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  • Geebo 9:00 am on March 3, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , walmart, Wish.com   

    Brushing scam continues to plague consumers 

    Brushing scam continues to plague consumers

    By Greg Collier

    On the surface, the brushing scam seems like a victimless crime. You receive a package in the mail addressed to you that you didn’t order and probably didn’t pay for. By law, you get to keep whatever was in the package. No harm, no foul, right? Well, not exactly.

    In the brushing scam, third-party vendors that sell products on platforms like Amazon, Walmart and Wish, will send hundreds of their products to unsuspecting users of those sites. They use the fact that you received the package to use your name in a product review as a verified buyer. This allows the vendor to give themselves phony five-star reviews for a product that more often than not is cheaply made and shoddy. In turn, this tricks unsuspecting consumers into buying this product because of the false positive reviews. As you can see, while the scam is quite elaborate, it’s not without its victims.

    The State of New York, recently issued a warning to its residents about the brushing scam. They suggest that if you receive anything organic, like food, plants, or seeds, to dispose of them as they could pose an ecological threat, especially if they’re from overseas. If the package comes from a platform like Amazon, you should notify them and have them remove any false reviews made in your name. Lastly, you should check all your retail accounts to make sure that you weren’t charged for any of these products. Just as a precaution, you should change your passwords to these accounts every few months or so.

    In some cases, the recipients of these products have had their personal information compromised. So, if you receive one of these brushing packages, you may also want to keep an eye on your credit history to make sure your identity hasn’t been stolen.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 7, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , walmart,   

    Major surge seen in this job scam 

    Major surge seen in this job scam

    By Greg Collier

    Between the unpredictability of the pandemic and the ‘Great Resignation’ movement, more people are seeking work from home opportunities. But even before the pandemic, work from home positions were not only few and far between, but many of them were straight up scams. Even going back decades, there were positions advertised for envelope stuffers where the applicants had to pay an upfront fee to start working. Then they would barely get paid, if they were even paid at all. Work from home scams have barely changed since then, except that the scammers now have a larger reach through the internet and social media.

    The Better Business Bureau has stated that the reshipping or repackaging scam represents 65% of all work from home scams. In the reshipping scam, you’re asked to inspect goods that are sent to your home before putting the goods in new packaging and sending them to a third party, usually overseas. The goods themselves are typically purchased with stolen credit card information. The whole scam is frequently part of a money laundering operation. Even victims of the scam can find themselves in legal trouble if they did anything to try to skirt US Custom laws, even if they were instructed by the scammers to do so.

    This scam is so lucrative that the scammers will even use paid employment platforms like Indeed. These same scammers will often claim they represent major retailers like Amazon and Walmart, or they’re contracted with them. Anytime that you see a position on a platform like Indeed that seems too good to be true, check the employer’s website to see if that’s a legitimate employment opportunity.

    While a work from home position is one that many consider ideal, they are also rife with scams that you should be aware of.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , walmart   

    Brushing scams return in time for the holidays 

    Brushing scams return in time for the holidays

    While brushing scams have been around for a while, they came to prominence over the summer. That’s when a multitude of consumers across the country received unsolicited packages of seeds in the mail. While the latest round of brushing scams don’t appear to have the same scope as the seed scam, that doesn’t make them any less of a risk.

    If you’re unfamiliar with a brushing scam, it’s when overseas scammers send items to your home that you didn’t order. Usually, these items are sent from major online retailers like Amazon and Walmart. Brushing scammers are usually third party sellers on these retailer’s sites who are using the phony sales to inflate their review scores. Basically, the scammers will send you the product, then use that as a verified purchase to give themselves a good review. That’s just one of the many reasons why you shouldn’t believe every product review on a retailer’s website.

    Even though you may have received some products that are legally yours to keep, your personal information could be the cost. In many brushing scam cases, if you’re receiving these unsolicited items, it could mean that your retail accounts have been compromised. A number of these retailers allow you to keep your payment information on file. Potentially, these brushing scammers could also be making purchases through your account which you could be responsible for.

