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  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , social media   

    Grandchildren are huge security risks 

    By Greg Collier

    The grandparent scam is one of the worst scams that continues to plague seniors in our country. For those who may be unfamiliar with the grandparent scam, it’s when a scammer calls an elderly victim posing as one of the victim’s grandchildren. Typically, the scammer will say that they’re in some kind of legal trouble and need money for bail or some other legal fee. They’ll then instruct the victim not to tell anyone else in the family because they’re embarrassed, but what they’re really doing is making sure the victim’s family is unaware of the scam. This scam has cost seniors thousands of dollars at a time and has put the victim’s safety at risk.

    Grandparent scammers often possess very detailed information about the person they’re claiming to be. According to the Better Business Bureau, this is because younger generations tend to overshare information on social media. This leads the scammers to all sorts of information about the victim’s family. The reason this is important is that it circumvents one of the ways usually used to detect this scam. Security experts typically advise seniors to ask the caller a question that only the grandchild would know. Now, that answer may actually be floating around on social media.

    However, there are still ways to help you or someone in your family from becoming a victim of this scam. The best way is for your family you to set up a secret phrase or word with each other to use in case of any actual emergency. But, if you ever receive a call like this, it’s not going to hurt anyone to hang up and try to contact your family to make sure the grandchild is actually ok. Nobody arrested ever got extra jail time because a grandparent wanted to verify their story.

    Again, we ask that if you have an older family member who may not be up on the latest technology, please share this blog post with them or show them any one of the many articles about this scam.

  • Geebo 9:01 am on December 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , social media   

    New debt collection rules could lead to scams 

    New debt collection rules could lead to scams

    By Greg Collier

    If you’ve ever had to deal with a debt collector, whether rightly or wrongly, you know just how persistent they can be. Even some legitimate debt collection agencies have used some pretty underhanded tactics to try to collect on a debt that can border on harassment. Some agencies will try to pressure someone into making a payment right then and there over the phone, without telling the person where the debt came from. The collection agency might not have this information, since they may have bought the debt from someone else. They might also try to threaten you with arrest or wage garnishment. Both of these tactics are illegal, but that hasn’t stopped some collection agencies. Now, there is one less place where you can avoid debt collectors.

    Debt collectors are now allowed to approach you on social media. However, that comes with a few cautions. The communication from the debt collector has to be private. For example, they’re not allowed to post anything on your Facebook page that your friends and family could see. Debt collectors also have to properly identify themselves along with the amount of the debt, and where the debt is originally from. They’re also required to give you the option to opt-out of receiving any social media messages from them.

    However, with these new regulations, authorities are worried about scammers approaching people on social media while posing as debt collectors. According to the Better Business Bureau, if you think you’re talking to a scammer, end all communication immediately. Instead, you can go to the BBB website to make sure the agency is legitimate. You can also use the same tricks against scammers that you can use to protect your rights against debt collectors. Ask them for a debt verification letter that will detail where the debt supposedly came from. You should also check your state’s law to see when the statute of limitations on debt expires.

    However, we should warn, that if you choose to ignore messages from debt collectors this could negatively affect your credit whether the debt is correct or not.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 11, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , social media   

    Pyramid scheme disguised as gift exchange returns 

    Pyramid scheme disguised as gift exchange returns

    By Greg Collier

    With many people already starting their holiday shopping, an annual holiday scam has returned to social media. The Better Business Bureau is warning to consumers to be aware of the Secret Sister Gift Exchange. The scam seems harmless and fun at first. The posts on social media ask you to add your name and address to a list where you send in a small $10 gift. In return, you’re promised to receive up to 36 of the gifts. You’re also asked to recruit at least six more people into the gift exchange. It’s just $10. What could be the harm in that?

    Anytime you’re asked to recruit more people to advance an exchange like this, whether it’s gifts or money, it’s a pyramid scheme. It’s the people at the top of the pyramid who reap the rewards of the scam, while those on the bottom of the pyramid often find themselves empty-handed. That’s not even considering that you sent a stranger your name and address. You basically just paid $10 to have your identity stolen.

