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  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , red light camera, , traffic tickets, traveling, TSA PreCheck,   

    Scam Round Up: Red Lights, the TSA, and Google Voice 

    Scam Round Up: Red Lights, the TSA, and Google Voice

    By Greg Collier

    Every so often, we come across scams that may not warrant an entire blog post. So here are three scams that caught our attention this week that be briefly summed up.

    In Renton, Washington, scammers are sending emails to victims claiming that the victim ran a red light and was caught on one of the city’s red light cameras. The email contains a link where you’re supposed to pay your fine but, of course, goes to the scammer instead. What makes this scam effective is that many jurisdictions use a third party online platform to collect some traffic fines. However, you can tell that this is a scam since most, if not all, cities send their red light tickets through the postal mail and not by email. Most states don’t even have your email address connected to your license plate number.


    If you travel a lot for business or leisure, you may have thought of signing up for TSA PreCheck. This program allows low-risk individuals to pay for a service where they can have an expedited security check when flying. As with a lot of government services, scammers are trying to trick PreCheck seekers into giving up their personal info by creating phony websites that claim they can register you with PreCheck. Again, there is a simple solution to this scam, but not everyone is aware of it. Only websites that have a .gov address can register you for PreCheck. Some of these scam websites may even have a .us address. Anybody can purchase a .us domain name, and it is not under the authority of the US Government. You can apply for TSA PreCheck at the TSA website.


    Our last scam for today is one we’ve previously discussed and also affects Geebo’s industry. If you’re selling something online, whether it’s with Geebo or someone else, be wary if someone says they want to prove ‘you’re real’. An authorization code will be sent to you and the buyer will ask for that code number. Do not give it to them. They’re trying to set up a Google Voice number that would be tied to your phone number. This way, they could continue scamming people using the Google Voice number, but would be traced back to you. This recently happened to a woman from New Hampshire who was selling her items on Facebook Marketplace.


    Please keep in mind that even though these scams may not be happening in your area, that doesn’t mean that it soon won’t be.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , traveling,   

    Summer vacation is scam season 

    Summer vacation is scam season

    By Greg Collier

    With the weather getting warmer and more pandemic restrictions being lifted, many families are looking to book vacations for the summer to make up for the time lost last year. However, traveling away from home can open consumers to a number of different scams they need to look out for. We’ve already discussed the rental car scam that is happening due to the rental car shortage. Now, warnings are going out about several scams that are related to vacation travel.

    The Better Business Bureau has put out a warning about various hotel scams. Since lodging is your home away from home during your vacation, it’s imperative to keep an eye out for these scams. According to the BBB, you should be aware of fake food delivery services. Scammers are said to distribute fake menus to hotels. When you call the number listed on the fake menu you’ll be directed to scammers who will take down your credit or debit card information and use it for their own purposes. Check with the front desk or look online to make sure the restaurant actually exists.

    Another popular hotel scam is when scammers will call your room posing as the front desk. The scammers will say that there is an issue with the card that was used at the front desk. Of course, they’ll ask you to verify your card number, which again will be used for theft. A hotel should never do this and will have patrons settle any billing issues at check out.

    Another problem that vacationers are facing is dealing with timeshares. Many people tried to get out of their timeshares over the last year due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, many people fell victims to scammers who promise to help get consumers out of their timeshare agreements. It’s been suggested that if you deal with your timeshare company directly, it will be cheaper to get out of your timeshare than hiring someone to do it who may not do anything after being paid.

    Lastly, the grandparent scam picks up during the summer months. With so many people being away from home, it’s easier to convince someone that a loved one is missing. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a loved one who’s in some kind of dire trouble, and they ask for money, that call could be nothing more than a scam.

    Hopefully, you can now have an even better vacation now that you know some of the scams to look out for.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Expedia, , , , , traveling,   

    Scam strikes vacation sites! 

    Scam strikes vacation sites!

    If you’re still looking to plan your vacation for this summer, you may want to be extra careful who you book your vacation with. The Better Business Bureau has been warning potential vacation-goers to make sure you use the proper travel website when booking travel plans. While most reports we’ve seen have mentioned Expedia, we imagine that this could happen with any well-known travel website. The scam works like a lot of phishing scams by posing as a website that looks identical to sites like Expedia but directs you to call a different number than Expedia’s actual number. The scammers will then tell you that their system is down and can you make payment using a prepaid debit card. That should be your red flag as once payment is transferred from that card the money is gone. Real travel platforms will never ask you to pay by prepaid debit card or gift card.

    Speaking of the BBB, they’re also warning about a scam that’s currently happening in the Pacific Northwest. It appears that a genetic testing scam is happening there now. You may see commercials for services that promise to test your genetics to give you your ethnic makeup. Most of these are established services with decent reputations. However, there are scammers trying to cash in on this craze by coming to your door or setting up shop in senior centers. If you’re asked for any kind of medical insurance information such as your Medicare number it’s a scam. This particular scam is designed just to get your medical carrier information to be able to commit future insurance fraud with your information. This scam also tends to target those who are on Medicare or Medicaid.

