Here's Why You Shouldn't Carry A Large Balance In Your Skype Account

Here's Why You Shouldn't Carry A Large Balance In Your Skype Account

Some strange things happened to Rob’s Skype account recently, Scammers drained his account balance and tried to steal money from his credit card, too. While his credit card remained untouched, and his account is now secure, he’d still like that stolen balance back. Skype is awfully sorry, but he’s not going to get that money back. [More]

A Site That Sells Stolen Credit Cards And Slaps Scammers With Fees

A Site That Sells Stolen Credit Cards And Slaps Scammers With Fees

We’d heard that credit card information can fetch as little as $1.50 on the open market, but we never really thought about what the experience of actually purchasing the info was like. Well, it turns out that buying a stolen credit card is a process riddled with fees. Who knew? [More]

"I Bought It From Yahweh" Is Not A Good Defense For Squatting In Foreclosed House

"I Bought It From Yahweh" Is Not A Good Defense For Squatting In Foreclosed House

Here’s a tip to anyone looking to squat in a foreclosed home — People probably won’t believe you if you tell them you purchased the property from Yahweh (aka God, aka Big Man in the Sky). It’s a lesson a Montana man learned this week after being convicted of not only illegally living in a home that wasn’t his, but also trying to use it as collateral for a loan. [More]

Don't Fall For Job Scams

Don't Fall For Job Scams

The Federal Trade Commission has a website at www.ftc.gov/jobscams with information on the types of scams you’re likely to find in Help Wanted listings. They’ve also put together a short video (below) that describes how scammers try to charge job hunters fees to pay for job certification, or to provide access to executive-level interviews, or to acquire study materials that are supposedly crucial to passing a hiring exam. It’s a good refresher course in what to look out for when you’re answering ads. [More]

Short Interview With A Possible 419 Scammer?

Short Interview With A Possible 419 Scammer?

The UK website Scam Detectives has published a two-part interview with a self-described former Nigerian 419 scammer. Take all of this a healthy dose of skepticism–the author admits he has no way of verifying if anything the guy says is true. Oh, and the reason I call it a short interview is because halfway through the second call, the author tells the scammer he doesn’t like him and wants to hang up. Before that happens, though, you get to read about foot soldiers, something called a wash wash, and the response rate on scam email blasts. [More]

Don't Let An Unknown Caller Talk You Into Downloading Software

Don't Let An Unknown Caller Talk You Into Downloading Software

In the wide world of scams, this combination of a phone call and computer malware is sort of a novel twist. Jay likes to string phone scammers along to waste their time, so he managed to get quite a few details about how this particular scam works. If you’ve got naive family members with access to computers, either take away their computers or tell them never to download software from a stranger on the phone. [More]

FTC Online Mall Teaches Tweens About Online Privacy, Scammers

FTC Online Mall Teaches Tweens About Online Privacy, Scammers

This month, the Federal Trade Commission unveiled You Are Here, a virtual mall where kids can learn to avoid online scams, spot misleading ads, and learn good habits to be smart consumers. [More]

PayPal Abandons Another Scammed Seller

PayPal Abandons Another Scammed Seller

Todd got ripped off by a scammer on an eBay purchase. He made sure to insure the device before shipping it off via the United States Postal Service, but it turns out that an insurance claim won’t help him get PayPal to step up. [More]

Diablo 2 Scammer Inadvertently Shines Spotlight On Self

Diablo 2 Scammer Inadvertently Shines Spotlight On Self

Robert usually writes about energy and the environment on his blog. However, he recently ran into a scammer online, and surprised the scammer by fighting back:

After I didn’t roll over for him, he resorted to sending me numerous threats and harassing e-mails, going so far as to threaten harm to my elementary school aged son. I wasn’t about to let him get away with this. [More]

Don't Donate Money To Public Safety Organizations Over The Phone

Don't Donate Money To Public Safety Organizations Over The Phone

The website Consumer Affairs (which is not related to us or our owners in any way) is warning people in Oregon to watch out for calls from people asking for donations on behalf of local police or fire departments. It’s a good reminder to everyone that telephone solicitations should be ignored: “At best, the solicitor will probably take the lion’s share of your donation. At worst, the caller is an outright fraud,” the site reports.

Scammer Picks Wrong Sympathy Handicap

Scammer Picks Wrong Sympathy Handicap

Any good grifter knows that a classic shortcut to sympathy is to fake a handicap. This guy, however, should have thought about the distancing effect of using a telephone relay service, which is designed for people who are hearing impaired.

Scammers String Along 82-Year-Old For Four Years, Leave Him Penniless

Scammers String Along 82-Year-Old For Four Years, Leave Him Penniless

Here’s another reason to have a sit-down with your elderly relatives and make them promise that if they ever, ever find out they’ve won some money in a lottery they didn’t enter, they should tell family members immediately.

Skimmers Rig Door Instead Of ATM

Skimmers Rig Door Instead Of ATM

Last week, a customer in Long Beach, New York, discovered a skimmer attached to the outside of a local ATM branch instead of on specific machines. We’ve talked a lot about being wary of any suspicious add-ons at the ATM, but in this case the criminals were collecting card info as people swiped to enter the building—although they still had pinhole cameras set up to record PINs next to each keypad.

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.