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  • Geebo 10:00 am on January 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , prop money, Scams,   

    Movie money props used in craigslist scams 

    Movie money props used in craigslist scams

    Police in Stafford County, Virginia, are reporting an uptick in crimes involving counterfeit money. There have been at least two reports of people who were selling an item on craigslist who were paid in phony cash. Not just any phony cash mind you, but bills that were specifically printed to only be used in theatrical or film production. So how did movie prop money end up in the hands of con artists? It’s actually easier than you think.

    Most movie prop houses work closely with the Secret Service to make sure that their fake money looks legitimate on screen but no so real that it can be passed off as the real thing. In the past, it may have been difficult and expensive to obtain such prop money, however, in these days where anyone with a camera-enabled smartphone where just about anyone could make a movie, prop money has become much more easy to obtain. For example, one movie prop company will sell you a $10,000 stack of prop $100 bills for just $25.00. While the bills could not obviously fool professionals, they have been known to fool many an average consumer. Here’s a video that goes into great detail showing the differences between prop money and the real thing.

    Of course, there are several ways to prevent yourself from being ripped off like this. The first and most important is to always meet the buyer at a local police station. While not foolproof, a scammer is less likely to try to pull something like this when there are several police officers around. The second thing is to inspect the money for markings that say something like “For motion picture use only” or something to that effect. Lastly, there are markers you can buy that if you mark the money with them they can tell you if the money is real or not. Since just about anyone can buy this prop money, just about anyone can be fooled by it. So don’t be just anyone. Also, you probably shouldn’t use craigslist as it’s rife with scammers like this.

     
  • Geebo 10:37 am on January 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dallas Cowboys, , , Scams,   

    Man loses close to $1000 on fake Cowboys playoff tickets from OfferUp 

    Man loses close to $1000 on fake Cowboys playoff tickets from OfferUp

    With the NFL season getting ready to draw to a close a number of teams still in the hunt for that elusive Super Bowl Championship. One of those teams is the Dallas Cowboys who came out victorious against the Seattle Seahawks this past weekend. Tickets for the NFL playoffs game are selling at a premium no matter which team you may be rooting for but as one Cowboys fan found out not all ticket sellers are legitimate.

    While many Cowboys fans were watching America’s Team beat the Seahawks this past Saturday, one man and his girlfriend were turned away the gate of AT&T Stadium for having phony tickets. The man had purchased the tickets from a seller he had found through the marketplace app OfferUp for $900. The seller was said to have not only produced legitimate looking tickets to the game but also produced a receipt and credit card that had numbers matching those used to originally purchased the tickets. Sadly, as we posted about at the beginning of this NFL season, this scam has become all too common. More than likely the scammer purchased the tickets using a stolen credit card before the card was reported stolen. The tickets are then issued before the credit card is reported stolen and once the card is reported stolen the tickets are made null and void. However, since the tickets appear to be the genuine article fans looking to get into a high demand game are being taken for a fortune.

    Much like any other item you may purchase through a classifieds site or app, there are steps you can take to prevent yourself from being swindled. For example, you can ask the seller to meet you at a local police station since many stations have areas set up for just such a transaction. You can also try to take a picture of the seller prior to the transaction. If the seller protests at any of this then the tickets advertised may not be your best bet. In the long run, don’t let your passion for your favorite team cloud your judgment when it comes to buying expensive tickets. Most times you’re better off buying the tickets from the box office or authorized resellers.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on January 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Scams   

    iPhone users receiving spoofed calls from Apple in latest phishing attack 

    iPhone users receiving spoofed calls from Apple in latest phishing attack

    Another sophisticated scam seems to be targeting Apple users once again. In the past few weeks, we’ve posted about how one phishing attack targeted Mac users by directing users to log into a site that looks like Apple’s website but then steals your Apple user ID and Password. Then we posted about another scam where a phony app from the iOS App Store posed as an app to help you get an Amazon Echo activated but instead asked you for more information than such an app needed. Now, an even more insidious scam is targeting iPhone users once again.

