Feds: Green Energy Ponzi Scheme Duped Consumers Out Of $54.5M

Feds: Green Energy Ponzi Scheme Duped Consumers Out Of $54.5M

When someone makes a promise that seems too good to be true: like saying you’ll be “stinkin’, filthy rich” if you invest in their green energy technology, it’s a good idea to look into that proposition with a little more scrutiny. That kind of attractive, yet ultimately worthless deal cost consumers nearly $54.5 million, federal prosecutors say. [More]

Man Charged With Operating Debt Collection Scheme That Targeted, Defrauded Spanish-Speaking Consumers

Man Charged With Operating Debt Collection Scheme That Targeted, Defrauded Spanish-Speaking Consumers

Deceiving consumers is a trademark for most unscrupulous operations attempting to collect debts that aren’t actually owed. Shady collectors have been known to lie about debts, misrepresent themselves as officers of the law, threaten lawsuits and, in the case of one operator, threaten Spanish-speaking residents with deportation. [More]

(Freaktography)

Dept. Of Education Plans To Overhaul Loan Forgiveness Program For Students Defrauded By Schools

As thousands of former Corinthian College students continue to wait to learn whether or not they’re on the hook to repay billions of dollars in student loans they took out to attend the now defunct for-profit college, the Department of Education announced plans to overhaul the loan forgiveness process for students who believe they have been defrauded by their colleges. [More]

Man Charged With Operating American Dream Scheme Sentenced To Jail, Must Refund $6.4M

Man Charged With Operating American Dream Scheme Sentenced To Jail, Must Refund $6.4M

A man who helped perpetrate a scam that promised consumers they could obtain the “American Dream” by selling coffee and greeting cards at retail establishments across the country will spend 70 months in jail and must repay $6.4 million to victims. [More]

Most Small Business Owners Aren’t Ready For Chip-And-PIN Credit Cards

Most Small Business Owners Aren’t Ready For Chip-And-PIN Credit Cards

Following a string of high-profile data breaches last year, Visa and MasterCard handed down a requirement that all merchants transition to the more secure chip-enabled credit card payment system by October of this year. While several major retailers have already made or are in the process of making the switch, a new report finds that many small business owners don’t even know about the deadline – or the potentially costly consequence of not meeting it. [More]

Single Ladies In 50s And 60s Prime Targets For Online Romance Scammers

Single Ladies In 50s And 60s Prime Targets For Online Romance Scammers

Single ladies in their fifties and sixties are really in demand on dating websites. Unfortunately, they’re not popular in the way they might prefer. They’re prime targets for scammers, and victims typically lose $40,000 to $100,000. Once they realize what happened, they’re often ashamed to tell their families. That means word about this crime doesn’t get out. [More]

(pinup1160)

“Incorrect Keystroke” Allows Comcast To Withdraw $500 From Non-Customer’s Bank Account

We’ve told you before about Comcast not really paying attention to the payments it receives — like the woman who accidentally sent them her rent check and found that it had been deposited in the cable company’s account — but here’s a story of a man who isn’t even a Comcast customer but found that $500 had been taken out of his bank account anyway. [More]

(Brian Turner)

Payment Processor Pleads Guilty After Allowing Fake Payday Lenders To Raid Bank Accounts

If a payment processor — the intermediary between a merchant and the banks — facilitates transactions that it knows aren’t on the up-and-up, it’s not just a no-no; it’s a federal offense. Just ask the California man who pleaded guilty to wire fraud for enabling the operators of fake payday loan sites to steal money from consumers’ bank accounts. [More]

Operators Of Massive Payday Loan Scheme Banned From Industry

Operators Of Massive Payday Loan Scheme Banned From Industry

The masterminds behind a massive payday loan scheme have agreed to be banned from the consumer lending industry to settle federal regulators’ charges they bilked millions of dollars from customers by trapping them into loans that were never authorized. [More]

NYC Mailman Accused Of Stealing More Than $1M In Tax Refunds In Years-Long Scheme

NYC Mailman Accused Of Stealing More Than $1M In Tax Refunds In Years-Long Scheme

Is there some kind of greedy bug sweeping through the New York City mail system? Okay, probably not, but for the second time in two months a postal employee has been charged by federal prosecutors with taking part in a scheme to pad their own pockets. The most recent case involves a mail carrier who allegedly stole more than $1 million in tax refunds. [More]

The FTC and New Jersey AG's office allege that the makers of the Prized app used the program to infect customers phones with malware for their own use.

