Tagged: Scams Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 8:15 am on August 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , fallen officer, police scam, Scams   

    Scam takes advantage of fallen police officer 

    Scam takes advantage of fallen police officer

    We’ve posted about some pretty reprehensible scams in the past. Some of the ones that come to mind are the scam that threatens your family with violence, the scam that targeted victims of a devastating forest fire, and the grandparent scam. All of the scams mentioned are designed to take advantage of people’s emotions when they’re at their most vulnerable moments. Now, a scam has popped up that tries to prey on people’s generosity while they’re trying to heal from a great loss in their community.

    In Illinois, a State Trooper was killed in the line of duty this past Friday. 33-year-old father of three and 10 year veteran of the force, Nick Hopkins was shot and killed while trying to serve a warrant in East St. Louis. Within a day of his passing, scammers were already trying to solicit funds from people in Trooper Hopkins name. While it wasn’t mentioned in the report we’ve read, we can only imagine that this was done through social media in order to maximize the number of people who could see the posts in such a short amount of time. The only official channel where donations can be made for Tropper Hopkins is through the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation.

    Police and fire departments have unfortunately long been the unwilling pawns in a number of scams. Most involve the scammers calling victims claiming to collect donations for any number of first responder foundations. Often, these scammers will try to pressure you into making a donation. Legitimate charities will be happy to get a donation at any time and will let you take your time to think about it. If you want to donate to any first responder charity, the best way to find out where to donate is to call that department specifically at their non-emergency business number.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams,   

    Six million dollar romance scam ring busted! 

    Romance scam ring busted!

    When we discuss scams like wire fraud or romance scams, the perpetrators largely operate with impunity since they’re overseas. This makes it difficult for US investigators to apprehend the suspects. Even if the US has an extradition treaty with the scammers’ home country that doesn’t necessarily mean that the scammers will be extradited to the US no matter how much money they’re accused of taking. However, that doesn’t mean that federal investigators are totally powerless in bringing some of these crooks to justice.

    Yesterday, The FBI unsealed an indictment from October of 2018, against 80 alleged international scammers. Between corporate fraud and romance scams, the ring is suspected of raking in at least $6 million from their victims. On the corporate side of things, the scammers would allegedly send fake but realistic-looking emails to the financial departments of companies requesting that funds be sent to certain bank accounts. With the romance scams, they reportedly posted fake accounts on dating sites and apps while conning their unsuspecting victims out of money disguised as gifts. The FBI says that this particular scamming ring tried to steal $40 million from potential victims. As we have discussed previously, sometimes the victims of these scams themselves can end up in legal trouble because of it.

    In this instance, federal investigators have arrested 14 alleged scammers who were living in the US who are accused of sending the money they stole back to their home country of Nigeria. The West African country is notorious as a haven for scammers because it’s more lucrative to become a scammer rather than holding a legitimate job. This is also where the ‘419’ scam originated named for the Nigerian legal code that makes these scams illegal. Unfortunately, while some of the scammers in this particular ring have been apprehended, there are many more who at large overseas.

    To better protect yourself against these scams if you work in a company where you receive these types of financial requests, always double-check with the person making the request through a phone call or face to face meeting. As far as romance scams go, no matter how good looking they may appear, if they start asking for money the odds are likely that you’re being scammed. And we’re not talking about a couple bucks here and there either. Some victims of romance scams have lost anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has tips on how to avoid romance scams. If you know someone who may be a victim of a romance scam please have them read this post or the FTC website.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Scams, ,   

    Alexa, find me a scammer. 

    Alexa, find me a scammer.

    If you think about it, we’re living in an unparalleled age of convenience. Most of us are carrying smartphones in our pockets that are more powerful than most personal computers from 5 years ago. With these devices not only do we have access to unlimited information but we also have access to services that would have been unthinkable just a decade ago. Not only do we have access to such things as ride-sharing and food delivery at our fingertips, in a lot of cases we don’t even need to use our fingers to activate any of these services. With many devices today you can pretty much get what you want with just the sound of your voice. Of course, where there is convenience there will be those who look to take advantage of you.