    The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers that if you receive unsolicited products, check your retail accounts to make sure that you haven’t been charged for any unauthorized purchases. You should also change the passwords on your retail accounts to try to prevent scams like this from happening to you in the future. Lastly, you should report any unsolicited products you receive to the retailer as it could help put a stop to the brushing practice.

    With the holidays right around the corner and many of us receiving deliveries from major retailers, these brushing packages could go unnoticed. Keep an eye on your deliveries and your credit and debit card statements to make sure you’re not being scammed.

     
  • Geebo 8:10 am on April 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , social distancing, , walmart   

    Stores implementing new social distancing rules 

    Stores implementing new social distancing rules

    With Amazon and other retailers having their delivery schedules pushed back for months, now more than ever we’re all going to have to start relying more on brick and mortar stores. However, this comes with problems of its own as it’s recommended that we don’t gather in large groups in contained areas. Unfortunately, with the rash of panic buying that has been happening for the past few weeks that can’t always be helped when we go shopping for supplies. Now, some of the nation’s largest retailers will be implementing new procedures to keep customers from gathering too close to each other in their stores.

    Both Walmart and Target have announced new procedures that will allow only a handful of customers into their stores at a time. In order to lessen the impact of possible coronavirus infections, Walmart has started to only allow 20% of the store’s capacity in at one time. There will only be one door open to the store and if the store reaches capacity customers will be allowed in on a one in and one out basis. So there may be extended waits just to get into the store if you go. A member of our team experienced some of this over the weekend as the Walmart they went to only had one entrance accessible and had a line of shopping carts being used to cordon customers in line to enter the store. Even though our team member did not experience any lines longer than usual, that may change in the coming days. Target has not made their plans public as of yet but one could assume they would be similar to Walmart’s.

    As the virus continues, more retailers will probably adopt similar policies if they haven’t already. Please keep in mind that we are all in this together. Patience may wear thin while we might have to wait in a long line just to get a gallon of milk. While frustration is certainly understandable, causing disruptions either in the line to enter or while in the store helps nobody.

    This is just one of the many situations in today’s global crisis where things will work better and more efficiently. If we just work together and keep our fellow inhabitants in mind we’ll be able to weather the storm and come out of it a stronger community.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , walmart   

    Scammers took advantage of late teen’s fundraiser 

    Scammers took advantage of late teen's fundraiser

    Here are some more scams happening to various communities from around the country. Always keep in mind that if they’re happening in one place, they could be happening somewhere near you.

    In Arkansas, a 15-year-old boy passed away after a freak accident that happened at his home. His grandparents took to social media in order to raise funds for the boy’s funeral expenses. While the family was able to raise the money needed, scammers set up fake social media accounts also posing as the boy’s family. The scam targeted people who already donated asking for phony donations in Amazon gift cards. Thankfully, many of the victims were able to get their money back. However, it shows what depths scammers will stoop to just to make a few hundred bucks.

    In Central Texas, a local police department is warning residents about a phone scam that has been worrying local residents. In it, the scammers pose as agents from the Social Security Administration claiming that there have been bank accounts opened using your Social Security number and that they’re tied to criminal activity. They threaten to freeze all of your bank accounts unless a payment is made over the phone. These calls are reportedly coming from overseas while appearing to be from local phone numbers.

    The last scam may seem like it’s an urban legend passed around on Facebook but according to police in Indiana, it has happened to a number of victims. Police there say a man has been going to WalMart and using the self-checkout to scam victims. The scammer has been allegedly using the self-checkout to scan gift cards but not paying for them. Then, the next person who uses the self-checkout inadvertently ends up paying for the gift card that the scammer scanned. While this sounds like a simple scam to foil, anyone could fall for this if they’re not paying attention. Always make sure that there are no already scanned items on the self-checkout screen. If there are, go to another scanner or contact a store employee.

