Tagged: Scams Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 8:04 am on June 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Scams   

    Warnings issued about illegal job scam 

    Warnings issued about illegal job scam

    With so many Americans still looking for employment during this time of record job losses, the Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about an employment scam that could land the victim in hot water. We’re, of course, referring to the reshipping or repackaging scam.

    The online job listing may say that the position is called ‘shipping coordinator’, ‘warehouse redistribution coordinator’, or something similar. In some cases, the scammers even pose as major retailers like Amazon or Walmart. The scammers will tell you that you can work at home and all you have to do is receive packages in the mail, inspect the contents for damages before shipping them to a different address.

    The problem with this is that the goods are usually purchased with stolen credit card information and you’re helping the scammers transfer stolen goods across the country. People who have been unknowingly conned into taking part in the scam have even faced jail time. For example, if you were instructed to lie on US Customs Service forms for packages leaving the country, you could be charged with fraud.

    If you do escape the long arm of the law, you could still find yourself the victim of identity theft or worse. Since the scammers are posing as legitimate employers, they will ask you for personal information including bank account information for phony direct deposits. Or they could disguise paying you by sending you a falsified check. This is when the scammers will say the check is for more than they meant to send you and will ask you to send the difference back. Of course, after you deposit the check and send the difference back to the scammers your bank will discover the check is a fake and you’ll be responsible for the amount of the check to your bank. So in the end, you’ll actually be deeper in debt than when you started the ‘job’.

    If you think you may be a victim in a reshipping scam there are steps you can take. If you’ve already received items don’t mail them. Instead, contact the USPS Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455.

     
  • Geebo 8:09 am on June 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams,   

    The real-world effects of the tech support scam 

    The real-world effects of the tech support scam

    The tech support scam can take many forms. One of the more common versions of the scam is when your device will show a warning similar to the one above. It will say that your device has been infected by a virus and you’ll be directed to a phone number to call to have the virus removed. Another common version of the scam is when the scammers call random people up posing as a big tech company like Microsoft, Google, or Facebook and will tell the person they call that their computer has been infected with a virus.

    Both scams will have you grant remote access to your computer or device to remove the virus. In reality, your device does not have a virus and the scammers will not only charge you for a phony virus solution but they could also plant any type of malware on your device.

    This unfortunately happened recently to a man in Wisconsin. The scammers posed as a well-known virus protection company, called told the man he had a virus on his computer. The scammers requested remote access to his computer and $900 in gift cards to ‘fix’ the problem.

    The man made the payment but after doing so he noticed that his bank account had an additional $300 taken out of it. This was done through malware that the scammers had left on his computer while they had remote access.

    If you’re a frequent reader of our blog, you’ll know that anyone asking for payment in gift cards is a giant red flag indicating a scam. No legitimate company or agency will ask for remote payments through gift cards. Due to the fact the cards are virtually untraceable once their serial numbers are given out, they’ve become the de facto currency for scammers. Secondly, no company will ever call or contact you to tell you that you have a virus on your device or computer.

    If you receive one of these calls, you should hang up immediately. If you see a pop up like the one pictured above, close the window and run a malware scan on your device. For Windows PCs and laptops we recommend either using the Windows Security Scan built into Windows 10 or using a commercial malware detection tool like Malwarebytes. There is a free version of Malwarebytes that is available for download.

     
  • Geebo 8:01 am on June 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Scams, ,   

    Unemployment scams continue on social media 

    Unemployment scams continue on social media

    Last week, we posted about how unemployment scams have spread to social media. In that post, we discussed how scammers were posing as government officials so they could steal personal information under the guise of assisting people with their unemployment claims. More recently, we’ve heard of a similar unemployment scam that tries to steal more than that.

    A man in New Jersey recently reported an unemployment scam to the state’s Department of labor. He says that he found a Facebook page of someone pretending to be a DOL employee. The man’s unemployment recently stopped and was looking for assistance on his claim. The scammer had a phone posted on his Facebook page so the NJ man decided to text the scammer.

