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  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Scams   

    Family loses puppy to illness in Craigslist scam 

    Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve been warning consumers about one version of the puppy scam. This is where phony online dog breeders will sell you a puppy that doesn’t actually exist. After they’re paid, the scammers will start asking for more money in the form of things like shipping fees or special travel crates. Even though a victim may lose hundreds or thousands of dollars, at least an animal isn’t being actually abused.

    Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the second type of puppy scam. This is where people will breed puppies with little regard for the animal’s health and well-being. The animals are often bred in squalid conditions without receiving any medical care. The term backyard breeder is often used to describe these scammers as they are usually not certified to be actual breeders.

    One family in North Carolina recently purchased a puppy from a Craigslist seller for $300. When asked about shots, the sellers told the family that they did the shots themselves because they didn’t want to take the puppy to the vet due to COVID-19 concerns. Once the family got the puppy home it became obvious that something was wrong. The family took the puppy to the vet where it was diagnosed with hookworms, roundworms, and anemia. Within less than 24 hours of bringing the puppy home, the puppy had to be put down. When the family tried to contact the seller, the phone number had already been turned off.

    As always, when it comes to adding a new pet to your family we recommend adopting from your local shelter. More often than not, not only will the animals have had competent medical care but the odds are they’ll be with your family for quite some time. If you decide to buy from a breeder, make sure they are a licensed breeder that’s in your area.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Scams,   

    Cash App continues to be connected with scammers 

    Cash App continues to be connected with scammers

    Mobile payment service Cash App can’t seem to keep itself out of the headlines lately and those headlines continue to be about scams. Cash App is supposed to allow quick mobile payments between friends or vendors but has allowed an industry of scammers to flourish.

    Cash App scams usually work in one of two ways. In the first way, a scammer will be claiming to provide some good or service if you just send them payment through Cash App. However, once the payment goes through the scammer can then block the victim on Cash App. The only way to get a refund on Cash App is if the person you sent the money to agrees to send it back. The scammers can then close out their Cash App account after cashing out.

    The first Cash App scam usually leads to the second one which is a customer service scam. Cash App has no customer service number where you can reach a representative to dispute any charges. In order to contact Cash App’s customer service, you need to navigate through a rash of menus within the app and even then you probably won’t reach a real person.

    So some people will do a web search for Cash App’s customer service number. Just because Cash App doesn’t have one doesn’t mean that a Google search won’t bring one up. The thing is that these phone numbers belong to scammers and not Cash App. Just about anyone can take out a search engine ad claiming to be a customer service number. Once you call one of these phony customer service numbers, the scammers will lead you through a process that will drain your Cash App account of your money.

    Now, these customer service scammers aren’t even waiting for victims to call their fake customer service numbers. One victim says that she received an email that appeared to be from Cash App stating that $500 was about to be taken from her account if she didn’t call the attached number. The victim called the number and ended up losing $1600 to the scammers.

    To better protect its users maybe it would benefit Cash App if they set up an official customer service phone line that was easily accessible from the app.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Scams,   

    Used car scams continue to find victims 

    Used car scams continue to find victims

    Even with many of us traveling less frequently than we used to, there are still those in the market for a vehicle. While many scammers may have rejected used-car scams in favor of scams more favorable to current crises, that doesn’t mean that used car scams aren’t still being pulled. It even seems that used car scams have been on a recent uptick all around the country.

    These scams can even affect seasoned professionals like a used car dealer. One man from Arkansas found some vehicles online that he wanted to have for his lot. The vehicles were for sale in St. Louis. The seller supposedly had the titles and the vehicle history reports showed the vehicles as being legitimate. However, after the car dealer sold those vehicles to other lots, they came back as stolen. It seems that sometimes police reports can take weeks or months to process which will delay such discrepancies from showing up on vehicle histories like CarFax. In a case like this, it’s recommended that you match the seller’s driver’s license information with the name on the title.