     
    • Nk 9:36 pm on November 5, 2019 Permalink

      I spoke yesterday to a young man who was in India who originally claimed to be from social security. I admonished him for lying and stealing from people. He was very serious and proud of himself and his team because they don’t wipe out anyone’s money. They only take half. He said that if they have $1000 in their account, they only take $500. He said that’s because they show compassion.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , walmart   

    Would you trust WalMart in your home? 

    Would you trust WalMart in your home?

    There used to be a time in our country where home grocery delivery was commonplace. However, that was before we started moving to the suburbs and usually at least one person was home most of the time. Now, with as busy as we all are we can’t afford to have someone home all the time to wait for a delivery person. That’s why a number of companies are trying out home delivery programs where you don’t have to be home to get your groceries. The nation’s leading retailer Walmart is now one of those companies testing this option.

    Recently. WalMart announced they’ll be testing a home delivery option where a delivery person will deliver groceries into your home if you’re not there. That would require a customer to have a smart lock that would allow a delivery person into your home to place the groceries directly into your fridge. The test program will be rolling out in Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Vero Beach, Florida. Walmart says that delivery people will have worked with WalMart for at least a year and will be equipped with body cameras so you could watch the delivery remotely.

    If you’re uncomfortable with a stranger in your home, WalMart has said that this attitude among consumers will change. They cite rideshare services as an example as consumers used to be wary of getting into other people’s cars but that attitude has since relaxed. They believe home delivery like this will also have a similar attitude shift. However, with ridesharing, you’re getting into a driver’s car. Letting someone into your home, especially when no one is there, is a whole other level of trust that consumers may not be willing to give.

    Would you be comfortable allowing a delivery person into your home under WalMart’s proposed security measures? Please let us know in the comments below.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , walmart   

    Amazon fighting porch pirates, Amazon Go to accept cash, and Amazon taunting Walmart 

    Amazon fighting porch pirates, Amazon Go to accept cash, and Amazon taunting Walmart

    Previously, when we’ve discussed packages being stolen from your porch or property we’ve been told to notify the police but in the long run, there’s not much they can do about the thefts. That is unless Amazon themselves get involved. According to Motherboard, Amazon worked with a number of police departments during last years holiday season in order to combat those who have been dubbed ‘porch pirates’. While these Amazon assisted sting operations didn’t take place in major cities like New York or Los Angeles, they did take place in fairly prominent urban areas such as Albuquerque and Jersey City. However, Motherboard was unable to uncover how many arrests actually took place during these sting operations.

    ***

    If you’ll recall, Amazon Go was supposed to be a completely cashierless store. Customers were supposed to just walk into the store, grab what they needed and have their purchases billed to their Amazon accounts through their smartphones. No cash was ever supposed to change hands. But as the saying goes the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Many state and local governments have come out in opposition to cashless stores as they feel it further disenfranchises low-income families who may not have access to a bank account. New Jersey and Philadelphia recently outlawed cashless stores and San Francisco may be doing the same. More recently, it’s been reported that Amazon Go stores in certain locations will, in fact, accept cash for transactions. In these markets will cash transactions reduce Amazon Go to just another convenience store or will they still mostly attract those who would prefer to pay without cash?

    ***

    Lastly today, it seems the country’s two largest retail giants, Amazon and Walmart, have engaged in an almost schoolyard-like exchange of dares. It started out with Jeff Bezos publicly challenging WalMart to give their workers a better starting salary.

    “Today I challenge our top retail competitors (you know who you are!) to match our employee benefits and our $15 minimum wage,” Bezos wrote in a letter to shareholders.

    “Do it! Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us. It’s a kind of competition that will benefit everyone.”

    WalMart has long been criticized for underpaying their employees but they didn’t take this lying down.

    On Thursday, Walmart’s executive vice president of corporate affairs, Dan Bartlett, tagged Bezos in a tweet which said: “Hey retail competitors out there (you know who you are 😉) how about paying your taxes?”

    This was in reference to the fact that Amazon has been accused of structuring their company in such a way and getting significant tax breaks that they pay little to no federal corporate income tax.

