How Fraudsters Can Convert Stolen Goods Into Cash Through Bargain-Hunters

How Fraudsters Can Convert Stolen Goods Into Cash Through Bargain-Hunters

Maybe you’re planning a large purchase or a big shopping trip with a certain retailer, and you seek out gift cards to that store from online gift card marketplaces. Swapping gift cards online is a unique opportunity for savings, but also provides a unique opportunity for fraudsters. [More]

No, Target Is Not Giving You A 50% Off Everything Coupon For Liking A Page On Facebook

No, Target Is Not Giving You A 50% Off Everything Coupon For Liking A Page On Facebook

We all want to believe that there are special coupons out there just waiting to be grabbed, and the newest questionable offer to take hold of Facebook newsfeeds involves the false promise of a coupon that will magically grant you 50% off anything at Target. [More]

Reminder: There Are No Fees To Claim Your Prize When You Win The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes

Reminder: There Are No Fees To Claim Your Prize When You Win The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes

The day has finally come — you’ve won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes! At least, that’s what the guy on the phone is telling you. But don’t send your thanks to the ghost of Ed McMahon just yet: if someone is telling you to fork over huge wads of cash in order to claim your prize from PCH, it’s a scam and you should hang up the phone and start hoping anew. [More]

FTC Bans Wire Transfers, Reloadable Cash Cards, And Payment Orders In Phone Transactions

FTC Bans Wire Transfers, Reloadable Cash Cards, And Payment Orders In Phone Transactions

We’ve shared warnings about many different types of telemarketing scams, but they all have one thing in common: they extract money from their victims using quick and untraceable methods like wire transfers or prepaid debit cards. Today, the Federal Trade Commission announced an amendment to current telemarketing rules that’s meant to protect consumers from fraud over the phone lines. [More]

Reminder: A Legitimate Online Retailer Will Not Ask For Payment In Amazon Gift Cards

Reminder: A Legitimate Online Retailer Will Not Ask For Payment In Amazon Gift Cards

An online retailer that isn’t Amazon, yet who asks to be paid in Amazon gift cards? That might sound strange to practiced scam-spotters, but there are apparently shoppers who don’t find that idea suspicious. They should: gift cards don’t have the same fraud protections as credit or debit card payments. [More]

(Love Over Lenses)

Please Stop Spreading Pyramid Schemes Around Facebook

Gift exchanges can be super fun: it’s great to receive a present that you didn’t anticipate at all. However, an attempt by either a well-meaning person or a gift-hogging trickster began on Facebook recently, and zapped quickly around the world. One scheme, called the “Secret Sisters Gift Exchange,” promises thirty-six gifts in your mailbox after you mail out only one, but reality doesn’t work that way. [More]

Hey ID thieves! Did you break a security sticker while installing a card-skimming device on a gas pump? No problem. You can buy 500 replacement stickers for only $69.

Those Gas Pump “Anti-Skimming” Stickers Are Really Just Pointless Decoration

More than four years ago, a number of gas stations in the U.S. started slapping stickers on gas pump credit card readers in an effort to cut down on illegal card skimmers that steal customers’ payment info. And almost immediately, these same gas stations showed they had no idea what to do with these stickers. A new report shows that not only do some companies not really care about these stickers, but that anyone can buy them. [More]

(Paul)

Feds Shut Down Phony Apple, Microsoft, Google Tech Support Scammers

While consumers are much more tech-savvy today than we were during the days of Windows 3.1 and baud modems, there are still a lot of people whose tech-insecurity makes them potential prey for bogus tech support businesses that make money by convincing victims their computers are infected with viruses. [More]

This is not one of the boxes in question, though it is a clothing drop box. (JeepersMedia)

Group Must Pay $700K Penalty For Allegedly Profiting From ‘Charity’ Donation Bins

How do you turn a charitable donation into a scam? Take the donated item and sell it for a profit, instead of giving it to the needy. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said his office has reached a settlement with a for-profit company accused of doing just that, by way of more than 1,100 clothing donation bins scattered throughout the New York City area. [More]