    What’s even worse is that by participating in a pyramid scheme, you could potentially face legal action, as pyramid schemes are illegal in the United States. Often, the people who initiate these gift exchanges will swear up and down that the gift exchange is either not a pyramid scheme or is approved by the US Government. They’re either lying or are ignorant of the law. Not only is it illegal to recruit someone into a pyramid scheme like this, since the scheme also uses the US Postal Service, you could also be charged with mail fraud.

    If you have a friend on social media who has engaged in one of these gift exchanges, you might want to warn them about the illegality of it. While your friends may not be the scammers themselves, a short conversation with them may save them from trouble in the long run.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , social media, Twitch   

    Major social media platform experiences historic data breach 

    Data breach exposed most American families

    By Greg Collier

    If we had to hazard a guess, we’d assume that most of our readership do not use livestreaming platform Twitch. If you’re not familiar with Twitch, it’s most famous for its users who stream themselves playing video games, although it does have other content such as musicians and talk shows. Yesterday, Twitch was the victim of a massive data breach of epic proportions, which has left some of its top users vulnerable to potential cyberattacks.

    Yesterday, hackers released a veritable cornucopia of Twitch’s inside information. This was a 128 GB file that contained the platform’s source code. In layman’s terms, hackers released all the code that the platform runs on to the public. Some of this code contained information such as how much some of Twitch’s top earners make, which for some is in the millions of dollars. Twitch streamers make a lot of their money through monthly subscriptions and viewer donations.

    What’s more concerning to the average Twitch user is that it’s been alleged that usernames and passwords have been exposed. If this is true, this could lead to a rash of identity theft if Twitch users use the same password elsewhere online. While this breach may not affect the majority of our readership, it could affect your kids, as Twitch is massively popular among a younger audience.

    This data breach could be used to teach your kids a lesson in online security. Find out if they have a Twitch account and if they use their Twitch password anywhere else online. Recommend that they not only change their password to Twitch, but also to change it if they use the same password anywhere else. You should also recommend to them that they should not use the same password on multiple platforms. It’s never too early to have your children learn the value of internet security.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , social media, sugar daddy scam, teenagers   

    Scam targets teens on social media 

    Scam targets teens on social media

    By Greg Collier

    If you’re a parent with teenagers, your children may be just a little bit more tech-savvy than you. While they may have a wealth of tech experience, teenagers tend to lack real-world experience. Many teenagers often lack the knowledge to know when something is too good to be true. Scammers are aware of this and use their lack of knowledge and experience to lure them into traps. It’s our job as parents to try to protect our kids from these mistakes, but not only can’t we hover over them 24 hours a day, teenagers are very good at hiding things. You may want to have a talk with them about this scam.

    A sheriff’s department in Ohio has noticed an uptick in a scam that targets teens on Snapchat. It’s been dubbed the sugar daddy or sugar mamma scam. In this scam, the scammers approach teens and promise them money in exchange for them to send good morning and good night messages. The scammers will then send a large check to the teen while either asking a portion to be sent back or to a third party. If you’re a longtime reader, you probably recognize this as the fake check scam. Once the teen deposits the check and sends money from it elsewhere, they’ll be responsible for the full amount of the check once the bank realizes the check is a fake. Not only could this affect their credit before they even really get started in the world, this could also have damaging psychological effects on teens as well.

    The best way to prevent them falling to this scam is to make sure their Snapchat accounts aren’t public accounts where anyone can contact them. Periodically check their friends list on Snapchat to make sure there are no inappropriate contacts on their list. Now, you may think that’s a little invasive and that you trust your kids to make the right decisions. That’s all well and good, but you can’t trust the adults that are approaching them on social media.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 23, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , social media   

    Scammers make fake GoFundMe for teen who died from scam 

    Scammers make fake GoFundMe for teen who died from scam

    By Greg Collier

    Tragedy recently struck a town in Upstate New York. A teenage boy fell victim to an extortion scam on social media. He had thought he met a girl who was interested in him on social media. The supposed girl convinced the boy to send compromising photos of himself. Instead, the girl was a blackmailer who threatened to make the pictures public if the boy didn’t pay the scammer $3500. When the teen refused to pay, the scammer kept sending threats. Under the pressure of the photos possibly being made public, the teen tragically took his own life.

