeling scams like this but also how to tell if a modeling agency is a fake.

     
  • Geebo 9:12 am on May 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , deployed military, Scams, sob story   

    Avoid the sob story when it comes to classifieds 

    Avoid the sob story when it comes to classifieds

    One of the most prolific ways online scammers try to prey on their victims is by tugging at their heartstrings. As long as online classifieds have been around con artists have been trying to fleece victims out of their money by posing as people who are generally trusted by their communities. For example, in many communities where many of its people are religious, con artists will pose as missionaries who are out of the country then try to either get you to pay them through a wire transfer or try to pay you with a phony over-the-price check. Another pervasive scam is someone posing as a member of the military.

    Recently, the Minneapolis StarTribune reported about a scam that hit almost all the sob story checkboxes. The scammer posted a craigslist ad that claimed to be selling a boat. When a prospective buyer contacted the scammer, the scammer not only claimed they needed to sell the boat by May 30th because they were supposedly being deployed overseas, but they also claimed to be going through a divorce. The scammer also claimed that the boat was being kept at an eBay warehouse and all transactions would be handled through eBay. If the sob story and rush to payment weren’t enough red flags, the eBay warehouse should be a dead giveaway. While vehicles can be bought and sold through eBay, they do not have warehouses. More than likely the scammer would have sent a fake email that would have looked like an official email from eBay, but in reality, the email would link to a website that looks like eBay but is a fake designed to get your money and your personal information.

    While there are many people out there who are in dire need of some kind of financial assistance, there are unfortunately those who look to prey on our spirit of generosity. Always do your research when coming across these situations online as a mistake could leave you in financial straits.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forged title, Scams,   

    Beware buying a car with a phony title 

    Beware buying car with a phony title

    When buying a used car online the main scams you had to worry about were either wiring money to a scam artist when the car doesn’t actually exist or buying a car that’s been stolen. Now a report is coming put of Texas that tells of a different elaborate scam that could leave you just as broke.

    According to the report, scammers are buying cars from junkyards that have been declared unrepairable and the car’s title is supposed to reflect this. Instead, the scammers get the cars running again and forge titles that say the cars are street worthy. They then list the cars for sale on less than reputable websites well below market value. Once the buyer takes the title to the DMV they find out that the car has been condemned, can not be driven on the street, and the only way the buyer can recoup some of their loss is to sell the car for parts.

    Remember, when purchasing a used car online, always be wary of a price that seems too good to be true. More often than not, those deals turn out to be scams. Before buying any car you should ask for the car’s VIN number and check it with one of the many services that provides a car’s history. Steps like this may take some extra time but in the long run will save you from losing thousands of dollars on a car that shouldn’t be on the market to begin with.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on January 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Scams   

    New gift card scam on the rise 

    New gift card scam on the rise

    With the holidays having just passed it’s almost a guarantee that many of us have gift cards looking to burn a hole in our pockets. While gift cards make a convenient gift to give and receive unfortunately, there are some risks inherent with gift cards these days. In the past. we’ve discussed such scams as people wanting gift cards as payment for either items or services. This practice is discouraged as once you give someone the gift card’s serial number they can make off with the value of the card without having to provide you with anything.

    Another common gift card scam is the gift card exchange. These are places or offers online who ask to buy your unwanted gift cards. Again, the scam here is mostly the same where the scammers will try to get the card number before paying you anything and once that value of the card is gone there is no way to get it back. If you have a gift card to a merchant you don’t normally patronize, think about giving it to someone who does or donating it to charity.

    However, a newer and even quick scam is being reported by both the Better Business Bureau and the FBI that rips you off before you even make it back to you car. According to reports, these scammers go into the stores that sell gift cards and scratch off the strips hiding the card’s number. Once that particular card is activated, the scammers are able to automatically steal that card’s value. So if you’re purchasing a gift card, make sure the card’s safety strip hasn’t been scratched off already.

     
  • Geebo 9:55 am on November 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , RV, Scams   

    BBB reports uptick in Facebook Marketplace scams 

    BBB reports uptick in Facebook Marketplace scams

    The Better Business Bureau has recently reported that they’ve received an increased amount in complaints about Facebook Marketplace. Specifically, the complaints the BBB has been receiving are about big-ticket recreational vehicles like RVs and trailers.

    The scams work the same way that they’ve been working on craigslist. The seller will set up a fake Facebook profile and list an RV for sale. They’ll have some story as to why they’re selling the RV like they’re out of the country or they’re deployed in the military. Then they’ll try to have you pay for the RV with some form of unusual payment such as wiring the money or paying with prepaid credit cards or gift cards. Both methods of payment are virtually untraceable.

    Again, this is just another symptom of the larger problem of classified ads on other sites not being moderated. Facebook moderates their site for all sorts of content violations yet they’re taking the hands off approach when it comes to Marketplace. Then again, what do you expect from the company that took foreign currency payments for American political ads?

     
  • 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: , , 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.

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel