FTC Launches First Wave Of Smackdown On Scammy Loan Consultants

FTC Launches First Wave Of Smackdown On Scammy Loan Consultants

Yesterday, as part of “Operation Loan Lies,” the FTC and 19 states filed 189 lawsuits, cease-and-desist orders, and other legal actions to shut down loan modification consultants who prey on desperate homeowners. The scammers offer to help solve foreclosure problems for a hefty fee; instead, they fail to modify the loan at all while collecting payments for their services, sometimes even encouraging homeowners to stop communicating with their lenders completely or to send payments to the consultants instead of the bank.

FTC Brings The Thunder Down On Shysters

FTC Brings The Thunder Down On Shysters

The Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department are going all Batman on scam artists who bilk unemployed people by offering phone jobs and money-making schemes with Operation Short Change, a crackdown that involves dozens of cases in at least 13 states, USA Today reports:.

Door To Door Alarm Salesmen In Kansas Caught Scamming Homeowners

Door To Door Alarm Salesmen In Kansas Caught Scamming Homeowners

Salesmen for Pinnacle Security have reportedly been going through Wichita neighborhoods and telling customers of CastleRock Security that the company has gone out of business. “These imposters then attempt to remove the CastleRock security equipment and attempt to obtain a blank, voided check so that they can start billing withdrawals from the customers’ checking accounts.”

Is That Person At Your Door A Real Census Worker?

Is That Person At Your Door A Real Census Worker?

The Census is starting up again, and the Better Business Bureau wants to remind people to use reason and caution when answering the door. You’re required by law to answer Census questions, but scammers may pose as legit Census workers and take advantage of the situation. “Law enforcement in several states have issued warnings that scammers are already posing as Census Bureau employees and knocking on doors asking for donations and Social Security numbers.” Here’s how to identify a real U.S. Census worker.

Bad Luck Facebook Scammer, You Picked A Target Who Reads Consumerist

Bad Luck Facebook Scammer, You Picked A Target Who Reads Consumerist

When some lowlife tried to scam Andy the other day through his friend’s hijacked Gmail account, Andy tried to get him to use PayPal, and he came up with a great reason why. “It’s the fastest way to send money,” Andy told the scammer. “Once I deposit the funds, you can print it out of any color printer and it’s real money!” Another reader was so amused by it that she decided to use it on her own Facebook scammer earlier today.

Here's A Phishing Site Disguised To Trick Wells Fargo Customers

Here's A Phishing Site Disguised To Trick Wells Fargo Customers

Freddie writes that his friend was tricked by a phishing email. All the warning signs were there to tip off his friend—an email saying he needed to click a link, a suspicious url, a page asking for his login info—but he clicked and entered the info anyway. Please do not be like Freddie’s friend, who is now probably on the phone with the real Wells Fargo trying to get his account number changed.

FTC To Investigate Car Warranty Robocallers

FTC To Investigate Car Warranty Robocallers

You knew it was imminent: after the “your car warranty is about to expire” robocallers pissed off the internet and the government within a matter of days, it was just a question of who would take them down first. Surprisingly, it looks like it’s going to be the government.

Congressman Mike Doyle Is Pretty Much Done With These Auto Warranty Calls

Congressman Mike Doyle Is Pretty Much Done With These Auto Warranty Calls

Our favorite congressman, Mike Doyle (D-PA), is also fed up with the robocalls telling him his car warranty is about to expire. For those keeping track, that’s two elected officials that these robocalllers have illegally called recently. If the internet doesn’t take them out first, hopefully our public servants will. Thanks, Kenneth!

IDT Employees Stalking The Streets Of Queens Today

IDT Employees Stalking The Streets Of Queens Today

Lock your doors, Queens residents! IDT zombies are on the prowl in your borough, and if they catch you they’ll try to eat your ConEd account and replace it with their more expensive offer. Jeff says there’s one outside his building right now, trying to buzz its way in.