    The teen’s parents started a GoFundMe after the teen’s passing. The money from the GoFundMe will be going to fund a scholarship to help kids with practical skills they can use later in life. However, it wasn’t bad enough that scammers essentially talked the teen into taking his own life. On top of that, there were scammers who started another GoFundMe using the teen’s name. Odds are it’s not the same scammer, but a family being victimized twice by scammers in such a matter is infuriating.

    If you have children who are avid social media users, you may want to warn them about this extortion scam. No family should ever have to lose a child to online scammers. You should also be careful what GoFundMe you donate to. While GoFundMe has good intentions, it can be a con artist’s playground. You should only donate to a GoFundMe if it comes from a reliable source like your local news or a trusted friend.

    And while we might sound like a broken record about this, it does show that are no depths that scammers won’t sink to. They only see tragedy as an opportunity to steal money.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on March 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , social media,   

    Why you shouldn’t use social media for unemployment problems 

    By Greg Collier

    Many internet users only use the internet to browse their favorite social networks. To them, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram is their internet. This is what’s known as being in a walled garden. Why leave the confines of the garden when everything you need is right there. These users can talk to their friends, see what’s in the news, and watch videos in their social network of choice. So, it should come as no surprise when these users have a problem they need to resolve, they use social media. In some instances, this is perfectly acceptable as many companies have someone manning their social media accounts at all time. In other instances, using social media like this can open you up to fraud. One governmental agency recently found this out the hard way.

    The state of New Jersey recently had to close the comments on the Facebook page of the Department of Labor. People who were having issues with their unemployment were leaving comments on the NJDOL’s Facebook page. Then scammers would appear posing as state employees in an attempt to get personal information out of those who were having issues. The NJDOL issued a warning on their Twitter account that they closed comments on their Facebook page because of the deluge of scammers. They wanted to remind unemployment recipients that their agents will never reach out to them on social media.

    This is just the latest in a long line of unemployment scams that have plagued the country since the start of the pandemic. While there is light at the end of the tunnel, consumers should still be vigilant when it comes to sharing their personal information. If you’re dealing with an unemployment issue in New Jersey or any other state, you should always use the state’s official website that deals with unemployment. That’s usually the Department of Labor, but some states call it something else. These websites should always end in the .gov domain. Even if it’s the state’s official social media account, it’s always best to use their actual website to try to get unemployment issues resolved.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on March 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , job fairs, , , , social media, temp agency   

    Seven tips on finding a new job 

    Seven tips on finding a new job

    By Greg Collier

    There’s light at the end of the tunnel now. Job markets are starting to open up and slowly but surely several new positions are becoming available around the country. However, it’s not to the point yet where you can take the application process lightly. You need to compete for these positions and in order to achieve that you need an edge against your competition. We’ve found some tips that we think will give you better chances of finding that new position.

    1. Craft a professional looking resume.

    A resume is your best way of getting your foot in the door with a new employer. However, not everyone knows how to write a resume. No matter what position you may be applying for, a well-crafted resume speaks volumes to a potential employer.

    Both Google Docs and Microsoft Word online have great templates that can help you craft your resume and their services are free. If you’d prefer and can afford it, there are services where people will craft a professional resume for you. Feel free to get creative with your resume’s appearance but not so creative that the resume is difficult to read or looks too unprofessional.

    In most cases, you’ll be able to send your resume electronically. However, you should have several copies of your resume printed out. Too many times people have gone to interviews where they’ve submitted their resume electronically only to have the interviewer ask for a hard copy. While most of don’t have printers at home anymore, you usually can get files printed at your local library relatively inexpensively. You can also print out your resume at retail delivery outlets like the UPS Store.