    In Texas, a man found a truck for sale on a social media marketplace. The seller of the truck claimed to be from Montana and was not only selling the truck at a bargain price because her husband died but that she was also deploying with the military. The seller then said that the vehicle would be delivered by eBay even though that’s not where the vehicle was being sold. All the buyer would have to do is send the seller eBay gift cards. This particular scam sends up a number of red flags. When a seller claims either a death in the family or military deployment as wanting to get rid of the vehicle there’s a good chance the sale could be a scam. This scammer put both of those stories out. Also, eBay may be a platform to sell vehicles but they do not ship them. Lastly, gift cards should never be used in a purchase like this as they are virtually untraceable once they land in the hands of scammers.

    Lastly in New Mexico, a woman fell for a similar scam. She had also found a car she needed on a social media marketplace. Her seller told her that her son just died and was also being shipped by eBay. Again, eBay gift cards were requested as payment. Once she sent the $1400 in gift cards the seller disappeared.

    You can never be too careful when shopping for a used car. However, if you keep some of these tips in mind they could go a long way in helping you avoid a scam.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Scams,   

    Unemployment scammers are using romance scams to move money 

    Unemployment scammers are using romance scams to move money

    In case anyone was wondering how successful the unemployment scams were working against the states, scammers are using additional scams to be able to move the stolen. Specifically, scammers are employing romance scams to launder the ill-gotten unemployment funds.

    For the past few months, overseas scam rings have been applying for unemployment benefits using identities stolen in previous data breaches. It doesn’t matter if the person belonging to the identity being used is currently employed or not. Scammers are applying for benefits in en masse in hopes of getting lucky with just a handful of identities as each identity could bring them thousands of dollars.

    The problem is moving the money from an unemployment debit card or unemployment check to the scammers overseas. At least one group of scammers is using another scam tactic to get unwitting people to move the money for them and that’s the romance scam.

    A man in the state of Washington had recently fallen for just such a scam. He thought that he was involved romantically with someone in the country, at least online. The scammer started telling the man that they needed to deposit some money from an inheritance but their bank only allowed so much money to be deposited per day. He allowed the scammer to use his bank account where they are said to have moved thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits to a third party. His bank eventually noticed the unusual activity and returned some of the money back to the states.

    Thankfully, this man isn’t facing any charges as the FBI has said this man was thoroughly duped. They even thanked him for coming forward as many scam victims never come forward. Sometimes victims are threatened by the scammers that they’ll be arrested if they come forward. Others never come forward out of embarrassment.

    If you meet someone online and they start asking you for or about money before you’ve met in person, there’s a good likelihood they’re part of a romance scam.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: life insurance scam, , loan scam, , Scams   

    Medicare, lost millionaires, and a loan scam 

    Medicare, lost millionaires, and a loan scam

    It’s time for us to bring you another trio of scams that are happening around the country. Even though these scams may not be in your area, they could be soon.

    In North Dakota, authorities there are warning of a Medicare scam that’s been plaguing senior residents of the state. Scammers are said to have been calling residents claiming that they need to be issued new plastic Medicare cards to replace the paper ones. All the resident needs to do is to verify their Medicare number. In reality, the scammers could potentially file numerous fraudulent medical claims using the victim’s Medicare number. Always keep in mind that a government agency will never ask you for information that they should already have.

    In one county in Kansas, the local sheriff is warning residents about a scam that sounds straight out of an old sitcom. Residents in Brown County have received letters in the mail saying that a relative has died and left them a life insurance payout worth millions of dollars. The problem with this scam is that scammers seemingly know the actual names of distant relatives of the residents who have recently passed away. This adds an unfortunate air of legitimacy to the scam. However, the legitimate-looking letter only provides an email contact for someone to process the ‘paperwork’. We imagine that there would be some form of payment requested to process the phony insurance policy.

