Safeway Employee Convinces Shoppers To Not Fall For $4K Scam

Safeway Employee Convinces Shoppers To Not Fall For $4K Scam

If you work at a store and some customers come in trying to put thousands of dollars on prepaid debit cards, you’d probably get the sense that something is amiss. The question is: Do you do anything about it or just help them put the money on the card and hope they aren’t being scammed? [More]

(Paxton Holley)

That Amazing $70K Work-At-Home Job Probably Isn’t Real

If the following comes as a surprise to you, that’s okay. This is why Consumerist exists. Today, we’re here to remind you of the following: if someone e-mails you to offer a work-at-home job promising a nice middle-class income for only a few hours of work every week, it is probably a scam and you should run away. [More]

Like Monopoly money, but it buys real stuff.

Judge Hits Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme With $40.7 Million Penalty

If someone convinces you to invest with him by promising returns of 7% weekly, and that he’s never lost money and there’s no risk, you should be incredibly concerned about giving him your money, regardless of whether it’s a dollar or a Bitcoin. But the operator of a Bitcoin-based Ponzi scheme in Texas was able to rake in millions based on completely empty promises — and now has to pay it all back. [More]

Court Shuts Down $11 Million High School Diploma Mill

(bluwmongoose)

Not everyone graduates from high school, but for nearly a decade, a company in Florida has been offering what it claims are “official” diplomas from “accredited” schools to consumers who took an online test (and paid betweeen $200 to $300). Except federal authorities say these diplomas are as bogus as they sound, and this company has allegedly scammed consumers for at least $11.1 million. [More]

(Scott Lynch)

Court Shuts Down Payday Lenders Who Made Millions Off “Loans” Borrowers Didn’t Ask For

Whether you think that payday loans are a necessary financial offering for people with bad credit to get low-value, short-term loans or a predatory product that only results in more debt for the nation’s poorest consumers, you’d agree that no loans should be doled out without the borrower’s approval. But one network is accused of putting unauthorized payday loans in consumers’ bank accounts so it can eventually siphon off even more money. [More]

(TheTruthAbout)

Scammers Made $60K Taking Rental Deposits For Other People’s Apartments

There is a longstanding, if sketchy, tradition in New York City of people signing a lease on an apartment with the sole intent of subletting it for a profit. But where that crosses the line from sketchy to just plain evil is when you’re merely using someone else’s home as a showcase to rack up thousands of dollars in ill-gotten deposits from hopeful tenants. [More]

Infomercial Scammer Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction

Infomercial Scammer Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction

Almost a year ago, it seemed like a federal court had put an end to the decade-long fight with bestselling scam artist Kevin Trudeau, finding the author and infomercial weight loss/personal finance pitchman in contempt of court for violating a 2004 court order barring him from telling lies in order to sell his books. Now, only a few months into his 10-year sentence, Trudea has filed an appeal. [More]

Complain All You Want, California! State Outlaws Silly Non-Disparagement Clauses

Complain All You Want, California! State Outlaws Silly Non-Disparagement Clauses

In the wake of lawsuits over online retailers that try to charge customers huge fees for allegedly violating “non-disparagement” clauses that prohibit customers from complaining about their transactions, lawmakers in California have approved a bill outlawing the ridiculous practice. [More]

ID Thieves Don’t Need PINs To Withdraw Cash From Debit Cards Stolen From Home Depot

(William Grootonk)

When Home Depot confirmed the potentially massive data breach of its in-store payment systems in the U.S. and Canada, it tried to quell some concerns by saying there was no evidence that PIN info for debit cards had been compromised in the attack. But it looks like enough other information was stolen in the hack that a clever ID thief wouldn’t need that PIN to drain the cash from a victim’s bank account. [More]

American, Delta Sue Operators Of Scammy Travel Clubs

American, Delta Sue Operators Of Scammy Travel Clubs

We’ve told you before about travel club scammers who send out notices claiming that you’ve won free trips from Travelocity or travel vouchers from airlines that sound like they exist (but don’t). The airlines have always responded to these stories by saying they would have their lawyers look into these types of scams, but at least two major carriers are actually doing something about it. [More]

(Don Hankins)

Your Next Fraudulent E-Mail May Come From Your Boss

If I received an urgent e-mail from Boss Meg telling me to send a $9,000 wire transfer to Consumerist’s fedora vendor, I would know that it was some kind of scam. Paying our bills isn’t part of my job, so clearly that isn’t an e-mail that I would receive. What if that were my job, though? Companies have reported losing an average of $55,000 to a scam exactly like this, wiring money to mysterious entities who forge e-mails from the boss. [More]

(Aubrey Arenas)

Couple Accused Of Stealing $16K By Exploiting Debit Card With Magically Increasing Balance

To my knowledge, there has never been an established, official “opposite day,” whereby spending money on products you actually magically increase how much money you have, much less an “opposite bunch of months” where this happens. So when a couple using a debit card that made them richer with every purchase realized what was happening, the legal thing to do would’ve been to pipe up. [More]

(Don Hankins)

Woman Accused Of Faking Cancer To Get Donations Arrested On Her Way To Film TV Show

An Illinois woman who’s been accused of pretending both she and her son have cancer in order to scam people out of money was reportedly on her way to film an interview for the Dr. Phil show when cops caught up with her, warrant in hand. [More]

Scammers Call Restaurants At Peak Hours, Demanding They Pay Power Bill Now Or Lose Service

(Great Beyond)

A good con artist knows that distraction and an added sense of urgency can help to separate a mark from his money. If you want to hustle a cashier into believing that he gave you the wrong change, it helps to have a line of impatient customers behind you. And if you want a restaurant to pay an electric bill they don’t actually owe, there’s no better time to threaten them with losing service than the lunch rush. [More]

(catastrophegirl)

Scam Artist Tries To Play Landlord, Collect Rent For House He Doesn’t Own

A woman in California was about to put down a $1,500 deposit on the house she’d just been shown by a nice young man who was managing the rental property for his dad. Luckily, she told her real estate agent pal about her new digs before she was scammed out of her hard-earned cash. [More]

Tourists: Read The Menu Before Ordering So You Won’t Need To Call The Police Over A Big Bill

(ronnyg)

When that gelato is more expensive than you think it should be, who you gonna call? Well, no one, or at least you shouldn’t if you failed to read the menu before ordering it. After all, numbers are written in a language everyone can understand, even if you don’t speak the language. [More]

One example of a skimming device that's been ripped from an ATM. Diebold thinks that changing the orientation of a machine's card reader will help stop skimming. (photo: Aaron Poffenberger)

Can ATM Operators Beat Skimmers By Simply Rotating Card Readers 90 Degrees?

For decades, we’ve been sliding our credit and debit cards into ATMs with the shorter side of the card entering the reader. All this while, ID thieves have been improving their card-skimming devices to fit this well-established mold. The skimmers have gotten smaller, sleeker, and smarter, to the point where even a trained eye might be fooled. So what’s the best way to upend all those years of hard work by the bad guys? According to ATM biggie Diebold, it’s just as simple as turning the reader 90 degrees. [More]

FTC Gives Wireless Industry Suggestions On How To Not Be Bill-Cramming Jerks

FTC Gives Wireless Industry Suggestions On How To Not Be Bill-Cramming Jerks

Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission sued T-Mobile, accusing the wireless company of making hundred of millions of dollars off of so-called “premium” text-messaging subscriptions that were often never requested by subscribers. To preempt others from getting involved in illegal “bill cramming,” the FTC is asking carriers to implement policy changes now instead of waiting until it’s too late. [More]