1. NORTH CAROLINA: An AMBER Alert has been issued for Hania Aguilar, 13, after she was abducted in Lumberton on November 5.
    Hania was forced into a green 2002 Ford Expedition which was found abandoned on November 8.
    A detailed description of the abductor is not known at this time.
    Click HERE for more information
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Keeping Children and Adults Safe
    Click Here for more information!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. What do you do if you have a loved one missing?
    In this section, you will find tips on what to do and not do.
    Easily find organizations that you can contact for help.
    Click here for more information
    Dismiss Notice
  4. “We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”
    Our mission: Working together to help locate the missing, name the unidentified
    and discuss true crime cases within an intellectual, safe and respectful Internet community.
    *~*~*~*Don't forget, we are on Facebook! www.facebook.com/CrimeWatchersNet*~*~*~*~*
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Welcome to Crimewatchers.net! We are happy to have you with us.
Please let any staff member know if you need assistance. We're here to help! (If you aren't a member, please join us today. We'd love to meet you!)
Dismiss Notice
Crimewatchers.net opened on April 26, 2015 with the purpose of making a difference in getting the word out for the missing, unidentified, and justice for victims. Let us know if you have a case you'd like us to feature here, on Twitter &/or Facebook. Contact email: CrimewatchersCW@gmail.com


Discussion in 'Community Outreach' started by Imamazed, May 4, 2018.

  1. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member


    How criminals steal $37 billion a year from elderly Americans

    Marjorie Jones trusted the man who called to tell her she’d won a sweepstakes prize, saying she could collect the winnings once she paid the taxes and fees. After she wired the first payment, he and other callers kept adding conditions to convince her to send more money.

    As the scheme progressed, Jones, who was legally blind and lived alone in a two-story house in Moss Bluff, Louisiana, depleted her savings, took out a reverse mortgage and cashed in a life insurance policy. She didn’t tell her family, not even the sister who lived next door. Scammers often push victims to keep promised winnings a secret, says an investigator who helped unravel this sinister effort to exploit an 82-year-old woman.

    Her family didn’t realize something was wrong until she started asking to borrow money, a first for a woman they admired for her financial independence. But by then it was too late, says Angela Stancik, one of Jones’s granddaughters. Jones had lost all of her life savings—hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    About one week after calling Stancik at the family business in Ganado, Texas, to borrow $6,000, Jones committed suicide.

    That was May 4, 2010. When family members went to her home, they found a caller ID filled with numbers they didn’t recognize and three bags of wire transfer receipts in her closet. Jones had $69 left in her bank account.
    Uno2Much, fran, spike and 1 other person like this.
  2. Paradise

    Paradise Media Mod

    Uno2Much, fran, spike and 1 other person like this.
  3. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    3 Scams That Are Driving Everyone Crazy

    Have you or someone you know been a victim of fraud? Want to know how best to spot a scam online? Unfortunately, fraudulent activity happens every day to people like you, but AARP is here to help.

    AARP recently offered online advice from Amy Nofziger, who manages the AARP Fraud Helpline and is AARP’s expert on fraud and scams, on how to protect yourself and your family members from scam artists. A stream of questions poured in from people sharing their experiences and asking about various cons. It’s clear that these scams are among the most pernicious.

    1. “I received a call from 360-203-0375 claiming to be from the IRS and telling me I owed back taxes. It was a recorded message. Knowing I did not owe back taxes, I hung up!!!”
    Nofziger replied: “That’s the perfect response! HANG UP! Great job staying safe." If the phone rings and you pick up and no one responds, "sometimes this can be a phone call coming from a call center that uses technology called predictive dialing. It autodials hundreds of people at the same time, and whoever picks the phone up first gets the operator and all the other calls drop off. Could be confirmation of a real number … but this is possible as well. My best advice, unless people know who is calling, don’t pick up the phone. I have an app on my phone that warns me when a call comes in, to the legitimacy of the call. These calls all alert me with a ‘scam or fraud’ warning, so I didn’t answer. They did leave a robocall message threatening my arrest. The IRS does not operate this way. There are many apps in the App Store. Some are free and some cost. A few of the products are Hiya, Truecaller, PrivacyStar and many others. Find the one that looks best for you by reading through the reviews and knowing which features you want. Also, on your landline, there is a service called Nomorobo that operates similar blocking services on traditional landlines."

    2. "A computer company called to say I had a virus on my computer."
    Nofziger replied: "Computer companies don't proactively reach out to consumers to let them know about a potential virus on consumers' computers. If anyone calls asking to remote access into your computer, hang up. If you receive a pop-up on your screen telling you that there is a virus and you need to call a phone number, click out of the box. Or you may even have to 'hard shutdown' your system to get it to go away. But don't call the number or click on any links. Never give personal or financial information to anyone who calls you, nor pay for any services like this, in prepaid gift cards."

    To learn more about how AARP is helping people like you avoid scams and fraud, go to the AARP Fraud Watch Network.