    Officials in Georgia are warning residents there about a phone scam that’s offering loans in value up to $30,000. With this scam, the ‘loan’ comes at the cost of fake processing fees that could reach $1000 themselves. The scammers are asking for these payments in cashier’s check, wire transfer, or prepaid debit card. These are all forms of payment that could be considered untraceable once the money is spent. Officials would like to remind residents that legitimate lenders make their money through interest once the loan is paid back and not through outlandish fees.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams   

    A simple solution to gift card scams 

    A simple solution to gift card scams

    As we tend to say, gift cards are the currency of scammers. They are used as payment in just about every phone or online scam. Scammers will often pose as a police department, government agency, or any kind of entity that demands payment.

    The phony payment request is usually accompanied by some kind of threat such as an arrest or termination of vital services. The scammers will say the whole matter can disappear with payment in retail gift cards. They’ll then have the victims go to a local store to by an astronomical amount in gift cards then have the victim read the card numbers back to them. The gift cards are then quickly redeemed of their value and the scammers pocket the money. This is just a prevalent example of a scam involving gift cards as the sheer amount of scams that use them are too numerous to list individually.

    One part of the country seems to have had enough of these scams and has taken an ingenious yet simplistic approach to combat them. A number of communities in Northern Arizona have banded together to ask businesses to display a warning sign by their gift card displays.

    The signs look like a traffic stop sign but list many of the ways gift cards are used in scams. The sign informs customers that if they are buying gift cards for things like fines, taxes, lottery winnings, utility bills, etc. that you’re more than likely being scammed.

    With just about every store offering the ability to purchase popular gift cards, more retailers should be adopting a similar policy to help ward off scammers. While many retailers do train their employees to recognize potential gift card scams, an extra step in the process could be a great way to help put a stop to more gift card scams.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , missing person, Scams,   

    Real disappearance of teen used in Cash App scam 

    Real disappearance of teen used in Cash App scam

    Earlier this month in Virginia a 17-year-old girl went missing from her home. Tragically, her body was found a few weeks later. However, that did not stop the greed and depravity of at least one scammer. While the victim’s family was mourning for their loss, some scammer took to Instagram to solicit donations in the victim’s name.

    The families of crime victims sometimes do solicit donations for medical or funeral expenses on sites like GoFundMe. Instead, this scammer was asking for donations through Cash App. If you’re unfamiliar with Cash App, it’s a payment app that allows you to send or receive money wirelessly. Due to some of the flaws in its system, Cash App is often used by scammers to collect money and then block the person they stole it from. Victims of Cash App scams usually have little recourse once the money is gone.

    In this instance, a single person is said to have taken to Instagram and posted solicitations for donations through Cash App in the victim’s name. The victim’s family has expressed that no fund for donations has been set up as of yet. There has bee no word that we’ve seen if anyone has actually given money to the scammer.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with offering assistance to a family in need. However, scammers have shown no remorse in trying to make money through a tragedy no matter how personal it may be to someone. As much as we might hate to say it, even when making donations to someone claiming to be collecting for a crime victim, do your research. Local news outlets almost always have the correct information on where donations can be sent.

    We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention the victim’s name. She was 17-year-old Asia Cowell of Norfolk, Virginia. As of the time of this posting, police are asking for the public’s assistance for any information about Asia’s disappearance. Her body was found in Newport News.

    You can submit an anonymous tip by calling the Crime Line at 1–888-LOCK-U-UP or submit a tip online at p3tips.com if you have any information that might help.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Scams, SNAP,   

    Food Stamp scam affecting the country 

    Food Stamp scam affecting the country

    The current pandemic has seen the meteoric rise of a number of original scams on a never seen before basis. The majority of these scams have targeted those who have been negatively affected economically by the pandemic. At first, it was the scammers who were trying to steal your economic impact payment. This was quickly followed up by scammers applying for unemployment benefits in every state by using stolen identities. Now, a new nationwide scam has emerged once again targeting those who are the most financially vulnerable in our society.