    Try to keep your resume down to one page. Multiple page resumes have the potential to get lost in the shuffle. While you may have a lengthy employment history, try to limit it to the past 5-10 years. If you’ve only held one job in that time then feel free to go back further in time.

    Whatever you do, don’t try any of the resume tricks that look like you’re trying to fool the employer. The most infamous one of these tricks is using keywords from the job ad on your resume in white font. When employers scan resumes they will find those supposedly invisible keywords and will discard your resume.

    2. Use social media to your advantage

    If there’s a particular company you’re eager to work for, follow them on social media. By doing so, you may gain an insight into their hiring cycles and practices. We’d recommend following them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Make LinkedIn a priority and then follow the company on whichever other platform the company is most active on. Don’t be afraid to interact with the company’s social media either. Leave a comment on their posts that you find interesting. This could go a long way in establishing yourself with the company. Just always remember to be professional when dealing with the company even on social media.

    You may also want to consider cleaning up your own social media. It’s an unfortunate fact that many employers will go through an applicant’s social media to make sure they’re hiring the right person. Employers don’t want to find a bunch of inappropriate posts on your social media profiles. For example, if you have a series of pictures on your social media where you have a drink in your hand in every picture, you may want to make those posts private. You may have had a great time on Spring Break in Cancun doing tequila shots for breakfast, but your prospective employer doesn’t need to know this. This goes double for that time you and your friends smoked the fattest joint you’ve ever seen. While cannabis may be legal in many states now, most employers still look down on that kind of recreational activity. Along those lines, try to limit which of your friends can tag you in posts as they may post an unflattering picture of you that could show up on your profile.

    Also consider making any political or off-color posts private as well.

    And while this next tip isn’t really related to social media, we’d thought we’d throw it in here. Always use a professional email address when applying for a job. While you may have had the same email address since grade school, employers don’t want to see an email address like StonerLord420@weedmail.com or babeegrrl@partymail.com. Stick with using an email address that just encompasses your name like JohnSmith@example.com, or even something like jsmith785@example.com.

    3. Reach out to friends and family

    If you’re currently looking for work, don’t be afraid to let your friends and family know. They might not know someone directly who’s looking for new employees, but someone they know might. Employers love getting referrals for new employees from existing employees.

    If you went to college, think about reaching out your college buddies or your former fraternity brothers or sorority sisters. Except for that one person who’s still in college on the ten-year plan. They’re going to need more help than you. Most universities also have career and alumni events you can attend to help get your name out.

    Speaking of universities, if you have a specialized degree in a certain field, but there’s not a lot of opportunities in that field right now, give teaching a try. You don’t have to do it forever, and it looks good on a resume.

    4. Attend job fairs

    This is where printing out multiple copies of your resume comes in handy. Job fairs are a great place where you can introduce yourself to multiple employers at one gathering. You can usually find ads for job fairs on job boards and in your local newspaper or their website. You can even try talking to employers who may be out of your field. Not only that, but you may be introduced to a new experience that you excel at. Just make sure you dress professionally because the adage about making a first impression is true even if it’s for a more casual position. And lastly, don’t hesitate to ask any questions about the employer or the position. That will not only show that you’re motivated but that you’re interested in the company as well.

    5. Call or email an employer directly

    Most employers these days will want you to fill out an application or submit a resume online. However, it can’t hurt to call them directly asking about potential openings, even if they don’t have any openings that fit your experience. You might end up making a contact within their HR department. Then that way you could be at the forefront when a suitable position opens.

    You may also want to research if the company has a public email where you can reach their hiring department directly. Again, even if they don’t have any positions open currently, they could be contacting you when they do.

    6. Apply at temp or staffing agencies

    Temp agencies seem to get a bad rap when it comes to finding a new job. In many cases, they are a great way to not only build up your reputation with the company you’ve been contracted to, but you may become one of the temp agency’s star temps to contract out.

