Feds File 9 Lawsuits Against Alleged Mortgage Relief Scammers That Took Millions From Consumers

Feds File 9 Lawsuits Against Alleged Mortgage Relief Scammers That Took Millions From Consumers

If the thought of losing one’s home wasn’t bad enough, finding out that you’ve been ripped off by the companies promising to help must be even worse. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with the Federal Trade Commission and 15 states announced a string of lawsuits and other actions against such deceptive companies. [More]

10 Answers To Credit Card Questions We Get Asked All The Time

frankieleon

Credit cards come with a lot of fine print. But the scene isn’t just complicated for cardholders; it’s complicated for the retailers that accept them, too. What needs signing, and what doesn’t? When can a store ask for ID? Are they allowed to charge different prices for cash and credit? [More]

(zeebah tronic)

Reminder: Cashing A Check From West Africa Is Not A Legitimate Job

Here’s a reminder to everyone looking for a job or for a side hustle in addition to their current job: as tempting as it may sound, receiving a check and depositing it is not a legitimate way to make money. You might have heard this before, but if no one fell for this scam, it would die out. [More]

Advance Fee Fraudsters Offended When I Use Junk Mail Nuclear Option

Advance Fee Fraudsters Offended When I Use Junk Mail Nuclear Option

For some years now, we’ve suggested a nuclear option when a company simply will not sending you unwanted mail. It’s called a prohibitory order, and officially intended for when someone sends you smutty material that you didn’t ask for. Junk mail is pretty offensive, though, right? Yet one company was offended when a reader used this option to end a torrent of junk mail. [More]

Senator Asks Justice Department To Hold GM Responsible For Ignition Fire Lawsuits

Senator Asks Justice Department To Hold GM Responsible For Ignition Fire Lawsuits

Earlier this year, GM issued a massive recall of nearly 1.4 million vehicles due to problems with the ignition switch. GM apparently knew about those problems — which have caused several fatalities — for up to thirteen years before issuing the recall, and reportedly also ignored piles of consumer complaints in that timeframe. Consumers’ entirely predictable lawsuits against GM have already begun, but those lawsuits are facing a big potential snag. [More]

The Nigerian Prince E-Mail Scam Is Actually 200 Years Old

The Nigerian Prince E-Mail Scam Is Actually 200 Years Old

E-mail is an invention of the last few decades, but scamming people? That’s an ancient calling. What you may not know when you toss those advance fee scam e-mails into your spam folder is that the senders are taking part in an old, old scam that dates back to the early 19th century. [More]

(D.Michelson)

$11 Million Penalty Apparently Wasn’t Enough To Stop Scammy Telemarketers

Back in 2007-8, the Federal Trade Commission shut down a sketchy telemarketing company called Suntasia Marketing, Inc., for defrauding consumers and charging their bank accounts without consent programs they never enrolled in, like memberships in discount buyer’s and travel clubs. Two of the defendants behind the scam were hit with $11 million settlements and barred from getting involved in these sorts of shenanigans in the future, but that apparently wasn’t sufficient penalty to set them on a righteous path. [More]

Eviction Services says it no longer guarantees homeowners can stay in their houses for at least five months, but it does offer the above "gurantee."

Is A Guarantee Really A Guarantee If It’s A “Gurantee”?

The operators of a company that claims, for an up-front fee of $395 and monthly payments of $395, it can keep foreclosed-upon folks in their homes for several more months may be confused about the meaning, and spelling, of the word “guarantee.” [More]

A friendly notice from TWC

Two Class-Action Suits Filed Over Time Warner Cable’s Modem Rental Fee

We had a hunch this would happen when Time Warner Cable unceremoniously gave customers two-weeks notice that they would soon be paying a monthly modem rental fee for equipment that was already installed — the cable company is now a defendant in two identical lawsuits filed earlier today. [More]

Report Lists The Top Scams Of 2011, Somehow Nigerian Email Tricksters Weren't The Worst

Whether it’s being suckered into thinking you won a super awesome prize that requires a payment to collect it, or some aristocrat in Nigeria needs your help and money to collect on a big financial settlement, consumers were hit by a lot of scams last year. A new report lists the top 10 schemes consumers fell prey to in 2011. [More]

The "Do You Have This In Stock" Email Scam

The "Do You Have This In Stock" Email Scam

Reader SkokieGuy’s manufacturing company keeps getting these emails asking to buy parts and equipment they don’t even make. The diction is weird and they seem to be using a template. “I know this is a scam,” writes SkokieGuy.”But I can’t figure out why.” [More]

Here's What A Secret Shopper Scam Looks Like

Here's What A Secret Shopper Scam Looks Like

Reader Brian got a surprise $1,530 check in the mail and an invitation to become a secret shopper. The letter told him that he had been selected to become a “mystery shopper” and report on how local stores were doing. He would buy selected items from them and report on the process, and get to keep what he bought. Sounds great, who couldn’t use some extra cash, right? It all sounds so enticing because, as Brian was able to detect, it was the bait to lure him into an advance fee fraud scam. [More]

Fraudsters Already Exploiting Google+

Fraudsters Already Exploiting Google+

It was inevitable. With the creation of Google+, a new social network already boasting over 20 million users, the scammers were sure to follow. Here’s a note a probable fraudster sent to reader Geoff through his Google+ profile, informing him that someone died in Africa and he needs to be contacted about a “business transaction” of “magnitude.” [More]

Deaf Party Planner Is Actually An Advance Fee Scam

Deaf Party Planner Is Actually An Advance Fee Scam

Reader Steve in Florida owns a small restaurant. He recently received three odd phone calls from prospective customers–deaf people using a relay service–wanting to place a catering order for a party of about 100 people using a credit card. Oh, and even though the party is three weeks out, could his business send $956 to the party planner who will be picking up the food, even though the party is a few weeks out? Steve was right to be suspicious, and wants to warn other small business owners. [More]

California AG Asks Judge To Throw Tax Lady Roni Deutch In Jail

California AG Asks Judge To Throw Tax Lady Roni Deutch In Jail

Last summer, the California Attorney General filed a $34 million lawsuit against daytime TV mainstay “Tax Lady” Roni Deutch, alleging that her firm defrauded customers out of millions each year. Now, the AG’s office has asked that Deutch be thrown in jail for allegedly destroying important documents and for not refunding money to customers. [More]

Visa Letting People Send Money By Credit Card Could Be Boon For Scammers

Visa Letting People Send Money By Credit Card Could Be Boon For Scammers

Visa is launching a new service that will let people send each other money from their Visa or bank account to each other’s Visa debit, credit or prepaid card, as we noted yesterday. But while this will open up new vistas of convenience, and offer a way for people who are sick of scammers exploiting Paypal’s refund system to conduct transactions, I would at the same time expect to see new kinds of advance fee fraud using the service. [More]

The Laziest Spam Ever, Or The Smartest?

The Laziest Spam Ever, Or The Smartest?

Apparently the recent, and inexplicable, dropoff in worldwide spam levels represented some more experienced players getting out of the game. I got this spam yesterday that just very well may be the laziest financial lead-generation spam I’ve ever seen. Or it just could be the smartest. Take a look. [More]

What A Work At Home Job Scam Looks Like

What A Work At Home Job Scam Looks Like

Fraudsters are trying to take advantage of the unemployed in the bad economy by posting enticing work at home job ads. But what you’re really signing up for is to be the rube in an advance fee fraud scheme. Here’s the email one job-seeker got back. Bear in mind this is the first contact back from the “employer” after sending in her resume. All spelling and spacing is sic. [More]