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]

Man Returns From 2-Day Vacation, Finds Family Living In His Home

Man Returns From 2-Day Vacation, Finds Family Living In His Home

In our post about the AirBNB “guest” who decided to make himself at home and squat in a desert condo after he had stayed for a month, we noted that at least the condo in question was a vacation home, not her regular home. No, that actually happened this week to a man in Miami. He returned to the house he was renting after a short vacation and found another family living there. [More]

(Enokson)

If You’re Going To Commit $175K In ID Theft, Don’t Do It Under Your Real Name

One would think that a scammer clever enough to steal a victim’s personal data and trick some of the nation’s largest banks into helping her steal $175,000 would have the forethought to hide her own identity. But that idea apparently didn’t occur to a North Carolina who also posted helpful photos of herself online to aid police in their search. [More]

(Flyinace2000)

Beware Scammy Facebook Pages And Fake Charities Taking Advantage Of Flight MH17 Tragedy

It is a disgusting reality that when tragedy strikes, there’s always going to be someone out there trying to take advantage of it for personal gain. That’s what’s happening in the wake of downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was reportedly shot down over Ukraine Thursday on its way to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. All 298 people aboard the Boeing 777 were killed. [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]

Did Someone At The DMV Steal This Woman’s Identity? Maybe

Did Someone At The DMV Steal This Woman’s Identity? Maybe

Over on Reddit, one poster in the the /r/personalfinance subreddit shared the terrible thing that happened to his fiancée when she visited her local Department of Motor Vehicles to change the address on her driver’s license. It’s not clear what happened or exactly how, but what they know is that someone issued a new license with her name and information and a different ID number. This person also has her Social Security number. [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]

Secret Service Warns Against Keylogging Malware At Hotel Business Centers

Secret Service Warns Against Keylogging Malware At Hotel Business Centers

Here’s one that should be added to the earlier list of possible hotel scams. The U.S. Secret Service has sent out a warning to hotel operators, asking them to check shared computers in their business centers for malware that can log keystrokes and steal sensitive information from users. [More]

3 Scams Targeted At Hotel Guests

3 Scams Targeted At Hotel Guests

Between all the fees and add-on charges that can come with a hotel reservation, just booking a room for the night can make you feel like you’ve been taken for a ride. But even when the hotel isn’t trying to nickel-and-dime you, there are scammers out there ready to steal your money by preying on common assumptions made by hotel guests. [More]

(Photo: David Blackwell)

Phony Payday Loan Brokers Must Turn Over Rolls Royce, Maserati, Ferrari To Feds

When someone goes hunting for a payday loan — just looking to get their hands on a small amount of cash to tide them over until the next paycheck — it’s bad enough that they can end up trapped in a hellish debt cycle that sees them taking out loan after loan. But the FTC says a Tampa-based operation preyed upon these already-desperate victims by tricking them into applying for payday loans, only to steal their info and what little money they had. [More]

More Tiny ATM Skimmers That Will Haunt Your Wallet’s Nightmares

More Tiny ATM Skimmers That Will Haunt Your Wallet’s Nightmares

Would you notice a tiny ATM skimmer that hides just inside the card slot and slurps up your personal data? The European ATM Security Team, a not-for-profit organization that tracks ATM-related crime in different parts of the European Union, recently showed off some new and nearly invisible skimmers that they harvested in an unnamed country. It’s like a horror movie for your bank account. [More]

(David Guija Alcaraz)

T-Mobile: We Shouldn’t Be Sued Over Bill-Cramming Because We’re Not Doing It Anymore & We’re Super-Sorry

Earlier this afternoon, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against T-Mobile, alleging the wireless carrier made hundreds of millions of dollars off of bogus premium text-messaging charges “crammed” onto customers’ bills. The response from T-Mobile CEO John Legere isn’t exactly what you would describe as contrite. [More]

This sample provided by the FTC demonstrates how T-Mobile allegedly hid these charges from consumers.

T-Mobile Accused Of Making A Ton Of Cash From Bogus Charges On Phone Bills

T-Mobile, a company that has tried to position itself as being consumer-friendly, has been accused by federal regulators of being anything but friendly. The self-described “Un-carrier” has been accused in federal court of making hundreds of millions of dollars off of so-called “premium” text-messaging subscriptions that were often never requested by subscribers. [More]

"Why are you calling me about Uncle Caranthir's overdue payday loan?" (Photo: Zoomar)

Debt Collection Scammers Calling Victims’ Family & Co-Workers To Squeeze Money From People

A debt collection scam operates on two principles: That lots of us have debt, and that the con artist is good enough at his art to trick some of us into believing we have to pay immediately. But some scammers are bringing outside parties into their grift, contacting victims’ families and co-workers in the hopes that this will result in pressure to pay up on the bogus debt. [More]

The scary Delta lady does not approve of smoking or mail fraud. (photo: Bill Binns)

Former Delta Employee Accused Of Approving $22 Million In Fake Invoices

If you’ve ever worked at a large, profitable company that spends billions of dollars a year, you’ve probably thought about how easily one (but certainly not you!) could sneak fake charges through the system without anyone even noticing. And for nearly 10 years, an employee at Northwest (and then Delta) managed to make that daydream a reality, allegedly siphoning off $22 million through bogus invoices. [More]

900 Stolen Cellphones = $270K Profit + 27 Months Behind Bars For Verizon Employee

900 Stolen Cellphones = $270K Profit + 27 Months Behind Bars For Verizon Employee

I’ll admit that when I worked at Dairy Queen in high school, I might have helped myself to the occasional Blizzard or Hot Fudge Brownie Delight, but I wasn’t stockpiling these soft-serve desserts and selling them for a profit. Alas, I lacked the entrepreneurial spirit of the Verizon Wireless employee who saw the potential for big bucks in pilfered hardware. [More]

Companies Settle Charges For Allegedly Scamming Millions With Work-From-Home Schemes

Companies Settle Charges For Allegedly Scamming Millions With Work-From-Home Schemes

If many work-from-home opportunities seem too good to be true, that’s because they probably are. And the Federal Trade Commission put an end to two companies that allegedly scammed millions of dollars from consumers by promising substantial income through home-based businesses. [More]

John Oliver To Dr. Oz: Are You A Doctor Or An Old-West Traveling Salesman?

John Oliver To Dr. Oz: Are You A Doctor Or An Old-West Traveling Salesman?

As many of you recall, TV’s Dr. Oz took a spanking last week before a Senate subcommittee that questioned his use of terms like “miracle” and “magic” in the description of unproven weight-loss products and treatments. And on HBO’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver suggested a better line of work for the pill-pushing physician, along with a more accurate title for his much-watched talk show. [More]