Feds Shut Down Psychic Scammers Who Tricked Victims Out Of $180 Million

Feds Shut Down Psychic Scammers Who Tricked Victims Out Of $180 Million

We first wrote about the “Maria Duval psychic mailer” scheme, which used supposedly personalized mass mailings to trick people into paying money for Duval’s otherworldly insights, more than six years ago, and the internet is full of complaints from people who lost thousands of dollars to Duval and her related businesses. Today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement that permanently bars Duval and others from continuing to bilk consumers out of their money with false promises of psychic guidance. [More]

Robrrt

Amazon Unintentionally Paying Scammers To Hand You 1000 Pages Of Crap You Don’t Read

For a certain kind of reader — the kind who can go through three books a week easy on her commute, let’s say — an unlimited subscription, wireless, e-book service sounds like a dream come true. That’s what Amazon promises with their Kindle Unlimited service, but the plan may be backfiring — not so much on readers, but on authors and on Amazon itself.

[More]

Failed For-Profit College Operator Ordered To Pay $1.1 Billion For Predatory Practices

Failed For-Profit College Operator Ordered To Pay $1.1 Billion For Predatory Practices

Corinthian Colleges Inc. — which formerly ran for-profit education chains like Everest University, Heald College, and WyoTech — may have collapsed and had its remnants sold off, but the lawsuits against the failed company continue to loom. This week, a California judge ordered the defunct company to fork over $1.1 billion to the state for lying to students, investors, and regulators. [More]

Scammer Must Repay $7.75M For Running Bogus Prayer Center & Consumer Complaint Service

Scammer Must Repay $7.75M For Running Bogus Prayer Center & Consumer Complaint Service

When facing times of trouble, some people choose to believe in the power of prayer. Others put more trust in their ability to file an official complaint. A Seattle-based scam artist apparently figured he would cover all his bases, operating a trio of bogus companies covering everything from religion to consumer gripes. [More]

jpghouse

No, The IRS Will Not Call You To Verify Your Tax Return Information

Because trying to steal money from others will never get old for criminals, scammers are constantly changing tacks to come up with new ways to rake in their ill-gotten gains. This tax season, there’s a new trick bedeviling taxpayers over the phone. [More]

(Robert Scoble)

Seagate Employee Falls For CEO W-2 Scam, Sends Everyone’s Personal Information

Snapchat isn’t the only technology company that has fallen victim to the tax-season variation on the classic CEO e-mail scam, where a scammer impersonating the boss asks for all employees’ tax information. An employee at hard drive company Seagate fell into the same trap, sending 2015 tax information for thousands of current and former employees to unknown scammers. [More]

IRS: Email, Text Scams Targeting Taxpayers Up 400% This Year

IRS: Email, Text Scams Targeting Taxpayers Up 400% This Year

It’s tax season, which means it’s the prime time for scammers to crawl out from underneath their scammy rocks and try to nab taxpayers’ personal info. So far, this year’s electronic tax scams are even more prevalent than before, the Internal Revenue Service says, surging 400%. [More]

The teenager opened up a clinic in this building in West Palm Beach, FL.

Teen Arrested For Passing Himself Off As A Doctor, Opening Clinic

In a combination of Doogie Howser, MD and Catch Me If You Can, a Florida teenager has been arrested for not merely posing as a medical doctor, but for going so far as to open up his own clinic, complete with a website. [More]

(frankieleon)

Credit Card Processor For Work-At-Home Scam Companies Settles FTC Charges

When you respond to an ad promising untold wealth if you start an at-home business, someone in a call center will contact you and try to extract your credit or debit card number. There needs to be a credit card processing company involved to run that transaction, though, and the company that did so for the Tax Club work-at-home scam operation has now settled up with the Federal Trade Commission for its role in the scam. [More]

Protect Your Heart (And Wallet) From These Valentine’s Day Scams

Protect Your Heart (And Wallet) From These Valentine’s Day Scams

This is the year. It’s the year you’ll wake up on Feb. 15 without the stinging sensation of intense regret that inevitably follows after mourning Valentine’s Day at the bottom of a booze bottle, covered in bits of melted chocolate stuck to you in your sleep, because your beloved turned out to be a scammer. Because this year, you’re going to be prepared for any romance scams that may come your way. [More]

Ads for these products promised rapid weight loss (without anything to back up that claim), used fake customer testimonials, and promised "risk-free" trials that were all but impossible to get out of.

Scammy Sellers Of AF Plus, Final Trim Weight-Loss Pills Made Millions From Bogus “Risk-Free” Trials

You may have heard radio ads for weight loss supplements named AF Plus and Final Trim, promising “24 hours of fat burning power” and “maximum weight loss,” along with supposed real-world testimonials about how well these pills worked — and how you can try them now through a “risk-free” trial. Problem is, those people in the ads claiming they lost all that weight are just as fictitious as the free trial. [More]

What Does A Grocery Store PIN Pad Skimmer Look Like?

What Does A Grocery Store PIN Pad Skimmer Look Like?

Have you ever wondered how customers could slide their cards through and enter their PINs on a compromised payment terminal without even noticing? While some skimming schemes involve Bluetooth transmitters and require disassembling the device, installing a skimmer can be as simple as snapping an identical part over an existing card reader. [More]

(stirwise)

4 Things We Learned About Fake Locksmith Scammers Lurking Online

The moment you realize you’re locked out of your car or your home is never a good one. But now that everyone is armed with a smartphone, it’s an easy thing to search for a local locksmith on Google and have someone show up to the rescue. But not every listing out there is tied to a legitimate business, as scammy fake locksmith companies are hiding in plain sight, waiting to slam customers with pricy bills for their services. [More]

(cjmartin)

How To Avoid Becoming A Victim Of A Super Bowl Ticketing Scam

Whenever there’s a widely publicized event bringing in people from all over like the Super Bowl, you better believe there will be scammers lurking in the shadows, waiting to prey on those unfortunate souls who desperately want to score a ticket to join the fun. This year’s big game is no different, but there are some things football fans can do to avoid becoming a victim to a scam. [More]

“Artisanal Spam” Is Today’s Sneaky New Trend In Email Scams

“Artisanal Spam” Is Today’s Sneaky New Trend In Email Scams

Because we live in a world where everything trendy is farm-to-table, or handcrafted, or whittled by free-trade fairies from reclaimed wood, we’re not entirely surprised that the new thing in email scams is something called “artisanal spam.” [More]

(blitzcat)

ID Thieves Also Use Call Centers To Outsource Their Scams

We all know that a lot of businesses outsource customer service work to call centers around the world. But what you may not know is that there are also call centers that specialize — and openly advertise — their services in aiding ID theft and other cyber fraud. [More]

(Jeffrey Beall)

Colorado Investigating Scammers Who Hoard DMV Appointments, Sell Them To Undocumented Residents

When something is free, but it’ll take a long time to get it, there’s always the chance that someone will try to take advantage of the situation to make a profit off impatient people. In Colorado, the attorney general’s office is investigating a scalping scheme that involves scammers hoarding driver’s license appointments with the Department of Motor Vehicles, then turning around and selling them to undocumented residents. [More]

(Trisha)

ID Thieves Hijacking Accounts To Cash In On Bogus Warranties

In a pre-online era, when we made most purchases in person, getting a warranty replacement on a broken product often required taking the defective item back to where you bought it. But now that we’re all buying things online, a number of retailers are willing to ship you a replacement on the understanding that you’ll immediately return the original item. ID thieves are taking advantage of this goodwill, hijacking customers’ accounts and convincing companies to send them free replacements for items they never bought. [More]