    States from Pennsylvania to Hawaii are reporting about a text message scam that’s promising victims SNAP benefits. You may know SNAP better under its former name of food stamps. The scammers are sending text messages stating that the recipient is eligible for SNAP benefits even though they may not have applied for them. With so many people facing economic hardships in the country, this scam has the potential to claim a record number of victims. While some who have never had to apply for SNAP may think it’s relatively easy to get these benefits, the reverse is actually quite true. So if someone who is desperate to receive additional food benefits receives this text message there is great potential that they could fall for this scam.

    More than likely, the scammers are after one of two things. They either want your personal information to steal your identity, or they want a payment disguised as a ‘processing fee’.

    The states being affected by this scam have issued warnings that the state will never approach anyone randomly with the offer of SNAP. If you have applied for SNAP, you’ll always receive your approval in the mail. If you receive one of these texts, it’s best that you just delete the text. However, if you have questions or concerns about your SNAP benefits, you should contact your local SNAP office.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams,   

    Social Security scams are still targeting seniors 

    Social Security scams are still targeting seniors

    Every once in awhile it’s beneficial to review some of the more common scams that are going on today. One of the most common scams are those that threaten to affect the Social Security benefits of senior citizens. Due to the fact that many seniors are on a fixed income, any threat to their Social Security could be seen as a threat to their very existence.

    How the scam typically works is the scammers will call a senior citizen and claim to be from either law enforcement or from the Social Security Administration themselves. They’ll tell their victims that someone has used their Social Security number in some type of crime. The most common crime they claim is that your number was used to rent a car in another state that was found to have illegal drugs in it.

    The scammers will then threaten that your Social Security benefits could be suspended. However, they’ll say that in order to prove your identity you can make a payment over the phone. This is when the scammers will ask for payment in some untraceable means, usually retail gift cards.

    This happened recently to a woman in Ohio. She was told that she needed to empty her checking account before it would be seized by the government. The scammers kept her on the phone the entire time she was buying Target gift cards. Scammers have started doing this to make sure that someone won’t warn them of the scam such as store clerks or bank employees. Before it was all over, she had sent $4000 to the scammers.

    Please keep in mind that the SSA will rarely call you. The only time they may call you is if you have an ongoing issue with your Social Security benefits where you have already spoken with them in the past. This is important because scammers often spoof the SSA’s phone number when calling victims. Most importantly, the SSA will never ask for any sort of payment over the phone and definitely not in gift cards.

    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 September 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Scams,   

    Kidnapping scam claims to have your kids 

    Kidnapping scam claims to have your kids

    As if Americans didn’t already have enough to deal with, the virtual kidnapping scam seems to be on the rise again. This time, the scammers are claiming to have kidnapped your kids.

    If you haven’t heard of virtual kidnapping scams before, it’s when a scammer calls someone, usually at random, and tells the person that they’ve kidnapped a loved one. The scammers will tend to use generic language such as they kidnapped your daughter, father, etc. They’ll have someone in the background pretending to be who they’ve claimed to have kidnapped. However, it’s all just a show designed to get you into a state of panic and pay a ransom. Victims will be asked for payment in untraceable forms like cash apps, gift cards, or money transfer services.

    The trick to this scam is that no one you know was actually kidnapped. The scammers themselves are probably not even in your area as most victims report the callers as having foreign accents.

    One recent victim of the scam was a mother from Missouri who was told that her child had been kidnapped. She said that she could hear a child screaming in the background. She didn’t pay any ransom but she reacted how most of us would. She drove directly to her child’s school to make sure her child was ok, which they were, thankfully. While she may not have lost any money, she experienced the real fear that all parents have, the fear of someone abducting their child.

    For all intents and purposes, this mother did the right thing. She made sure her loved one was ok before paying any phony ransom. If you receive one of these phone calls, it’s recommended that you contact the loved one first to make sure they’re ok. When the scammers say they’ve kidnapped your father, daughter, son, etc., don’t say the loved one’s name as that gives the scammer more information to work with. Also, please keep in mind that kidnappings for ransom are rare in the United States. However, it is recommended that you always contact the police regardless if it’s a scam or not.

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