    In this latest attack, iPhone users are reporting receiving calls that appear to come from Apple’s official support number. An automated message then informs the iPhone user that Apple user IDs have been compromised and directs the user to call a different toll-free number. The additional phone number appears to go overseas and may be connected to a team of scammers who may be trying to obtain personal information, money for ‘fixing’ the problem, or both.

    As can be expected with these types of scams, Apple has said that they never call their customers out of the blue like this. With the ever-increasing advent of spoofed phone numbers and robocalling, these scams are becoming more prevalent by the day> many of these scams seem to be disproportionately targeting Apple users since Apple devices can be rather expensive which in turn can make Apple users lucrative targets. If you’re an iPhone user and you receive a call like this, call Apple back directly and do not call the number from the automated message. You worked hard to be able to afford that iPhone so why let someone take advantage of you?

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on January 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams, , shimming, white van scam   

    Shimming, white vans, and employment scams 

    Shimming, white vans, and employment scams

    Today, we’re bringing you three scams from around the country that may also affect you in your area.

    The first is what’s called shimming. If you’re the type that wiggles the card slots at gas pumps and ATMs to check for card skimmers, you have a new concern about your credit card. Much like skimming, in shimming the scammers place a device in the card reader that reads the new security chips on credit and debit cards instead of the magnetic strip. If you’re thinking the new chips were supposed to make cards more secure you are correct, however, the scammers were quick to crack the chip. One of the ways you can tell if a card reader you’re using has been shimmed is if the card feels too tight when put into the card reader. If so, cancel the transaction immediately.

    The second scam we have today is a scam that predates the internet but is still going on today. It’s called the white van scam and usually involves knock off or stolen electronics. Back in the pre-internet era, this scam would involve someone trying to sell you stereo components at a steep discount but now the scam usually offers discounted ‘high end’ TVs or other modern electronics. The scammers will claim that they work for a legitimate retailer or company and say that they have too much inventory and need to sell these units at a discounted price. As with most scams, they will try to pressure you hard into purchasing one of the items from their vehicle. These scammers tend to target their victims in strip mall parking lots and other locations near ATMs.

    Lastly, the secret shopper employment scam has made the news again. While many retailers do employ secret shoppers to review the work retail staff, these jobs aren’t as readily available as the internet may have you think. Recently, a woman from Greensboro, North Carolina, almost fell for this scam. The so-called secret shopper service sent her a check for thousands of dollars and asked her to use the money to buy gift cards at retailers. She was then supposed to send the gift cards back to the secret shopping service and keep some of the money for herself as payment. Of course, there are two red flags that the woman noticed and that was the fact of the scammers asking her to deposit a check and send them gift cards. Both are well-known scams as if she had deposited the phony check and spent the money she would have been responsible for the money owed to her bank. Not only that but the scammers would have received the gift cards and used the fraudulently purchased gift cards as they saw fit.

     
  • Geebo 10:06 am on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: crowdfunding, , New Jersey, Scams   

    NJ proposes crowdfunding scam law after GoFundMe debacle 

    NJ proposes crowdfunding scam law after GoFundMe debacle

    If you’ll recall, you may remember hearing a story in the news about a New Jersey couple who raised close to $500,000 on crowdfunding site GoFundMe in order to help a homeless veteran that they claimed showed them kindness in a time of distress. The story made national headlines and even resulted in the trio being interviewed on several national news reports. Then as the months went by after the story was initially reported it was discovered that most of the story was fake. The man was a homeless veteran but he was talked into the scam by the couple. Now, all three are facing charges of fraud. GoFundMe has stated that there is very little fraud on their platform and have refunded donors to the fraudulent campaign and vow to assist law enforcement when it comes to phony campaigns. Now, one New Jersey legislator is trying to make it so it never reaches that point.

    New Jersey State Assemblyman Ron Dancer has introduced a bill that would increase the penalties for crowdfunding theft in the Garden State. The bill calls for a $500 fine for each fraudulent contribution collected. Considering how many people donated to the fraudulent campaign that could rack up a very hefty fine in no time. The bill also suggests that the money collected through fines could be used to assist New Jersey citizens who are in danger of losing their homes. While the law is noble in its intentions could it have unintended consequences? Could it be applied to failed campaigns on sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo if the campaign failed to deliver its promised product? If so then the bill would definitely need some fine tuning.