    The scammer claimed to work for the ‘unemployment fund’ and asked the man for a lot of identifying information including name, address, date of birth, gender, and his unemployment claims number. The scammer then said the man would receive a six-digit code through text and once he received that he should give it to the scammer to set up a vague ‘confirmation code’.

    Thankfully, the New Jersey man realized that the text message was the verification code to reset his Facebook password. The scammer then asked the man if he received his unemployment benefits through a debit card or direct deposit. The scammer then said the man would have to pay $100 to start receiving his benefits again and that the man could make the payment with either eBay or Steam gift cards. Steam is a popular online gaming storefront.

    When the man told the scammer he didn’t have any money the scammer tried to pressure the man into making some kind of payment as quickly as possible. While this man escaped without being taken, not everyone who has encountered this scam has been so lucky.

    The reason the scammer probably wanted to steal the man’s Facebook account was so the scammer could pose as the man and send whatever scam messages he could to the man’s friends. Not only are the gift cards a dead giveaway for a scam but no state government is going to ask you for money to fix your unemployment claim.

    Please keep in mind, anyone can make a fake social media account claiming to be anyone they want. If you come across a phony social media account like this one, it is recommended that you contact your state’s fraud department. You may know it’s a scam but other people may not. You can be the difference it that person’s life that keeps them from losing what little money they may have.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Publishers Clearing House, Scams, sweepstakes   

    Sweepstakes scammers show up at man’s door 

    Sweepstakes scammers show up at man's door

    Usually, today’s scammers like to be as far away from their victims as possible. Between the internet and cheap phone rates, scammers can target just about anyone anywhere around the globe. However, every once in awhile a scammer will take it to the next level to try to fool their victim.

    That happened to a man in New Jersey recently. Scammers targeted him in a sweepstakes or lottery scam. The way the scam normally works is scammers will contact random people to tell them that they’ve won a great deal of money in a contest that they didn’t actually enter. The scammers will then say that the ‘winner’ has to either pay taxes or some kind of transfer fee on their winnings before they can collect it. Even if the victim pays there are no winnings and the victim is usually out thousands of dollars.

    The scammers in this case posed as the most famous sweepstakes in America, the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. We’ve all seen the commercials over the years of PCH delivering oversized novelty checks to their winners. The scammers, in this case, called the man repeatedly to tell him that he had won one of their renowned prizes. They told him a representative would show up at his door with the prize. A woman actually showed up to his home claiming to be from PCH and was said to be holding a bouquet of flowers to make the illusion seem more authentic. Thankfully, the man was on to the scam and threatened to call the police if they did not leave his property. The woman got into a waiting car and left.

    No legitimate sweepstakes or lottery will ask you for tax money or fees in advance if you win as that is illegal in the United States. There’s also no such thing as winning a contest that you didn’t even enter.

    While we all dream of winning a giant jackpot to relieve our financial woes, don’t let the dream cloud your common sense.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Scams   

    Rental scammer posed as military member 

    Rental scammer posed as military member

    Rental scammers are always looking for new excuses to give their victims as to why they can’t meet them face to face. Most recently, rental scammers used the excuse of social distancing to explain their reluctance to meet. In the past, a popular excuse with scammers was that they claimed to be working overseas on a religious mission. All the excuses are used to achieve the same effect. They do this to try to avoid suspicion in the fact that they don’t have the authority to rent the property they claim to own and to get you to make a payment sight unseen. One of the classic excuses seems to be making a comeback and that’s the scammers posing as members of the military.

    San Diego, California is a huge military town, especially for naval forces. The city has seven military bases mostly for the Navy and Marines with a single Coast Guard base. Scammers will try to use the city’s relationship with the military to their advantage. Unfortunately, it worked against one family in San Diego who were looking for a new place to live. They had found a listing on craigslist that appeared to be a really good deal. The person who claimed to own the property also claimed that they were stationed overseas with the Navy. The family wired $1600 to the scammer before they found out the listing was a fake. The scammers had even used the picture of a real serviceman who passed away a few years ago. This scam isn’t limited to just military towns as it has been used all over the country.

    If a prospective landlord ever says that they can’t meet you in person for whatever reason, it’s almost assuredly a scam. Also, if the landlord requests payment through unconventional means like wire transfer or gift cards, it is also almost assuredly a scam. If they claim to be currently overseas for whatever reason, they are almost assuredly a scammer.