App Developer Settles Charges It Hijacked Consumers’ Phones To Mine Virtual Currency

Some reward programs aren’t really rewarding. In fact, some are downright harmful to consumers. That was apparently the case with an Ohio-based smartphone app developer that recently agreed to settle charges that it hijacked consumers’ phones through a seemingly innocuous gaming app. [More]

Pennsylvania Man Charged With Racketeering Related To Massive Payday Loan Scheme

Pennsylvania Man Charged With Racketeering Related To Massive Payday Loan Scheme

A life of stealing started with the snatching of a candy bar and transformed into an illegal multi-million dollar online payday lending scheme that allegedly defrauded thousands of people. At least that’s what federal prosecutors say led to charges against a Pennsylvania man recently. [More]

The FTC's latest fotonovela depicts Myriam and Pedro's issues dealing with the underreported and often devastating Notario scheme.

FTC Releases Spanish-Language Graphic Novel Warning Consumers Of Notario Scam

It’s not unusual for the Federal Trade Commission to issue advisories or warnings about potentially harmful frauds, scams and schemes. Today, the agency took a more unique approach to alerting Spanish-speaking consumers to the often-underreported “notario” deception by releasing a graphic novel on the subject. [More]

IRS Agrees To Share Copies Of Fake Tax Returns With Victims Of Identity Theft

IRS Agrees To Share Copies Of Fake Tax Returns With Victims Of Identity Theft

After lawmakers called on the Internal Revenue Service for more transparency for victims of identity theft, the agency says it will give those people copies of fake tax returns filed using their name and information. [More]

(https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/14615153816)

Man Arrested For Allegedly “Corrupting” Wells Fargo Employees In Scheme To Access Customer Accounts

As a bank customer, you generally have an expectation that employees of said bank won’t share your personal or account information with someone that isn’t, in fact, you. But what happens when a person calls the bank claiming to be an account holder in the midst of an emergency and in need of quick cash? Federal prosecutors say that was the basis for a recent bank fraud scheme targeting Wells Fargo customers and employees. [More]

American Credit Cards Are Most Popular In The World For Hacks, Fraud (Because Our Tech Stinks)

American Credit Cards Are Most Popular In The World For Hacks, Fraud (Because Our Tech Stinks)

If it feels like we hear a whole lot of stories about retail data breaches here in the U.S., well, that’s because we do. Americans are super duper popular targets for card hacks and fraud, and it’s for one simple reason: our credit card security is bad and should feel bad. [More]

IRS Suspects Russian Identity Thieves In Data Breach

IRS Suspects Russian Identity Thieves In Data Breach

You may remember that the Internal Revenue Service announced late yesterday that about 100,000 taxpayers’ personal information was breached when thieves armed with their personal information were able to log in to the IRS transcript system and extract even more sensitive information about their victims. Today, we learned that the IRS suspects that an organized group of hackers out of Russia are responsible for the 200,000 attempts to extract taxpayer data. [More]

A Legitimate Car Seller Will Not Ask For Payment In Amazon Gift Cards

A Legitimate Car Seller Will Not Ask For Payment In Amazon Gift Cards

As gift cards go, Amazon gift cards are pretty flexible: they’re available in any amount and can be used for a wide variety of merchandise. You can even use them to buy imaginary cars. At least, that’s what happened to a Michigan man who thought that he was buying a car that was in Montana, but was in fact sending four thousand bucks into a scamtastic void. [More]