scams

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How To Avoid Losing Money To The “Utility Company” Scam

When the weather outside is frightful, losing your heat or electricity is the last thing you want to have happened. But don’t let your fear of such an event push you into falling for a common scam perpetrated by fraudsters trying to pass themselves off as utility company employees on the phone. [More]

via NPR

Looking For “Facebook Customer Service” Online? Don’t Call This Scammy Number

When it comes to customer service, Facebook is notoriously difficult deal with, which is why people go searching on Google and elsewhere for any sort of reliable contact information for the site. But beware: There’s a scammy phone number lurking on the internet, passing itself off as “Facebook customer service.” [More]

jurvetson

Feds Say Ponzi Scheme Promised Big Profits From Reselling ‘Hamilton’ & Adele Tickets

A business that promises huge returns on resold tickets to hot Broadway shows like Hamilton or concerts featuring big-ticket names like Adele might seem like a worthwhile investment, but federal prosecutors say victims lost millions as part of an alleged Ponzi scheme involving secondary market tickets to popular events. [More]

Xavier J. Peg

If A Telemarketer Or Robocall Asks “Can You Hear Me?” Just Hang Up; It’s A Scam

It’s a bad idea to ever use the word “yes” when talking to any telemarketer, but with the latest version of an old scam, saying “yes” can quite literally come back to haunt you. [More]

Brian_B 1976

Western Union Will Pay $585 Million For Not Doing Enough To Stop Wire Fraud

Whether it’s the “distant relative stranded in a foreign country” scam or the “you’ve won the lottery but you have to pay us scam” or any other variation on this remotely operated ruse, wire transfer services like Western Union are often the conduit for getting that money from the victim to the scammer. After years of being accused of not doing enough to clamp down on fraud by its customers, Western Union has agreed to pay $585 million to federal authorities and admit that its policies — and some of its agents — aided and abetted wire fraud. [More]

WREG

Customer Buys $150 Crafting Machine From Walmart; Receives Box Of Potatoes

Crafters and scrapbookers across the country are likely familiar with the Cricut, a device that cuts paper into just about any pattern you desire. They probably also know what a potato is, and that the two items aren’t interchangeable. Except, apparently, at Walmart.  [More]

TroyMarcyPhotography.com

Don’t Fall For The ‘Missed Delivery Notice’ Email Scam This Holiday Season

If you’re like everyone else you know, you’ve probably been doing — or plan to do — a bit of online holiday shopping this year. Missing a delivery could put a serious kink in your day, but don’t let that fear draw you into a scammer’s net. [More]

U.S. State Dept.

Scammers Ran A Fake U.S. Embassy In Ghana For A Decade Before Being Shut Down

The U.S. Embassy in Ghana is a large, secured office building in the bustling West African port city of Accra, but for a decade scammers convinced some folks that their humble two-story structure — without security fencing, U.S. military guards,… or Americans of any sort — was indeed the office of the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana. [More]

Douglas Woods

4 Scams To Avoid During The Holidays

It’s that time of year, where all your focus is on your quest to shop for gifts, decorate your home, and survive the gauntlet of holiday parties. But don’t let your ambition for discounts and seemingly great seasonal opportunities blind you to some common scams that tend to pop up in these final weeks of the year. [More]

U.S., Canada Team Up To Fight Robocalls Together

U.S., Canada Team Up To Fight Robocalls Together

If you didn’t have much to do during the mid-’90s, you may remember a CBS show called Due South about the unlikely crimefighting duo (is there ever a show about a likely crimefighting duo?) of Constable Benton Fraser of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Chicago Detective Raymond Vecchio (until he had to go deep undercover and was replaced by not-quite-lookalike Det. Stanley Kowalski). Today’s announcement from regulators in the U.S. and Canada is exactly like that show, except it’s about robocalls, and is really nothing at all like that show. [More]

Matt Reinbold

FCC: Don’t Be Fooled By Callers Posing As Utility Employees Demanding Payment

We’ve heard about scammers who call up consumers and pretend to be utility company workers, demanding immediate payment. And as we head into the winter, when many people might be endangered by an interruption in heat, the Federal Communications Commission is warning folks to be especially wary of such calls. [More]

Cpt. Brick

Police: Woman Scams First Date Out Of $300 Gift Card At Dinner

We’ve heard of jerks who take advantage of folks looking for love, from dining-and-dashing to elaborate scams that swindle romantic targets out of thousands of dollars. Now, police in Connecticut say one woman fleeced her date after he paid for dinner — and used the money to go out with other men. [More]

Feds Shut Down Scam That Used Pop-Up Alerts To Scare People Into Thinking Computers Were Hacked

Feds Shut Down Scam That Used Pop-Up Alerts To Scare People Into Thinking Computers Were Hacked

If you’ve ever browsed some of the internet’s seedier nooks and crannies, you might be familiar with a particular type of scam: The pop-up warning (usually accompanied by a loud, alarm-like sound) telling you that your computer has been compromised and you must call tech support immediately. To people who know better, it’s a minor nuisance but to people who aren’t as scam-savvy, it’s a ruse that brings in millions of dollars to jerks around the world, including a Missouri-based operation that has been shut down by the Federal Trade Commission. [More]

@fema

How To Avoid Scams Aiming To Cash In On Hurricane Matthew Damage

Hurricane Matthew is gone, but not without doing significant damage. As the recovery and rebuilding process begins, there will inevitably be unscrupulous scammers trying to cash in via fake charities, bogus offers of home repair, cybercrime, or through old-fashioned price gouging. [More]

pjpink

Scammy Indian Call Centers Made Up To $225K/Day Pretending To Be From IRS

No one wants to get a call from the Internal Revenue Service, and for many people the tax return process is confusing and fraught with potential for errors. So when someone calls claiming to be from the IRS and in need of more information, or saying you need to pay up or face arrest, you might assume it’s a legitimate call. It’s not. This week, police in India detained hundreds of employees from three different call centers for allegedly making these sorts of scam calls — and raking in big money in the process. [More]

Scammy, Bankrupt “USA Discounters” To Pay $96M For Targeting, Then Suing Armed Forces Customers

Scammy, Bankrupt “USA Discounters” To Pay $96M For Targeting, Then Suing Armed Forces Customers

Two years ago, we told you about the not-at-all a discount retailer called USA Discounters that targeted active-duty servicemembers, and not only trapped a number of them in high-cost installment payment plans but then sued customers who fell behind, knowing it was highly unlikely the customer would ever be able to defend themselves. Since then, the company has changed its name, only to go bankrupt, but that hasn’t stopped prosecutors from coming after it. Today, the defunct retailer reached a multi-state settlement deal that could result in USA Discounters customers receiving millions of dollars in forgiven debt. [More]

Scott W. Vincent

Listen To This Creepy Robocall & See Why 750K People Want Free Robo-Blocking Tools

As if auto-dialed, pre-recorded robocalls weren’t bad enough, scammers are now blasting out robocalls that use poorly synthesized text-to-talk programs in an effort to try to frighten people into thinking they are being sued. [More]

CBS 5

Why Did A Stranger Send Me A Fake Rolex Watch?

It’s not every day that you get a package out of the blue from someone you’ve never met, containing an expensive (looking) watch. So when that exact situation happened to a California woman recently, she had a sneaking suspicion that something was fishy — and she was right. [More]