    If you use voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant, you could be in danger of falling prey to a scammer. The danger comes from if you need a service that you don’t use on a regular basis such as a plumber, electrician, or mechanic. If you ask your voice assistant to look up a listing for such a business and then have it automatically call that number, it could be luring you into a scam. Scammers will use paid listings and other SEO tricks to get their scam listings to the top of search engines which the voice assistants rely on. This could lead to you paying for phony charges or having your personal information exploited.

    Unfortunately, there’s no real fix for avoiding this scam if you use one of these assistants. The only way to really keep yourself safe is to look up the phone numbers yourself and to make sure that your local business is actually a local business. According to reports, there are millions of phony businesses on Google Maps which also contributes to the number of scams. Then once you find a reputable business save that number to your contacts.

     
  • Geebo 8:14 am on August 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cashier's checks, , Scams   

    Here’s why the phony check scam works 

    Here's why the phony check scam works

    Probably, the most common scam we’ve discussed is the phony check scam. It seems like it’s at the heart of almost every other online scam. At the heart of the scam is, of course, the phony check. Scammers will send you a [phony check for any number of reasons but the hook is always the same. They’ll send you a check for more money than you were asking for or were expecting. They’ll instruct you to deposit the check and then send them the difference. By the time the bank discovers that the check is a fake, you’re responsible for the entire amount of the check while the scammers disappear with your money.

    It all seems rather unfair. You’re the victim of a scam after all. So why does this particualr scam lend itself so well to scammers? According to Vox, it all has to do with the way cashier’s checks are handled by banks. Legitimate cashier’s checks are just as good as cash where your bank is concerned. The person or entity who is issuing the cashier’s check pays the bank the full amount for that check to be issued. So when a bank receives a cashier’s check as a deposit they’re operating under the assumption that the check is legitimate and the funds should be immediately available.

    The bank only usually discovers that the check is fake after it’s been deposited and returns as a fraudulent check. Unfortunately, the only person the bank can hold responsible is the person who deposited the check which in this case is the scam victim. While many people realize that the checks they receive are fake, there are enough people who fall for this scam that they keep the scammers in business. Billions of dollars in fraudulent checks are attempted to be cashed each year. However, you can protect yourself by avoiding these situations. If a deal feels like it’s wrong, it probably is.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Scams   

    When free stuff from Amazon isn’t free 

    When free stuff from amazon isn't free

    We’ve briefly touched upon the brushing scam before. In the brushing scam, a third-party amazon vendor will send you items for free that you didn’t actually order. Legally, you’re allowed to keep anything that you didn’t order. Sounds like a good deal right? Who doesn’t want to get free stuff? As with most things that sound too good to be true, there is a more deceitful plot at hand. A plot that could cost you money and your privacy in the long run.

    According to the Better Business Bureau, if you’re receiving these packages it’s more than likely that your Amazon account has been compromised. These third-party vendors are usually from overseas and are sending you the packages to make it look like you’re a verified purchaser. This way the vendors can post positive reviews of their product on Amazon in your name. This is intended to gain a higher ranking on Amazon which in turn is supposed to lead to more sales. Just think of the amount of information contained in your Amazon account. Not only is your home address listed within, but your payment information as well. These supposedly free items could be costing you without you even noticing it at first.

    So, what should you do if you start receiving these unsolicited deliveries? The first thing you should do is immediately change the password on your Amazon account. Since the scammers may have also compromised your email account you may want to consider changing the email address attached to your Amazon account also. These deliveries should also be reported to Amazon itself so they can take down any fake reviews in your name which is against their policy. If any of your debit or credit cards have been used in this scam you’ll want to cancel them and have new ones issued. The only consolation to the victim of this scam is that they can legally keep the items sent to them, however, they’re usually not the type of items you’d normally want to keep.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Scams, , , violence scam   

    New scam threatens your family with violence! 

    New scam threatens your family with violence!

    This scam we just recently heard of is so disturbing we don’t even have a clever name for it yet. In it, some scammers called a man from Brooklyn, New York, threatening to kill the man and his family if he didn’t pay them money. The scammers claimed to be from a criminal cartel and then sent the man explicitly violent pictures with claims of this is what would happen to his family if he didn’t pay. The man was hesitant to go to the police, however, he did contact a local community leader who was able to contact authorities. Police say that they have received other reports of this scam and that the scammers are casting wide nets trying to find victims. If you receive one of these calls you should hang up and contact police.