    More on Scams
    Uno2Much, fran, spike and 1 other person like this.
  4. spike

    spike Bronze Member

  5. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

  6. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    Uno2Much and Paradise like this.
  7. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    BBB scam tracker

    BBB Scam Tracker℠ Brought to you by the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust
    Spot a business or offer that sounds like an illegal scheme or fraud? Tell us about it. Help us investigate and warn others by reporting what you know.
    Uno2Much likes this.
  8. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    Uncovered: cruel scam so slick even the vigilant can be duped
    A widow diagnosed with breast cancer was conned into losing her mother’s care-home fees

    Virginia Calder was returning from hospital following breast surgery when the call came. The voice said it was the Royal Bank of Scotland fraud team flagging up some unusual transactions on her bank account. Within hours, Calder’s elderly mother, for whom she exercises power of attorney, had been defrauded of her life savings.

    Calder, a single mother who considers herself painstaking with her security details, had fallen victim to a telephone scam so slick even the most vigilant can be duped.

    In 2017, UK bank customers lost more than £236m in so-called “authorised push-payment scams” where individuals are deceived into transferring money into a fraudster’s account. The scammers usually start with a phone call purporting to be from the police or a bank, or with an email from a cloned address masquerading as a payment request from a genuine conveyancing solicitor or trader employed by the victim.

    Because the transfer is instant, there is no time to reverse the transaction. And because payments have technically been authorised by the customer, there’s no redress.

    In Calder’s case the timing was particularly cruel. She was widowed last summer and left to juggle the care of three children with a full-time job as an academic. Also, last year, she had to take over the affairs of her mother who was diagnosed with dementia.

    The fraudulent call came on the afternoon of her lumpectomy and it sounded plausible. “The caller ran through some initial security questions, such as the first line of my address and full name, then asked if I had made certain large purchases that day,” she says. “I confirmed I hadn’t because I’d been in hospital. He then told me my account had been frozen due to unusual transfers, and a large payment had been made. He promised to call back when I’d had time to log on to my account and check.”
    Uno2Much likes this.
  9. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    Nigerian Email Scammers Are More Effective Than Ever

    You would think that after decades of analyzing and fighting email spam, there'd be a fix by now for the internet's oldest hustle—the Nigerian Prince scam. There's generally more awareness that a West African noble demanding $1,000 in order to send you millions is a scam, but the underlying logic of these “pay a little, get a lot” schemes, also known as 419 fraud, still ensnares a ton of people. In fact, groups of fraudsters in Nigeria continue to make millions off of these classic cons. And they haven't just refined the techniques and expanded their targets—they've gained minor celebrity status for doing it.

    On Thursday, the security firm Crowdstrike published detailed findings on Nigerian confraternities, cultish gangs that engage in various criminal activities and have steadily evolved email fraud into a reliable cash cow. The groups, like the notorious Black Axe syndicate, have mastered the creation of compelling and credible-looking fraud emails. Crowdstrike notes that the groups aren’t very regimented or technically sophisticated, but flexibility and camaraderie still allow them to develop powerful scams.

    “These guys are more like a crew from the mafia back in the day,” says Adam Meyers, Crowdstrike's vice president of intelligence. “Once you’re in an organization and are initiated, then you have a new name that’s assigned to you. They’ve got their own music, their own language even. And there are pictures on social media where they’re flaunting what they’re doing. The whole idea is why invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to build your own malware when you can just convince someone to do something stupid?”

    Yahoo Boys
    Young Nigerian scammers have often been called “Yahoo Boys,” because many of their hustles used to target users on Yahoo services. And they've embraced this identity. In the rap song “Yahooze”—which has more than 3 million views on YouTube—Nigerian singer Olu Maintain glamorizes the lifestyle of email scammers.

    More at link...
    Uno2Much likes this.
  10. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts
    Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.

    The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Recognize the telltale signs of a scam. See also: How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door

    Scams Targeting Taxpayers
    IRS, Security Summit Partners warn of new twist on phone scam; crooks direct taxpayers to IRS.gov to “verify” calls
    The IRS warns of a new twist on an old phone scam as criminals use telephone numbers that mimic IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers to trick taxpayers into paying non-existent tax bills. See IR-2018-103.

    IRS warning: Don’t be a victim of ‘ghost’ tax return preparers
    A ghost preparer is paid to prepare a tax return but does not sign it as the paid preparer. These phantom preparers who won't put their name on the tax return are a warning sign for taxpayers of a potential scam. See IR-2018-89.

    IRS, Summit Partners warn on tax deadline scams, ‘IRS Refunds’ email
    The “IRS Refunds” scam is a common tactic used by cybercriminals to trick people into opening a link or attachment associated with the email that takes people to a fake page where thieves try to steal personally identifiable information. See IR-2018-88.