    Lastly, we have a scam out of the Midwest where some Sheriffs Offices are warning residents about it. In this scam, you’ll receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a border agent from either the Canadian or Mexican border. These fake agents will say that a rental car registered in your name has been found with drugs in it. They’ll even try to say that your name has been connected with a drug cartel. The scammers will then try to ask you for financial information to try to clear the incident up such as your bank account or credit card numbers. If you receive one of these calls it’s recommended that you hang up immediately.

  • Geebo 10:05 am on March 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amtrak, Brightline, trains, traveling, Virgin Trains USA   

    Is rail the future of travel in America? 

    Is rail the future of travel in America?

    If you’ve ever traveled by train in America your choice of carrier is extremely limited. You’re going to be using the services of either Amtrak or a regional rail service like SEPTA in the Philadelphia area or NJ Transit in the Garden State. Most of these services are government-run and in the case of Amtrak can be just as expensive as flying. While there are many great train stations in major cities like Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Chicago, train stations in smaller but still major cities leave a lot to be desired. However, a privately owned rail company is hoping to change all that.

    Brightline has its major station in Miami and is said to be an amazing experience for train travelers. They currently run lines to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach with a future expansion planned for Orlando. The rates appear to be quite reasonable and the service aboard the trains is said to be outstanding. It also doesn’t hurt that Brightline has partnered with the Virgin Group and has rebranded as Virgin Trains USA. Virgin has its own history when it comes to commuter travel as they have been successful in both the airline industry in the US and the rail industry in the UK.

    Brightline/Virgin Trains USA hope to cash in on the rising trend of people ditching cars for ride-sharing services not to mention travel between destinations which are too long to drive but too short to fly. While the service is only currently in South Florida, there are plans to expand the service to other parts of the country such as having a line from Las Vegas to Southern California. Could we be seeing a travel by train renaissance in the US within the next decade? Hopefully so because current rail services and options are lacking at best.

  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , traveling, Virgin Group,   

    Does Richard Branson still have the gift for business? 

    Does Richard Branson still have the gift for business?

    Virgin Group CEO Sir Richard Branson

    Sir Richard Branson is what’s known in today’s business world as a disrupter. That means he goes into business fields with new and innovative ideas that can be felt through the entire industry. However, Sir Richard has been doing this since 1968, long before the term disrupter was ever coined. That’s not to say that the self-made billionaire hasn’t had his share of stumbles in the business world. For every Virgin Records, Virgin Galactic, and Virgin Atlantic there’s been Virgin Cola, Virgin Cars and even Virgin Brides. More recently, Sir Richard has announced the inaugural plans for his vacation cruise line. Has he tapped into today’s cultural zeitgeist or will this venture be a flight of fancy?

    On Valentine’s Day of this year, Sir Richard announced that Virgin Voyages is now open for bookings and divulged how his cruise line will work. The aim of Virgin Voyages is said to be competing with such popular party hotspots as Ibiza, Spain or Saint-Tropez in France. With the way it’s been described in the media, Virgin Voyages almost seems like it’s going to be a Coachella or Burning Man on the high seas with stops in Havana and Virgin’s own private beach club in the Bahamas. While most cruise lines focus on families and older couples, Virgin Voyages will cater more to the ‘Millennial’ generation who supposedly enjoy experiences more than material goods.

    While that may sound good in theory the Millennial generation is also said to be woefully underpaid in today’s job market compared to previous generations and are burdened with record financial debt. While Sir Richard may be socially conscious when it comes to most of his ventures, social consciousness comes at a price that can only be passed on to the customer. While the experience on Virgin Voyages may be an amazing one, the experience may be priced out of range for most of his target demographic. If Virgin Voyages fails to catch on it won’t be the end of Virgin Group or anything like that but it could make investors less likely to engage in Branson’s future ventures if it does not succeed.

  • Geebo 9:59 am on November 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , traveling   

    Geebo would like you to stay safe for Thanksgiving 

    Geebo would like you to stay safe for Thanksgiving

    With a number of people looking to get an early headstart on Thanksgiving traveling we thought it would be best if we published our annual Thanksgiving safety warnings today. As most of you probably know, Thanksgiving week is one of the most dangerous holidays to travel on. The amount of alcohol-related accidents during Thanksgiving week statistically rivals that of New Year’s Eve and is only somewhat behind 4th of July weekend. With a record number of people expected to travel this weekend, those statistics may see an increase this year. Please be mindful of your consumption and if there’s any doubt in your mind whether or not you should drive please call a friend, relative or rideshare service for a lift.