    Social security scams are still on the rise due to the fact that a number of senior citizens aren’t aware of the many scams that specifically target them. The Washington Post is reporting on a scam where the scammers posed as the Social Security Administration (SSA) and threatened to cut off the benefits of a woman in the early stage of Alzheimer’s. She was instructed to buy over $3,000 in gift cards from various merchants to have her benefits restored. One store even tried to warn her that this sounded like a scam. The Post article has a great checklist of things you can do to help senior relatives avoid this scam including sharing these stories every time they come up in the news. They also provide a link to the Federal Trade Commission’s website that has information about all types of impostor scams.

    The last scam for today is a reminder that most scams just don’t go away. We’ve talked about the secret shopper scam many times now. In this scam, ads will be posted hiring for secret shoppers which is a legitimate position with many retail companies. However, the con artists placing these ads online are trying to swindle you by sending you phony checks to use in your new position. They’ll tell you to deposit the checks to use in your secret shopping and send a portion of the check back. Once the bank finds out that the check is a fraud the victim who deposited the check into their bank account is responsible for the entire amount. This recently happened to a college student in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. If you’re considering a secret shopping position always consult with the Mystery Shopping Providers Association’s website before giving out your personal information.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: back to school, , , , , locksmith scam, Scams, scholarship scam,   

    It’s the season for Back to School scams 

    It's the season for Back to School scams

    With September approaching and some schools having already started their school year it should come as no surprise that scammers will even use the back to school season to try to target potential victims. The largest targets among these victims will more than likely be college students. Considering that many of these students will be away from home for the first time, they may not have the real-world experience to recognize a scam. Hopefully, with this blog post they can be better educated on which scams to look out for that could potentially harm their college experience.

    The Better Business Bureau of Florida recently put out a list of the most common scams for students to look out for and we can’t help but recognize a few of them. For example, the BBB warns of phony job scams. In these scams, the perpetrator will use a phony email address that spoofs that of the university. The student will be promised a phony job where they will be sent a check that will be more than they were promised. Of course, the check is phony but by the time the student sends back the money their bank will charge them the full amount of the bogus check. Another common scam that targets college students is the phony scholarship scam. Phony companies will guarantee students grants or scholarships in exchange for a fee. Most scholarships and grants can only come from the government or the school so avoid these promises at all costs.

    While the above scams are largely illegal there are some legal scams to look out for as well. Many credit card companies will offer their cards to incoming students, however, many of them have either high annual fees or interest rates. It’s very easy to obtain one of these cards then find yourself in a world of debt that you weren’t prepared for. Then there’s the locksmith scam where a student may lock themselves out of their housing or car and they’ll call the first locksmith that comes up in a web search. Those locksmiths may not be local and may charge you an exorbitant fee. It’s better to research for a local locksmith before you lose your keys so you can have a reputable one readily available should the need arise.

    For a more comprehensive list from the BBB about these scams and others you can click this link.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dog The Bounty Hunter, Duane Chapman, Scams   

    You can’t scam The Dog 

    You can't scam The Dog

    We’ve talked about the phony check scam many times in the past. The gist of the scam is that the scammer will send you a forged or phony check for whatever reason and will try to get you to deposit the check into your bank account. The scammers will then try to get you to wire them the difference while telling you to keep a portion of the check. Inevitably, the check turns out to be phony and you get stuck with any money that is owed the bank. Meanwhile, the scammers make off with the bulk of their ill-gotten gains. It seems that no one is immune to this type of scam as scammers tried pulling this ploy on one of the last people you would want to.

    Duane Chapman is more famously known as Dog The Bounty Hunter. Not only did Chapman have a successful reality series but he rose to prominence when he apprehended wanted fugitive Andrew Luster in 2003. More recently, scammers sent a check to Chapman in the amount of $430,000 for an alleged speaking engagement in Dubai. Immediately, Chapman’s agent felt that there was something suspect about the check. The first thing was that the check had an address that went to an empty building in Sacramento, California while supposedly being from a company in Oregon. The other part that seemed odd was that Chapman and his agent were instructed to ‘donate’ half of the check back to the organization running the event. As you can guess, there was no event and the check was a bogus one.

    Sadly, this isn’t the first scam that Duane Chapman has had to endure recently. After the recent passing of his wife Beth, Chapman took to social media to warn people not to accept any friend requests that claim to be him. In some cases, fans of his had accepted the requests and later found themselves out of thousands of dollars.