    While you may be in a rush to find a new home it’s always worth taking the time to research the property. You should always do a reverse image search to make sure the property ad isn’t being copied from a legitimate realtor or landlord. Lastly, you should also check with the county’s tax assessor’s office or website to find out who the true property owner is. This research may take some time but in the end, it’s worth it to avoid finding yourself in a situation like this.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Scams   

    New scam promises money if you stay home 

    New scam promises money to stay home

    Just when we thought COVID-19 scams were on the decline, we read about one that we would consider impressive if it wasn’t so reprehensible.

    The Florida Attorney General’s office has warned residents of the Sunshine State about this new and elaborate scam. At the heart of the scam is a promise of receiving grant money from the U.S. Treasury if you just stay home during the current pandemic. The scam seems to be mostly targeted at senior citizens. The scammers were even said to have created a phony website that appeared as if it was an official U.S. Treasury website. The phony website was said to be so convincing that it even had phony video testimonials.

    Victims of the scam would often be directed to the phony website by messages from their friends on Facebook. These messages were often sent through hacked Facebook accounts by the scammers themselves.

    The fake website would ask people for their personal information including Social Security numbers and banking information. It would also ask for payment to insure the grant delivery that will actually never come.

    The website has since been removed, however, as the Miami Herald points out, it could reappear at any time.

    In order to prevent falling victim to a scam like this always make sure any federal website address ends in .gov. If it doesn’t, it’s probably not authentic. If anytime a Facebook friend messages you about getting grant money, the odds are more likely that their account has been hacked. Grant scams similar to this one have been spread around Facebook for years.

    If you’ve fallen victim to this website in Florida it’s recommended that you contact the Attorney General’s office. If you’re not in Florida we recommend contacting the Federal Trade Commission.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams   

    Scammers pose as the BBB 

    Scammers pose as the BBB

    The main weapon in the scammer’s arsenal is their ability to pose as almost anyone. In the past scammers have posed as potential buyers, potential sellers, employers, kidnappers, police, and imprisoned grandchildren just to name a few. One scammer is even said to have posed as the current US Secretary of the Treasury in order to steal people’s identities under the guise of assisting with economic impact payments. The one organization we never heard about scammers posing as was the one organization that does the most to try to protect consumers against scams. That was until now.

    According to Wikipedia, the Better Business Bureau is a private nonprofit organization whose purpose is to focus on advancing marketplace trust. To that aim, they’ve become one of the leading national authorities in most types of commercial scams. Their scam tracker tool not only lets you know when a scam is happening in your area but it allows you to report scams as well.

    Imagine the BBB’s surprise when they received word that their name had been used in a scam. An elderly man in San Jose, California lost $45,000 to a lottery scam. The scammers had called him claiming to be from the Better Business Bureau and told the man that he had won a ‘mega lottery’. The scammers then kept getting the man to pay thousands of dollars in fake taxes and various fraudulent fees before he could claim his prize.

    After becoming impatient with not receiving his prize, the man contacted the BBB wondering where the lottery payout was. This is when he discovered that the BBB was not trying to collect money from him and that the whole thing was a scam.

    Remember, that anyone online or calling and texting you can say they’re whoever they want you to believe they are. Also, when it comes to lotteries and sweepstakes, no one ever gets picked at random for a contest that they never entered. Not only that, but it is illegal in the United States for anyone to try to make you pay before claiming any winnings. That’s why commercial sweepstakes always mention that no purchase is necessary.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Kansas, Scams, ,   

    Unemployment scam turns up on social media 

    Unemployment scam turns up on social media

    Previously, when we’ve discussed unemployment scams they’ve happened in one of two ways. The first way is when a scammer or identity thief has applied for benefits in your name. They do this because many state unemployment offices are currently receiving a deluge of applications due to the recent mass layoffs. The scammers are getting people’s identities from either a large data breach or from people sharing too many personal details on social media.