    Food safety is also a concern as improperly cooked turkey has the potential to send someone to the emergency room for food poisoning. Some tips include thawing your turkey out in your refrigerator in enough time for cooking. Also if you’re handling the uncooked turkey make sure you wash your hands often. Fire is also a safety concern for the holiday as cooking accidents can result in fires. The Red Cross has some tips here that include checking your smoke alarms’ batteries and having a fire extinguisher handy. And as always if you’re going to deep fry a turkey, always make sure the turkey is thawed first or the extra moisture in the cooking oil could result in severe oil burns.

    Lastly, consider the health and welfare of your pets this Thanksgiving. While your dog or cat may be persistent in wanting some scraps from the table it’s not recommended that they’re given any turkey. Most pets are on a consistent diet which does not consist of turkey and it could imbalance their digestive systems. This includes any fat, skin or drippings from the turkey. What you can do when they beg is to keep some dry dog or cat food nearby and give that to them when they beg.

    We here at Geebo see our userbase as more than just numbers and we would like to see you all return safely from your holiday.

  • Geebo 9:59 am on July 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , traveling   

    Gas is cheaper this year, but stay safe on the 4th 

    Gas is cheaper this year but stay safe on the 4th

    Gasoline is cheaper for cars this summer than it has been in a long time. Because of that a lot of people will be traveling for the holiday especially since the 4th is close to a weekend. Due to increased travelers, the risk of danger might be at an all time high tomorrow. In case you were unaware, the 4th of July is considered to be the most dangerous holiday of the year when it comes to traveling.

    If you plan on doing any traveling this holiday please buckle up. Also, it should go without saying not to drink and drive. If you do plan on celebrating the holiday with a drink or two, and find yourself incapable of driving, arrange alternative methods of transportation like a ride-sharing service or a taxi. Also as always, alcohol and fireworks are never a good mix. Leave the fireworks to the professionals.

    Boating is also very dangerous during the 4th of July due to increased traffic, but it’s even more dangerous at night. If you’re out boating at night, and an accident or boat failure occurs, it might be difficult to signal anyone with a flare since they may consider the flare as more fireworks.

    Have a safe and fun holiday as we want to see you back here on Wednesday.

  • Geebo 9:09 am on April 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Oscar Munoz, traveling, United Airlines   

    United Airlines forcibly removes passenger from plane, was within their right 

    United Airlines forcibly removes passenger from plane, was within their right

    If you’re from a more mature generation, you may remember when United Airlines used to advertise “Fly the friendly skies”. Those skies weren’t very friendly over the weekend when O’Hare Airport Police forcibly removed a passenger from a flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky. Reports say that United had overbooked the flight and needed four passengers to disembark in order for a group of crew members to go to Louisville. Passengers were offered $800 in vouchers for anyone to volunteer to take a later flight. There weren’t enough passengers who took the offer so passengers were picked at random and relieved of their seats. One gentleman was said to have protested claiming that he was a doctor who needed to see patients in Louisville the next morning. Someone at the airline wasn’t having it and airport police were called to remove the man from the plane. The man was somehow bloodied while police attempted to remove him. The thing is though, the airline was completely within their rights.

    (WARNING: The following video may be disturbing to some)

    Now, while the airline may have been well within their rights to have that man removed from the plane, it’s obvious that it could have been handled in a much better way. It didn’t help that United CEO Oscar Munoz posted the following on Twitter.

    Re-accommodate is putting it mildly. While it’s more than likely Mr. Munoz was advised by his legal team on what to say, this only threw gasoline on the proverbial fire. Many consumers and travelers are already calling for a boycott of United. Between a boycott, and one would have to imagine a lawsuit, this could be financially damaging to the already struggling airline.

    If you ever find yourself being removed from an overbooked flight after anyone fails to volunteer, you are not only entitled to reimbursement, but you could be reimbursed to up to four times the value of your ticket.

  • Geebo 11:26 am on December 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: flying, , , , traveling   

    Someone thought it was funny to make a Galaxy Note 7 prank on a plane 

    Someone thought it was funny to make a Galaxy Note 7 prank on a plane

    If you’ve flown anywhere within the last few months you probably heard an announcement about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smart phone. The reason is that the Note 7 has had a problem with some of the batteries exploding, therefore the device has not only been recalled by Samsung but it’s also been banned from being allowed on commercial flights. Also, if you’ve ever flown ever, you should know that when it comes to security, no one has a sense of humor. Not the TSA and not the plane’s staff.

    However, that did not stop someone from naming their device ‘Galaxy Note 7’ while using the in-flight wi-fi on a recent flight from San Francisco to Boston. Only after the warning of diverting the flight at 3am to a closed terminal was the device found not to be a Galaxy Note 7.

    You’ll also have to remember that this was also done during the holiday traveling season. People are already on their last nerve when it comes to flying. especially with connections and delayed flights and the likes. A stunt like this if taken to its illogical conclusion it could have had the potential to cause at least a massive regional snafu.

    So if you’re in an airport and you’re telling yourself “this will be funny”, no, no it won’t. Don’t be that guy.

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