    A lot of companies love to hire someone after having them a few weeks or months as a temp. I was hired on permanently at more than one job after working for the company as a temp. However, even if you’re not hired on permanently, the temp position could still provide invaluable experience that you can use in the future.

    7. Don’t forget the job boards

    Some of the most common ways are the best and this includes searching for a job on the various online job boards. Companies use these boards because they work. You can use these boards to filter out a job by location, salary, and field among other qualifications. You can also submit your resume for any employer to review. Most will even let you set up notifications for when a position in your field becomes available.

    Also, please keep in mind that Geebo.com has an extensive employment section as well.

  • Geebo 9:04 am on March 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , social media   

    Modeling scam targets would-be influencers 

    Modeling scam targets would-be influencers

    By Greg Collier

    Modeling is a profession that is already fraught with peril. For aspiring models of any gender the pitfalls can range from being overcharged for photo packages to becoming the victim of human trafficking. Thankfully, today’s story didn’t have such drastic results, but it does show just one of the many ways those starting out can be taken advantage of.

    A man in Southern California was recently arrested for allegedly scamming a woman out of money with a phony modeling contract. The man is said to have reached out to a woman on Instagram and offered her $175 an hour for a photoshoot. The man claimed to be an intern for a record label and was recruiting women for a music video.

    The man is said to have given the woman two checks for $1,000 instead and claimed he was paying her for future photoshoots. All she needed to do was deposit the checks into her bank account and return the overage of the payments back to the supposed photographer.

    As you can probably imagine, the checks turned out to be fraudulent. The woman’s bank called her hours later to let her know that the checks were no good. This victim was lucky considering in most instances of fake check scams the banks usually don’t notify you for days and by that time the scammer is usually long gone with your money.

    This scammer’s downfall was that he tried to victimize the woman again. While she was at the police station reporting the crime, the scammer called her trying to set up another meeting for another photoshoot. He was promptly arrested shortly thereafter.

    Aspiring models should be wary of any unsolicited offer that comes through social media. They should also research any potential offers to make sure they’re dealing with legitimate professionals and agencies.

    Lastly, no job, no matter what field, will ask you to deposit a check into your bank and then ask for some of the money back. That’s a dead giveaway that the check is a fake. If the scammer in this case were to have disappeared, the victim would have been responsible for the amount of the checks and any penalties the bank may have charged.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on March 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , child safety kit, , , social media   

    Child safety kit scam returns to social media 

    Child safety kit scam returns to social media

    By Greg Collier

    The Indiana State Police have received complaints about a scam circulating on social media. The scam involves the advertising of child safety kits. If you’re not familiar with child safety kits, they are a way of gathering your child’s identifying information in case the unthinkable happens, and they go missing. These kits allow parents to quickly give investigators the information needed to help find their child. This includes a DNA sample such as strands of hair, recent photos, and fingerprints among other information. Many child safety organizations like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) partner with local law enforcement to provide these kits free to parents. You can even make your own kits at home, although you may want to have your children professionally fingerprinted by your local police.

    Unfortunately, scammers will try to prey on a parent’s fears to ‘sell’ phony kits. These phony kits are really just attempts to steal your child’s personal information to use for identity theft. In Indiana, the State Police there are saying that after some parents clicked on the social media ad for one of these kits, they received phone calls from aggressive people who wanted to come to the parent’s home to install an app on the parent’s phone. When you’re trying to protect your child’s safety, the last thing you need is an aggressive stranger in your home seeking your child’s information. While the report doesn’t state what the app’s real purpose is, one can safely assume that the app either steals your child’s information when you enter it, or installs malware to your device.

    The purpose of keeping your child’s information at hand is so that you can provide it to law enforcement quickly as possible if need be. Providing that information to a third party only delays giving the information to police.

    In identity theft, there is a huge market for children’s information including their Social Security numbers. This way a scammer can use the information to build up credit years before the parents or the child would notice.

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