    As far as consumers go, should you be wary of crowdfunding campaigns like this? Absolutely. While GoFundMe maintains that fraud is low on their platform that doesn’t mean it’s non-existent. If a story sounds too good to be true or farfetched it probably is. You don’t have to donate to a campaign just because everyone else is. While it’s important to be charitable when someone is down on their luck it’s just as important to protect yourself from being fleeced by a phony sob story.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on December 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Scams   

    Fake Alexa app invades Apple app store 

    Fake Alexa app invades Apple app store

    If you were one of the scores of people who received the Amazon Echo for Christmas, you may want to make sure it was set up correctly. When you first set up your Echo device you need to use a smartphone or tablet app that is directly from Amazon itself. If you used a third-party app that wasn’t from Amazon you may have divulged a little more information that you should have and not to Amazon.

    It was reported yesterday that an app called “Setup for Amazon Alexa” rushed to the top of the Apple App Store’s popular apps after Christmas. The problem with this app is that not only was it not from Amazon but the app asked for much more information that should be given to a random app from the App Store, but you had to give it permission to collect all sorts of data from your iPhone or iPad in order to get your Echo to ‘work’. Of course, the app didn’t actually activate an Echo and received many complaints from Apple users.

    This is unusual for Apple as they have a very stringent process for allowing apps into their App Store. The app has since been pulled from the store but more than likely the damage has already been done to iOS users who already installed the malicious app to their Apple devices. If you are setting up any kind of device in your home that requires a mobile app to activate the device, always use the app from the manufacturer. If you’re having trouble finding it in the app store, go to the manufacturer’s website and they should have a link to the app you need. Below is a video showing you the proper way to activate your Amazon Echo.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on December 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams   

    Gift cards may not be the greatest gift idea anymore 

    Gift cards may not be the greatest gift idea anymore

    We’ve talked about gift card scams many times before, but usually, they were about how you should never pay for any online classifieds transaction using gift cards. The reason for that is once you give the fake seller your gift card numbers the scammers then empty the balance of the gift card and never ship the item. Now, with the Christmas holiday behind us and many of us giving or receiving gift cards, there’s a newer scam that consumers should be concerned about.

    If you received a gift card as a present this year, you may want to use it as quick as you can. With this newer scam thieves are getting the numbers off of the gift cards before they’re even purchased. The scammers then monitor the card numbers waiting for the cards to be activated. Once the card is activated the scammers are able to easily and quickly deplete the card of funds. In most cases, there’s little the card vendors or the store that sold them can do.

    While no tip is foolproof, there are ways to better protect yourself when purchasing gift cards. First, you should inspect the sticker or strip that covers the card number and make sure it hasn’t been tampered with and make sure the strips match those of the other gift cards on the rack. You can also try selecting a card from the middle or back of the rack as it’s more difficult for scammers to replace those cards. However, if you really want to give a last-minute gift that you don’t have to worry about, you can always give cash.

     
  • Geebo 9:58 am on December 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams   

    New phishing scam hitting Apple users 

    New phishing scam hitting Apple users

    It’s no secret that Apple has one of the most dedicated consumer bases among the global tech companies. Then it should come as no surprise that scammers and con artists will try to use Apple’s massive brand loyalty to their advantage. Since Apple devices and their accessories usually demand a high price, the scammers believe that their victims will have a reasonable amount of money, making Apple users lucrative targets. If you are currently invested in Apple’s ecosystem you could be a target of this latest scam.

    Many tech news outlets are reporting that this latest phishing scam goes further than the usual phishing scam. In most online phishing scams you’ll get an email posing as a service you may use asking you to update or change your user information. You’ll be directed to a link which takes you to a phony website that asks for your login or financial information. In this Apple scam, the scammers send you an official looking receipt from the Apple App store with phony charges. The receipt also contains shortened links to a fake website that looks a lot like Apple’s and it will ask you for your Apple ID information. It will then tell you that you’ve been locked out of your Apple account and will ask you for identifying information including your Social Security number to unlock your account. After you give them all of the requested information you’ll be directed to the legitimate Apple website.