    The other scam involving unemployment has been scammers posing as state unemployment office employees. They’ve been calling people and telling them things like they’ve been approved for additional benefits but they have to verify their information. This is when the scammers will ask for information like Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and bank account passwords. Instead of receiving additional benefits, victims have had their bank accounts emptied and identities stolen.

    Now, the Department of labor in Kansas is reporting a twist on the second type of scam. The KDOL is issuing a warning about scammers creating fake Facebook profiles and posing as KDOL employees. They’ve been said to be messaging people offering assistance with their unemployment benefit claims. While the KDOL did not go into great detail, it’s safe to assume the scammers are asking people for their personal information as mentioned above. The State of Kansas has said that its state’s unemployment office would only email recipients from the ks.gov email address.

    As we always say, if a scam is happening in one state it can happen in all the others. If you receive one of these Facebook messages offering unemployment assistance it is more than likely a scam. Keep in mind that anyone can make a Facebook account pretending to be a state employee. Messages like this should be reported to your state’s fraud department. If you’ve fired for unemployment, the state should already have the personal information they need to issue payments and will not ask you for information like your Social Security number or bank account.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Scams,   

    Virtual kidnapping scam back on the rise 

    Virtual kidnapping scam back on the rise

    With some aspects of life returning to normal, it seems that scammers are returning to their same old tricks. While COVID-19 related scams are still being perpetrated, we’ve seen a trend where scammers appear to be going back to scams they’ve run prior to the pandemic.

    One of those scams is the virtual kidnapping scam. This is when a scammer will call a victim and tell them that they’ve kidnapped a loved one. The scammers will then demand a ransom either through wire transfer, gift cards, or other hard to trace payment options. The reality of this scam is that nobody has been actually kidnapped and the scammers are hoping the fear generated in the situation will cause the victim to pay the phony ransom.

    Recently, in New Mexico, the state police there have reported an uptick in these virtual kidnappings. The scammers here are instructing their victims to send money through transfer services like MoneyGram or Western Union. The scammers use these services since they can usually collect the money almost anonymously before disappearing or collect it overseas where US law enforcement can’t reach them. The kidnapping calls in New Mexico are said to be originating in Mexico. A sheriff’s office in Oklahoma is also reporting that this scam is taking hold there as well.

    If you ever receive one of these phone calls, try to use another phone to try to contact the person the scammers they’ve claimed to have kidnapped. The scammers will try to pressure you into paying the phony ransom while trying to keep you on the phone. Failing that, ask to speak to the purported kidnapping victim and ask them a question only that person would know.

    While it may seem like high pressure situation, keep in mind that kidnappings for ransom in the United States are rare. Take a moment to collect yourself so you can think rationally. However, you should take down as much information as possible in case it turns out to be an actual kidnapping. If not, you can use the information to forward to the police.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Scams, ,   

    More states are dealing with unemployment scams 

    More states are dealing with unemployment scams

    The unemployment scams that are happening from Washington to Maine continue to take hold in more states. Both Mississippi and Minnesota are reporting that their unemployment assistance programs are being targeted by scammers looking to steal benefits.

    As we have discussed before, scammers are using stolen identities to apply for unemployment benefits in various states across the country. It doesn’t matter if you’re currently receiving unemployment benefits or you’re currently working. If your identity has been compromised scammers will use your information to try to scam benefits from the already overworked state unemployment systems. In most cases, the scammers will have the stolen benefits redirected to another address but in some cases, the scammers are said to be actually stalking the mailboxes of people whose identity they’ve used to apply for benefits.

    Besides using stolen identities that were compromised in various data breaches, scammers are also using details that they’ve harvested from social media to apply for benefits. It’s being recommended that you keep things like your birthday and your hometown private on social media.

    Many victims of the scam have voiced their concerns over their inability to reach their state’s unemployment offices. The unemployment offices have urged victims to keep trying to reach them as they are currently trying to assist as many people as they can during these trying times.

    If you’ve been a victim of this scam it’s recommended that you first contact your state’s unemployment office or your HR department if you’re currently working. On top of that, you should change your passwords for all your sensitive accounts. You should also initiate a credit freeze with the major credit bureaus so the scammers can not apply for things like credit cards or bank accounts in your name.

     
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