Tagged: Scams Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • 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.

     
  • Geebo 10:47 am on November 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams, Secret SIster   

    Avoid the Secret Sister scam this season 

    Avoid the Secret Sister scam this season

    The old saying goes that the stores start advertising for Christmas earlier and earlier each year. In my opinion, it seemed like as soon as the calendar turned to November, the flood of yuletide advertisements began to assail our televisions and internet devices. The holidays are also a time when scam artists come out in droves since people are more likely to open their hearts and wallets during the holiday season than any other time of the year. This year, an old scam that I haven’t thought about in years is being proliferated through social media and while the risk appears to be minimal, the consequences could have far-reaching effects long after the holidays are over.

    I’m talking about the ‘Secret Sister’ gift exchange where someone posts on social media asking you to add your name to a list where and send in a small $10 gift. In return, you’re promised to receive up to 36 of the gifts. According to the Better Business Bureau not only is this a pyramid scheme, but it’s also illegal since you need to use the US Postal Service to send the gift which can be considered mail fraud. And as usual, when it comes to scams like this, it’s highly unlikely you’ll receive any gifts in return.

    Since the scam seems to proliferate on social networks like Facebook, I decided to see if any of my Facebook friends were soliciting for this scam. While none of my friends were, there were friends of friends who were definitely being taken in by this scam. The post usually looks something along these lines.

    The problem with this scam is not only is it illegal as I mentioned above but if you decide to participate in the alleged gift exchange you’re also putting your personal information out to potential strangers who could use the information to their benefit and your detriment. Identity theft comes immediately to mind but the information could be used for even more nefarious purposes.

    Just because a friend of yours may be participating in the Secret Sister exchange on Facebook doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a Bernie Madoff in the making. They could potentially be a victim in all of this. If you’re worried about one of your friends being caught up in this scam, you may want to remind them that the Secret Sister gift exchange is considered illegal and show them this post or the BBB information. People are more likely to start thinking more critically if there’s potential for them to be in trouble with the law. NO one wants to be investigated for mail fraud for the holidays.

     
  • Geebo 9:15 am on November 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Scams, , spoofed calls   

    Be careful of the Social Security spoofing scam 

    Be careful of the Social Security spoofing scam

    With just about everyone owning a smartphone today we’ve all experienced a spoofed call. Normally these calls disguise themselves as being from a local number. Fearing it may be a neighbor or loved one in distress we answer the call only to find out it’s either a robocall or a telemarketer that’s not even from your local area. A scam that uses the spoofing method of disguising a phone number is targeting the elderly.

    According to the Social Security Administration, scammers are not just posing as Social Security employees but they’re also disguising their phone number to make it look like their calling from the national Social Security office. The number that appears on a phone’s caller ID is 1-800-772-1213 which is the national customer service number for Social Security. If someone were to answer the call the scammer would more than likely promise to increase the victim’s Social Security benefit if they could just get more information from the victim. The caller may even start to get belligerent if you don’t provide them with the information they’re looking for. Of course, this is all designed to gather your personal information to either sell your personal information to the highest bidder or use it to steal your identity.

    In the rare instances that Social Security will call one of its recipients, they will never promise to increase your benefits nor will they threaten you. Even if you think the call is legitimate, hang up, and call the SSA back by manually dialing the customer service number listed above. The SSA also recommends that if you receive one of these calls to report it to the SSA’s Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or on their website.

     
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