    Again, the best ways to avoid phishing scams are not to open any attachments that are in emails from people you don’t know, and not to click on any links contained in these emails. If you think there is a legitimate issue with your account for any of these services, type the website’s address directly into your browser and enter your account through there. That way you can keep your information out of the hands of cybercriminals.

     
  • Geebo 9:58 am on December 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Edge, , , , Scams, ,   

    Netflix phishing scam returns, Google becomes Microsoft, and watch out for phony shipping companies 

    Netflix phishing scam returns, Google becomes Microsoft, and watch out for phony shipping companies

    Today we bring you a few consumer protection stories that we think you should be aware of.

    First up is the return of the Netflix phishing scam. This is not a new scam but it seems to be making the rounds again. Reports from all over the country are stating that people are receiving emails that appear to be from Netflix asking customers to update their payment information. If you receive one of these emails do not click any of the links contained in the email. Doing this will take you to either a malware infested site or will try to obtain your credit or debit card information. Anytime some service requests any kind of information change, go directly to the site in your web browser instead of clicking any links.

    A former Microsoft intern is claiming that today’s Google is acting more like yesterday’s Microsoft. The intern used to work on Microsoft’s Edge Browser and claims that Google purposely tries to slow down other browsers than Chrome on some of their services such as YouTube. This is reminiscent of the browser wars of the early internet when Microsoft’s Internet Explorer gained the majority of the browser market by being included by default in Windows. The only difference this time is that Microsoft blinked and they are changing Edge to be a Chromium-based browser. Chromium is the engine that powers the Chrome browser and many of its offshoots like Opera and Vivaldi.

    Lastly, the state of South Dakota is warning consumers to be wary of phony shipping companies that are claiming they reside in the state. The state’s Attorney General is saying that people are being tricked into sending money to phony shipping companies when buying cars off of craigslist. If you’re going to buy a car online we hope that you would purchase the vehicle through Geebo.com, however, we always recommend shopping local when looking for a vehicle and using a safe place to conduct the transaction. However, if you do need to deal with a shipping company for whatever reason, a quick Google Maps search using the company’s supposed address should be able to tell you if the company actually exists or not.

     
  • Geebo 10:07 am on November 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Camp Fire, , natural disasters, , Scams,   

    Excerpts of Facebook documents released and a scam warning for the victims of the Camp Fire 

    Excerpts of Facebook documents released and a scam warning for the victims of the Camp Fire

    The Wall Street Journal has obtained some excerpts of the internal Facebook documents seized by British Parliament. According to the WSJ, by way of The Verge, Facebook once considered selling user data to third parties. You know, instead of giving it away like they unintentionally do with all these data breaches. Emails show that there was chatter among Facebook employees about selling user data for a premium price after Facebook’s lackluster IPO failed to garner the company the assets they were hoping for. The question is how high up did this discussion go? We should no more once the complete documents are published.

    However, the main topic of today’s blog post is the devastating Camp Fire that has caused so much destruction and devastation in California. As we’ve mentioned before when discussing natural disasters, while events like these can bring out the best in humanity by those volunteering to help the victims of the fire it also brings out the worst in humanity when scammers and con artists descend on the area looking to take advantage of the victims. Local news media in Sacramento is reporting that housing scams are proliferating through the area targeting the victims of the fire.

    The scam itself is nothing new. The scammer will post a phony ad for a rental property on craigslist or Zillow at a too good to be true price. The scammer will come up with some excuse as to why they can’t show the property and will request that you wire them a deposit. Unfortunately, the scammers are normally from overseas so prosecuting them after the fact is almost impossible as is the recovery of any money sent to the scammer. As the article from Sacramento points out, always use a check or credit card to pay for any deposits as these transactions are easier to recover if you’ve been scammed. Please don’t let your anxiety over finding shelter cloud your judgment. Always do the research before giving anyone any money for rent or deposits.

     
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