Do Not Give Money To People Who Say They Can Get You Stimulus Cash

Do Not Give Money To People Who Say They Can Get You Stimulus Cash

Here we go again, scammers are using the recent headlines about the stimulus package to take advantage of people looking for a handout. Emails promising to help you qualify for a chunk of the new spending program in exchange for a small fee or some personal information are popping up in inboxes, according to the FTC.

Citibank Sends Nigerian Scammer $27 Million

Citibank Sends Nigerian Scammer $27 Million

37-year-old Nigerian scammer Paul Gabriel Amos convinced Citibank officials to wire him $27 million belonging to Ethiopia. Rather than go with the usual Nigerian nom de plumes like prince or will executor, Famous Amos pretended to be an official with the National Bank of Ethiopia. Amos forged “official-looking” documents that confirmed his status with the central bank and instructed Citibank to await faxes telling them where to send the country’s cash.

'U.S. National Bank' Scammer Thwarted By Google, Consumerist, And A Fake Bankruptcy

'U.S. National Bank' Scammer Thwarted By Google, Consumerist, And A Fake Bankruptcy

Idolina was targeted this morning by a U.S. National Bank scammer. As he was prattling on with his heavily-accented seesaw of threats and incentives, she Googled the bank. (And no, we’re not anti-anyone, but there’s something funny about a supposed U.S. National Bank and/or government representative who sounds like he’s currently calling you from a foreign country.) The third search result was our interview last October with Laurie Lucas, who faced a similar scam. Idolina writes, “I was reading it while I was on the phone with him.”

Scams 101: Do Not Buy Things From The Internet Using A Wire Transfer!

Scams 101: Do Not Buy Things From The Internet Using A Wire Transfer!

The BBB has given us a heads up about a new scam that targets holiday shoppers — pop-up internet electronics stores that only accept payments via wire transfer.

Holiday Scams: Research Charities Before Handing Over Your Cash

Holiday Scams: Research Charities Before Handing Over Your Cash

This is the time of year when scammers try to weasel nice people out of their cash by pretending to represent a charity. Don’t fall for it! When considering giving to a charity, take some time to do a little research. Here are few websites that will help you find a legit charity that will use your money for good — rather than evil. Or iPods.

Stop Payment Orders On Checks Only Last Six Months

Stop Payment Orders On Checks Only Last Six Months

Jennifer says National City Bank has contacted her fiance to inform him that the stop payment order he placed on a check is about to expire, and he’ll have to pay another $32 fee to renew it for six more months. She writes, “Have you heard of stop payment now only being ‘suspend payment for six months’? This seems to me to be extortion.” We’re going to come down on the side of the banks in this case—but because of the recurring nature of the fee, it might just be cheaper to close the account.

Beware Of Apartment Scammers

Beware Of Apartment Scammers

In the course of searching for a new place to live in Minneapolis, I found a great condo right in the area I was looking for, renting for $900/mo for a 1 bedroom which included electricity, gas, water, sewer, garbage, cable, and high speed internet! Sound too good to be true? You bet…it was a scam.

Listen To These Vigilantes Scam Nigerian 419 Scammers

Listen To These Vigilantes Scam Nigerian 419 Scammers

Last week, “This American Life” featured a 30-minute piece on people who scam the scammers—in this case, three guys who prey upon small-time Nigerian con men and try to trick them into placing themselves in mortal danger. “This American Life” tells how they almost got a guy to enter a Western Union office in Chad carrying an anti-Muslim/pro-Bush note that announces his intention to rob the place. Whether you think these stunts are funny probably depends on your level of empathy even for criminals, and whether you think the avengers ever fully succeed. But c’mon, getting someone in another country to hold up a sign that’s offensive in your language is pretty much always funny.

EBay Decides To Contact Tim About His Laptop Auction Problems

EBay Decides To Contact Tim About His Laptop Auction Problems

Timothy, our hapless eBay seller who kept having problems listing his laptop on the auction site, was contacted by a Real Live Human from eBay the day after we posted his story. “Garrison” apologized for the frustration, and said he’d be making a note on Timothy’s account to keep it from getting shut down by other agents. He also suggested several listing options that were pretty well-covered by our commenters in the original thread.