    Meanwhile, both companies have been long criticized for allegedly treating their most hard-working employees down in the trenches unfairly. Both corporations have been accused in the past of abusing their low ranking employees by creating a climate of inadequate pay and benefits combined with a climate of fear where employees are afraid to make any concern known without losing their jobs.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on March 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Humana, walmart   

    Is retail’s venture into healthcare dangerous? 

    Is retail's venture into healthcare dangerous?

    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that retail giant Walmart may be in talks to acquire one of the nation’s leading health insurers in Humana. If the acquisition talks were to be true, this would just be the latest in a series of talks between retail outlets and healthcare providers, but is it a good trend?

    Currently, pharmacy chain CVS is in talks to purchase Aetna, and Amazon has been looking to get into the pharmacy management business. With these acquisitions are we headed to a future if a healthcare cabal where only a few corporations can control reimbursement rates? It does seem to appear that way.

    With retail heading towards a duopoly between Walmart and Amazon these two companies once again are showing signs of trying to be all things to all people by also trying to control healthcare. If this trend continues, we may be seeing a single payer healthcare system in our future, but not one administered by the government for all citizens but rather by the profit driven iron fist of a possible single corporate entity for only those who could possibly afford it.

     
  • Geebo 8:57 am on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , walmart   

    Walmart offering home grocery delivery in its war with Amazon 

    Walmart offering home grocery delivery in its war with Amazon

    Retail giant Walmart has fired the latest shot in their ongoing battle with Amazon. After Amazon purchased Whole Foods last year, a number of grocery chains started offering home delivery. Since Walmart is the nation’s leader in grocery sales, they’ve announced that they will be rapidly expanding home grocery delivery into at least 100 cities over the coming year. Currently, through Whole Foods, Amazon only offers that service in six markets.

    The main difference between the two services, besides availability, is cost. With Amazon, you need an Amazon Prime membership which can cost as much as $99 a year. Walmart’s new delivery service will be a $9.95 flat fee per delivery and deliveries have to include at least $30 worth of groceries. While that may seem a little exorbitant at first, at least it’s not Whole Food prices and no membership is required.

    On the one hand, Walmart’s new delivery service could be great for lower-income families who may not have the transportation to get to a local grocery store. When you factor in costs such as public transportation, taxis, or ride share programs like Uber, the $9.95 delivery fee doesn’t seem so bad. However, with Walmart and Amazon battling it out like this for retail dominance, the shadow of a duopoly continues to loom over consumers. While better access to affordable food is always a good thing, what happens if only two corporations control those avenues?

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on January 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , e-books, Kindle, Rakuten, walmart   

    Walmart to take on Amazon’s core business 

    Walmart to take on Amazon's core business

    It’s been no secret that Amazon and Walmart have been at odds with each other recently with both retail giants trying to infringe on each other’s territory. Amazon has been expanding into the brick and mortar space while Walmart is trying to increase its online presence. Now, Walmart is trying to steal a part of Amazon’s customer base by launching their own line of what started Amazon’s success in the first place, books.

    Walmart has teamed with Japanese company Rakuten to start selling e-books and readers to compete with Amazon’s massive library of e-books available on their wildly successful Kindle e-reader. Does Walmart really expect to take a chunk out of Amazon’s book business? Barnes & Noble tried to take on Amazon with their Nook reader which was superior to the Kindle. While not exactly a failure it didn’t have nearly the success that the Kindle has. Also, with all due respect to Walmart, it’s never been seen as a book lover’s first destination to buy a new book.

    While on the surface it seems like a bold strategy from Walmart to try to further entrench themselves in the retail battle against Amazon, it seems more like an act of playground bravado with Walmart claiming ‘anything you can do I can do’. The problem is that books are Amazon’s bread and butter and are what basically turned the company into the success it is today. For Walmart to succeed in this space they would have to offer better deals for publishers and authors which may lead to higher prices of books and higher prices is just not Walmart’s way.

     
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