A screen grab of the MMS product as sold on the Project GreenLife website (via the Internet Archive)

Man Who Sold Industrial Chemical As “Miracle Mineral Solution” Sentenced To 51 Months In Jail

There are plenty of people out there peddling “miracle” cleanses, juices, and elixirs that don’t really do anything, but that will usually just get them a slap on the wrist and some fines for false advertising. But if the “Miracle Mineral Solution” is really nothing more than an industrial chemical that can’t be sold for human consumption, then you’ll probably end up in jail for a few years. [More]

(Tara Chavez)

Scammers Who Defrauded Scam Victims Barred From Scamming Anyone Else

Imagine you’ve been a victim of that old “woke up in a bathtub with my kidney gone” urban legend. As you stumble out of the hotel in urgent need of medical care, you come across a helpful doctor who will tend to your wounds… only to wake up in another tub with another missing organ. Replace “unauthorized donation of precious, life-sustaining organs” with “telemarketing fraud” and you’ve got the basis for a scam that took in nearly $3 million from people who had already been the victims of fraud. [More]

Just a few of the Floyd products that failed to mention they included a prescription weight-loss med that was pulled from the market in 2010, or an ingredient in laxatives that hasn't been used since the FDA declared it unsafe in 1999.

Supplement Company Owner Gets 30 Months In Prison For Selling Diet Pills Containing Unsafe Ingredients

One slogan used by the folks at now-defunct Floyd Nutrition on weight-loss “supplements” like ZXT Bee Pollen and ZXT Gold Infinity was “Offering the gift of health,” but a more accurate statement might have been “Offering the secret gift of drugs that were pulled from the market years ago for potential health risks,” or rather, “Offering products that will land this company’s founder in federal prison for two-and-a-half years.” [More]

Man Recruited Homeless To Help Him Steal As Much As $800K From Home Depot

Man Recruited Homeless To Help Him Steal As Much As $800K From Home Depot

There’s shoplifting, and then there’s organizing a network of people help you pull off illegal activities: law enforcement in Detroit said a man who recruited homeless people and others on the streets to steal from Home Depot made as much as $800,000 over a few years, by returning those shoplifted items for store credit. [More]

(Sascha Kohlmann)

$80 iPad For Sale In Supermarket Parking Lot Was Actually A Tile

There’s one important rule that can save you from a number of scams: when a stranger walks up to you in a parking lot and offers to sell you something, say no. Always say no. If a woman in California had obeyed this rule, she’d still have $80 in her pocket and no pieces of tile masquerading as iPads. [More]

(Joachim Rayos)

Colleges Paying Sketchy Agents To Recruit Rich Foreign Students

With schools looking for ways to bolster their bottom lines without having to rely on federal funding, a growing number of colleges are paying recruiters to bring in well-heeled students from overseas — even though some of these agents have been caught trying to fake applicants’ transcripts. [More]

Moms Try To Snag Taylor Swift Tickets, Get Scammed Twice

Moms Try To Snag Taylor Swift Tickets, Get Scammed Twice

Two moms wanted to take their daughters to see Taylor Swift when she played in St. Louis recently, but didn’t have tickets. That’s fine: that’s what the underground ticket economy is for, right? In theory, but they managed to get scammed twice in one night by two different ticket sellers, and almost missed the concert. [More]

Possible Scammer Threatens To Call Police On The Police Asking Questions About Suspicious Mailing

Possible Scammer Threatens To Call Police On The Police Asking Questions About Suspicious Mailing

Who’s a scammer to turn to for help when they feel they’re being harassed? Apparently, the authorities: police in Massachusetts say they were investigating a possible scam targeting senior citizens, and called up the alleged scammer with a few questions — who then threatened to call the cops. [More]

This is not a real thing.

New Scam Preys On Facebook Users’ Desire For A “Dislike” Button

There’s one relatively simple way scammers can hook their prey: by knowing exactly what you really want and acting like they’re giving it to you. But as much as you want to be able to express something other than “like” with a button on Facebook, it’s not here yet, and it’s not going to be invite-only when it does arrive. [More]