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  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 17, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , wisconsin   

    Text message scam targets food stamp recipients in multiple states 

    Text message scam targets food stamp recipients in multiple states

    By Greg Collier

    If you or someone you know receives any kind of benefit assistance from your state, you may want to be on the lookout for suspicious text messages regarding your benefits. Just this week, we’ve come across three states where those receiving benefits through EBT cards have been warned about text messages that appear to come from the state.

    In all three states, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, the scams are the same. Recipients have received text messages stating that their benefits would be cut off if they didn’t call the number in the text to confirm their account number and their PIN. Once the scammers have this information, they’re able to drain the recipient’s account.

    For many recipients, if they miss even a month of benefits, that could mean their children go hungry, or they could be evicted from their homes. With this kind of risk hanging over their heads, you can see why some may respond to these text messages out of fear. This fear is precisely what the scammers are counting on.

    The scammers don’t know who specifically is receiving benefits, so they’re sending out text messages en masse in hopes of finding a few victims. You may receive a text message even if you’re not receiving any state benefits.

    Most states do send out texts to benefit recipients, such as reminders when it’s time for renewal. However, these states will never send text messages asking for personal information like your PIN, Social Security number, or date of birth, just to name a few.

    Since this scam has already happened in multiple states, there’s a good chance it could be happening in yours. If you receive a text message like this, do not respond and delete the message. If you fall victim to this scam, contact your state immediately, as it could take another month before the benefits can be replaced.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , buskers, , , , , violin scam, wisconsin   

    Scam Round Up: The violin scam and more 

    By Greg Collier

    As we move into the holiday weekend, here are three more scams that you should be aware of.


    Most of us have seen street musicians known as buskers. They’re performing out on the street with a hat or an open guitar case, where people can leave tips if they enjoy the performance. I’m sure you’re wondering what could be scammy about that? It seems that there are several people from around the country have been using busking to trick people into giving them money. They appear to be playing a violin that’s hooked up to an amplifier, along with a sign that says they need money for food or rent. Here is one such episode from the state of New York. The phony violin players are actually pretending to play the violin, while the actual music comes from a recording. Some of these phony buskers will even list their Venmo or Cash App accounts, so you can donate to them electronically. If you see one of these fake musicians, you should just avoid them and not give them money.


    It seems the brushing scam has also picked up during the holiday season. This is where someone will receive items from a site like Amazon that they didn’t order. In most brushing cases. This is done so the seller of the item can post a positive review of the product using the victim’s name as a verified purchase. While you can keep anything you receive as part of a brushing scam, the goods are usually not worth keeping. In some instances, like this one, the Amazon account of the recipient has been compromised and is being charged for the items they receive. If you start receiving items you didn’t order, check your Amazon account for fraudulent activity and change your password.


    Lastly, residents in the state of Wisconsin have been receiving text messages claiming to be from the state’s DMV. The texts are requesting that residents follow a link to confirm personal information. However, the texts are also threatening residents with a suspension of their license if they don’t comply. No state is going to threaten their residents with suspension of their driver’s license for not following a text link. Not only that, but identity thieves can do a lot with your driver’s license number if they already have some of your other personal information. It’s almost as valuable as your Social Security number.


    Thank you for reading, and here’s hoping our readers have a safe and happy holiday.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , wisconsin,   

    The ‘craigslist of guns’ held harmless in domestic murder 

    The 'craigslist of guns' held harmless in domestic murder

    Image via the New York Post

    Previously, we’ve discussed how a lawsuit in Wisconsin was moving forward against Armslist, the so-called ‘craigslist of guns.’ Armslist facilitates the sales of firearms between private owners and buyers. This is a legal loophole that allows people with criminal records to bypass background checks when purchasing a firearm. In the past few years, a number of guns sold through Armslist have been used in some high-profile crimes such as the murder of a Chicago Police Captain.

    Around this time last year, The Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled that a lawsuit against Armslist could move forward. The suit was brought about after the 2012 murder of Zina Daniel Haughton by her estranged husband Radcliffe Haughton. Haughton had a domestic violence injunction against him which prevented him from legally owning a gun at the time. Instead, Haughton bought a gun from an Armslist dealer and murdered his wife at her workplace in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

    [youtube https://youtu.be/OwExQhaVBdw%5D

    Yesterday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Armslist was held harmless in the murder in a 5-1 decision. The ruling mostly stated that Armslist could not be held liable due to the Communications Decency Act of 1996 which holds website owners harmless if their site is used for illegal activity by its users. However, the lone dissenting opinion came from Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. She said…

    “The majority errs in its interpretation of the CDA by basing its decision, not on the actual claims pled…but on its own manufactured interpretation of those claims. As a result, it fails to recognize that here the design itself is the creation of the content.”

    It’s been argued in the past that Armslist was specifically designed to allow buyers to circumvent background checks.

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