    The fake accounts were asking for contributions while trying to capitalize on Chapman’s loss.

    Getting back to the phony check scam, Chapman’s team did everything right in uncovering this deception. First off, if someone sands you a check then asks you to send part of that sum back to them or a third party it’s likely a scam. If you’re still not sure, check the address from where the check was supposedly issued. Also, look for mismatched names from the people who have allegedly issued the check. Often the name on the check will not be from the person you would be talking to.

     
  • Geebo 8:30 am on July 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Equifax, , , , Scams   

    Just how bad are military romance scams? 

    Just how bad are military romance scams?

    In a military romance scam, the scammer poses as a member of the US military and target potential victims. Like in most other romance scams, they’ll have the victim believing they’re in some type of relationship before asking for money. These scammers are largely from Nigeria where many of the scammers claim that these scams pay more than honest work. It’s become such a problem that the Department of Defense has employees that constantly scan social media for phony military accounts and report them to the platform in question. The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command receives numerous complaints about these scams but since the scams actually involve civilians it’s out of their jurisdiction.

    If you’ve been following the news lately you may be aware of the settlement that credit reporting company Equifax has been ordered to give because of a massive data breach that happened in 2017. The Federal Trade Commission has ordered Equifax to pay $425 million to consumers affected by the breach. his has meant that you may be able to claim $125 from the settlement. Of course, where there’s a payout there’s likely to be a scam. Fake websites are popping up claiming to be the official Equifax settlement website. The goal of these phony websites is to either to get you to give up your personal information or pay for a settlement that will never come. The official FTC settlement site can be found at https://www.ftc.gov/Equifax.

    Speaking of payments, a number of news outlets are reporting about a bank scam that’s affecting consumers. In this scam, you’ll receive a text message warning you that there’s been fraudulent activity on your bank account. You’ll then receive a phone call that appears to be from your bank with someone asking you to input your PIN. Once you do this the scammers will have control of your bank account. It’s easy for just about anyone to spoof a phone number to make it look like it’s coming from your bank. If you receive one of these calls the best thing to do is hang up and call the bank at the official number listed on the back of your credit or debit card.

     
  • Geebo 8:02 am on July 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bond scam, , , , , , , Scams   

    $4,000,000 stolen in romance scam by victim 

    $4,000,000 stolen in romance scam

    A woman in Northern Kentucky is accused of stealing in upwards of $4 million as part of a romance scam and has been arrested for the alleged theft. The thing is that even though she’s accused of stealing this large sum of money, she’s also the victim in this story. She was the one who was reportedly strung along by the scammers. Investigators say that she never kept any of her employer’s money and sent it all to someone she believed to be in a relationship with. This was after she had sent the scammers all of her own money. Now in most instances, you can’t find yourself in a position where you can embezzle large amounts of money like this without having some form of professional background meaning that even educated people can find themselves falling victim to a romance scam.

    In other scam news, residents of Southern California are being warned about a phony bond scam that has been plaguing the area. Some Sheriffs Offices have been receiving complaints about phony government agents calling residents and telling them that their Social Security numbers have been involved in various frauds. To avoid arrest the residents are being told to pay a bond. As can be expected in these type of scams, the residents are told that they can pay the ‘bond’ using gift cards such as Apple, Google Play, or WalMart gift cards. No government agency, whether it is local or federal, will ever ask you to pay any kind of fee using gift cards. If you are to receive one of these phone calls, it is recommended that you hang up immediately and contact your local police.

    Lastly for today, we have a reminder about the phony check scam. If you’re unfamiliar with this scam it’s one of the more prolific scams on the internet. Whether you’re trying to sell something online or applying for a job online, some unscrupulous scammer will send you a check and ask you to deposit the check in your bank account before sending them back the difference. The check is always a fake and once your bank discovers that, you’ll be on the hook for the money while the scammers make off with the funds. One of these phony checks recently targeted an online seller in North Dakota who was quick to notice the discrepancies in the scammer’s story. The texts they were receiving were from a California number while the check was mailed from New York and calls were coming from someone named Larry while the checks came from someone named Donna. If you ever feel like something is off when dealing with online sales and purchases it probably is.

     
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