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  • 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.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , social media   

    Government grant scammers trying new trick 

    Government grant scammers trying new trick

    The government grant scam is one of the older scams that came along with the advent of social media. How it normally works is you’ll receive a message from someone on your friends list. They’ll tell you about a great opportunity where you can qualify for a government grant and basically receive free money. The message would then direct you to a website where you can apply for the supposed grant.

    If you apply for the grant one of two things usually happens. You could have your identity stolen after submitting your personal information when applying for the grant. The other thing that could happen is that the grant issuers will ask you for a processing fee before issuing the grant.

    What actually has happened is that your friends social media account has been hacked and scammers are using it to send out these grant messages. The grants don’t actually exist and you could be out personal and financial information along with a chunk of your savings.

    Social media platforms have gotten wise to these messages and the scammers know this. Now, these scam messages will try to direct you off of the platform your,e using to try to avoid detection. The message will say something like ‘text me your number if you want to talk about it’. This way the scammers can try to fool you without the social media company seeing the messages.

    if you receive one of these messages on social media, do not respond. If it’s from someone you know personally, use another method of communication to contact them to let them know their account has been compromised.

    As this scam often targets the elderly you may want to let your older family members aware of this scam before they’re taken advantage of.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , social media   

    Blessing Loom pyramid scheme is back 

    Blessing Loom pyramid scheme is back

    The last time we heard about the Blessing Loom pyramid scheme, scammers were trying to take advantage of people who had just received their economic impact payments. Now, we’re seeing reports of the pyramid scheme returning to social media if it ever left at all. With so many Americans having financial difficulty during the current crisis, the Blessing Loom could be finding new victims.

    While a Blessing Loom may be shaped like a circle, it’s essentially just window dressing for a pyramid scheme. In a Blessing Loom, someone will promise their victims that they can exponentially increase their initial ‘investment’ if they just recruit new people into the ‘loom’. In theory, once the outer circle of the loom is filled the person in the middle gets all the investments from that circle. Once you move to the center is when you’re supposed to get your big payout. Except, the only people who truly make money through these are the people who set it up in the first place. Once they receive the investment money through apps like Venmo or Cash App, your money is gone and you just made someone else richer for doing almost nothing.

    These pyramid schemes often go by other names as well with all of them designed to lull you into a false sense of security. Using such names as ‘Money Board’ or ‘Gifting Circle’, scammers will try to make these schemes appear as friendly as possible to try to recruit as many people as possible into their scheme.

    The other drawback to Blessing Looms besides losing your money is that they’re illegal. If you try to recruit someone into one of these circles, you could be held criminally responsible even if you’re not the initial organizer.

    As we’ve said before, you wouldn’t give a stranger on the street your money if they told you they’ll give you $500 if you give them $50, so why would you give it to someone on social media?

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , social media, ,   

    TikTok text is a scam 

    TikTok text is a scam

    TikTok is a social media app and platform that allows you to make and view short video content. It is insanely popular among today’s younger generations. As such, younger users may not be especially familiar with certain scams that have been affecting the platform.

    For example, some TikTok users have been reporting that they’ve been receiving text messages claiming to be from TikTok. These messages state that the user needs to verify their TikTok account. The message then provides a link to click on in order to verify the account. While the reports we’ve read do not specify it, we imagine the link takes you to a phony page that looks like TikTok and asks the user for their login information. This is known as a phishing attack.

    With this information, the TikTok account can be hijacked and then used to try to phish information from that user’s followers. However, access to TikTok accounts is not the only goal in this attack. A lot of people will use the same login information on multiple online accounts such as their email and financial accounts. Access to those accounts could allow these scammers to essentially take over someone’s life. This could result in not only lost money but could also lead to things like having credit cards and loans applied for in the user’s name. If one of these text messages is received, it’s best to ignore it and delete it.

    Our readers tend to be in a different age demographic than those who are TikTok’s target audience. So why are we telling you about this TikTok scam? If you have young children or grandchildren the odds are that they’re using TikTok. These young users may not be familiar with the ways in which online scammers will try to take advantage of them. Many kids can be a little obsessive about their TikTok account and will react to any message that claims they’re in jeopardy of losing their account. It’s our job as their mentors to teach them about things like this so they can be better prepared for the world.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Coca-Cola, Little Caesars, , , social media, ,   

    Commercial scams to watch out for 

    Commercial scams to watch out for

    Scammers will not hesitate to pose as even the most successful and trusted brands in our country to try to steal something from you. Whether it’s money or information, scammers will promise you the world to get what they want from you. Here are three recent scams that have posed as large commercial entities.

    On social media, a scam has been going around offering free pizza. Scammers are posing as pizza restaurant chain Little Caesars. The phony post is telling users that if you share the post and comment on it, you’ll receive a free pizza at your local Little Caesars. This is being posted by a fake Little Caesars account. The real Little Caesars account will have a verified checkmark next to their name. According to investigators, this scam is designed to get you to put some form of malware on your device.

    If you thought that a company as large as Coca-Cola can’t be used in a scam, think again. An email is currently being circulated congratulating recipients that they’ve won the Coca-Cola sweepstakes. This is a scam that’s as old as the internet itself. The email asks that you give your contact information to the phony Coke company in order to collect your winnings. Security experts say that these emails are an attempt to gather your personal information to use for future phishing attacks that could compromise your device or financial information. Remember, that you can’t win a contest you never entered. If you receive an e-mail like this, your best course of action is to delete it.

    Lastly for today, a number of AT&T mobile customers have said that they’ve been the targets of a scam. They’ve been receiving text messages that say their payments have not gone through. The text message includes a number to call to resolve the issue but the number doesn’t belong to AT&T. While no one has reported falling for the scam, we imagine it’s not unlike the tech support scam where the scammer will ask for money to try to fix the non-existent issue. If you receive a text like this, it’s best to check your account online to make sure there are no payment issues. If you need to call customer service, use the number that is on your provider’s website.

     
  • Geebo 8:25 am on April 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , social media,   

    Kidnapping scams, among others, continue 

    Kidnapping scams, among others, continue

    For the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing scams that have been related to the coronavirus pandemic whether it’s directly or indirectly. While fears surrounding the pandemic have been a boon to many con artists, some are still running the same old scams without using coronavirus as a tool in their arsenal.

    In Denver, the police have been receiving complaints about kidnapping scams taking place. 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 trick to 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. Often, these scammers are able to find the names of their pretend victims through social media making the threatening call more convincing. If you ever receive one of these phone calls, always get someone you trust to call the suspected victim while you keep the virtual kidnappers on the phone. In any case, you should always contact the police if you find yourself in the midst of this scam.

    Two Chicago men were arrested in Boise, Idaho accused of a social media scam that cost victims thousands of dollars. The two men would allegedly take to social media and post the message “Who ready to get paid today? Text CASH NOW to [phone number redacted.] It’s legit… tell them I referred you.” Victims were said to be persuaded to hand over their debit card information including their PIN. Instead of getting paid, the two men would deposit phony checks into the victims’ accounts then withdraw the money before the bank would realize the checks were fake.

    In Kentucky, scammers are posing as the state Lottery Commission and telling victims that they have won large prizes. The scammers will then either ask for ‘taxes’ on the prize or they’ll ask for bank information to send the phony prize. In either case, the victims end up losing money before it’s all over/. Keep in mind that when you purchase a lottery ticket you never give your contact information to the point of purchase so the Lottery Commission has no way of contacting you.

    While these scams may bot be happening in your area now, it could only be a matter of time before they are.

     
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