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  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , south carolina, tiny home   

    Scammers are selling tiny homes 

    By Greg Collier

    For the past few years, there’s been a trend on social media of people building or buying tiny homes. Most of the people who do so cite financial reasons for why they became enamored with tiny home living. While tiny home living isn’t for everyone, it can’t be denied that rising housing costs have created this relatively new market. But just because you may be thinking about taking the leap into a tiny home lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you should take the decision lightly.

    In South Carolina, The Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina is warning residents of the Palmetto State about scammers who are claiming to sell tiny homes. According to the MHISC, scammers are trying to pass off modified storage sheds as tiny homes. The scammers are said to be selling these structures from the roadside. These structures are said to have the barest of amenities added to them and are still considered illegal structures by the state if they were to be used as a home. They are said to lack proper ventilation and other safety standards required in most homes.

    In many ways, moving into a tiny home is more work than buying a ‘standard’ size home. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge into a tiny home, there is a ton of research that needs to be done before you even start building. We think it’s pretty obvious to say that you shouldn’t buy a home from a side of the road vendor with a spray-painted and misspelled sign. Unless you stop at a vegetable stand, there’s not a lot you should be buying off the side of the road. Most importantly, you need to check your state and local regulations regarding tiny homes. Some jurisdictions have banned them outright. You also have to worry about financing, as most traditional housing lenders won’t give loans for tiny homes. Then you have to worry about your new home being up to code as well.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , south carolina,   

    Woman poses as man in $500,000 romance scam 

    $4,000,000 stolen in romance scam

    By Greg Collier

    One of the earliest memes that shows the anonymity of the internet was not even first published on the internet. It was from one of the famous cartoons in New Yorker Magazine from 1993. It was a cartoon of a dog sitting at a computer talking to a smaller dog while saying “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog”. 28 years later, that cartoon is still relevant. Even today, when many people are using their real names on social media, you can still slip into a false identity just about anytime you want. For one woman from South Carolina, her online persona was that of a male Texas oil rig worker for the purposes of a romance scam.

    The 68-year-old woman recently pleaded guilty to elder abuse and theft. She posed as the oil rig worker on Facebook and approached a 74-year-old widow from Wichita, Kansas. After the scammer convinced the woman to be in an online relationship, the money requests started coming in. The phony oil rig worker told the widow that ‘he’ wanted to live with the widow when he retired, but needed money. The widow eventually sent multiple cashier’s checks that totaled $532,000. The widow’s family told her she was being scammed, but she didn’t want to believe it. When investigators finally caught up with the scammer, the scammer claimed the checks were for a business arrangement.

    Anybody on the internet can tell you they’re an oil rig worker, that doesn’t necessarily make it true. The position of oil rig worker is often used in romance scams because it’s difficult to verify and gives scammers a reason to not communicate by phone or meet in person. The same can be said for a military member who says they’re stationed overseas or an international businessman.

    This story also dispels the stereotype of the overseas scammers, who tend to be young and male. A scammer can be from anywhere, including your own neighborhood.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , south carolina   

    Potential modeling scam poses threat 

    Potential modeling scam poses threat

    The modeling scam isn’t one we discuss often but it can have potentially devastating effects. The damage can range anywhere from simply being swindled out of a substantial amount of money to becoming the victim of an online predator. Modeling can artists like to prey upon the insecurities of their victims and promise them lives of luxury and fame even though the odds of becoming a legitimately successful model are about the same as someone becoming a successful professional athlete. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped victims from being scammed and the swindlers are always looking for new ways to find more victims.

    For example, recently in the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina, a number of women were sent text messages asking them if they wanted to be models for Victoria’s Secret. The texter was reportedly posing as a former model and asked the women for photos, personal information, and possibly a meeting. Authorities in the area believe this could potentially be a plot to recruit victims for human trafficking. Usually, human traffickers rely on social media to try to recruit victims instead of text messaging. However, the women that were texted in Myrtle Beach are all public figures in their profession and their numbers could have been obtained in any number of ways.

    If you are thinking about getting into the modeling industry, have realistic expectations and do your research on the pitfalls it entails. What may sound like a great job could be any number of ways you can put yourself in danger. While you may be able to find one or two legitimate modeling jobs online, for the most part, legitimate modeling jobs are done through modeling agencies. The Federal Trade Commission has a website on how to tell if a modeling job is legitimate or if you’re dealing with shady charlatans.

  • Geebo 9:07 am on September 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , south carolina,   

    Price gouging a real concern during a hurricane 

    Price gouging a real concern during a hurricane

    With the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence looking to be a storm of a lifetime event in the Mid-Atlantic, three states have declared states of emergency. Those states being South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. The hurricane is expected to make landfall in one those states later this week. To make matters worse, whenever a hurricane is set to hit an area, there are usually those whose intent is to make a king’s ransom of profit over helping those in need during a time of crisis.

    Price gouging is when a merchant or lodging provider charge an exorbitant amount for their goods or services during a crisis when need is in high demand. Thankfully, the three states mentioned, all have laws in place to prevent price gouging when a state of emergency has been declared. With so many people looking for supplies, fuel, or alternative lodging, it’s refreshing to see governments looking to make sure that people in need aren’t being taken advantage of.

    However, that doesn’t mean that price gouging won’t occur. For example, if you were to leave the area where an emergency has been declared, you may be at the mercy of an unscrupulous vendor. If you live in South Carolina and evacuate to Georgia, where a state of emergency has not been declared, you may see an exorbitant price increase for food, gas, and lodging. If you are in a state that has declared an emergency some vendors may still take to price gouging in defiance of the law. If that is the case, these articles from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia all have the information you need to contact the proper authorities.

    To everyone who is facing the wrath of this potentially devastating storm, please stay safe.

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