    Scam Alert: IRS Urges Taxpayers to Watch Out for Erroneous Refunds; Beware of Fake Calls to Return Money to a Collection Agency
    After stealing client data from tax professionals and filing fraudulent tax returns, criminals use the taxpayers' real bank accounts for the deposit. Thieves are then using various tactics to reclaim the refund from the taxpayers, and their versions of the scam may continue to evolve. See IR-2018-27.

    IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scams
    A sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be IRS employees, using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

    Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a gift card or wire transfer. Victims may be threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

    More at link...
    Uno2Much likes this.
  11. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    Top 10 Financial Scams Targeting Seniors

    Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they’re now considered “the crime of the 21st century.” Why? Because seniors are thought to have a significant amount of money sitting in their accounts.

    Financial scams also often go unreported or can be difficult to prosecute, so they’re considered a “low-risk” crime. However, they’re devastating to many older adults and can leave them in a very vulnerable position with little time to recoup their losses.

    It’s not just wealthy seniors who are targeted. Low-income older adults are also at risk of financial abuse. And it’s not always strangers who perpetrate these crimes. Over 90% of all reported elder abuse is committed by an older person’s own family members, most often their adult children, followed by grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and others.

    1. Medicare/health insurance scams
    Every U.S. citizen or permanent resident over age 65 qualifies for Medicare, so there is rarely any need for a scam artist to research what private health insurance company older people have in order to scam them out of some money.

    In these types of scams, perpetrators may pose as a Medicare representative to get older people to give them their personal information, or they will provide bogus services for elderly people at makeshift mobile clinics, then use the personal information they provide to bill Medicare and pocket the money.

    2. Counterfeit prescription drugs
    Most commonly, counterfeit drug scams operate on the Internet, where seniors increasingly go to find better prices on specialized medications. This scam is growing in popularity—since 2000, the FDA has investigated an average of 20 such cases per year, up from five a year in the 1990s.

    The danger is that besides paying money for something that will not help a person’s medical condition, victims may purchase unsafe substances that can inflict even more harm. This scam can be as hard on the body as it is on the wallet.

    3. Funeral & cemetery scams
    The FBI warns about two types of funeral and cemetery fraud perpetrated on seniors.

    In one approach, scammers read obituaries and call or attend the funeral service of a complete stranger to take advantage of the grieving widow or widower. Claiming the deceased had an outstanding debt with them, scammers will try to extort money from relatives to settle the fake debts.

    Another tactic of disreputable funeral homes is to capitalize on family members’ unfamiliarity with the considerable cost of funeral services to add unnecessary charges to the bill. In one common scam of this type, funeral directors will insist that a casket, usually one of the most expensive parts of funeral services, is necessary even when performing a direct cremation, which can be accomplished with a cardboard casket rather than an expensive display or burial casket.

    More at link...
    Uno2Much likes this.
  12. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    5. Telemarketing/phone scams
    Perhaps the most common scheme is when scammers use fake telemarketing calls to prey on older people, who as a group make twice as many purchases over the phone than the national average. While the image of the lonely senior citizen with nobody to talk to may have something to do with this, it is far more likely that older people are more familiar with shopping over the phone, and therefore might not be fully aware of the risk.

    With no face-to-face interaction, and no paper trail, these scams are incredibly hard to trace. Also, once a successful deal has been made, the buyer’s name is then shared with similar schemers looking for easy targets, sometimes defrauding the same person repeatedly.

    Examples of telemarketing fraud include:

    The pigeon drop
    The con artist tells the individual that he/she has found a large sum of money and is willing to split it if the person will make a “good faith” payment by withdrawing funds from his/her bank account. Often, a second con artist is involved, posing as a lawyer, banker, or some other trustworthy stranger.

    The fake accident ploy
    The con artist gets the victim to wire or send money on the pretext that the person’s child or another relative is in the hospital and needs the money.

    Charity scams
    Money is solicited for fake charities. This often occurs after natural disasters.
    Uno2Much likes this.
  13. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    Seniors face slew of online, phone scams. Here's how to avoid the top ones.
    Fraudsters are constantly looking for new ways to scam Americans, and seniors can be particularly vulnerable as they increasingly become tech-savvy, using computers, smartphones and creating social media profiles.

    Here are the top scams that Americans face and how to avoid them:

    IRS scams
    In this scam, a caller pretends to be an IRS employee, claims you owe taxes and threatens that authorities are going to arrest you. They might "spoof" their phone number so it looks like it's coming from the IRS or another government agency and will demand payment immediately. In reality, the IRS wouldn't call you — they'd send a letter. They also wouldn't demand on-the-spot payment or threaten you with arrest by a local police department or sheriff. To verify, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040. This is the top scam faced by seniors. (This is part of a class of scams known as imposter scams and can include calls from fake cops, federal investigators and debt collectors.)

    Medicare card scam
    This is a new one, ironically based off a government measure to make identity theft harder. Everyone on Medicare whose ID card bears their Social Security number is getting a new card so that scammers can't as easily get hold of that number. But now scammers are calling people and telling them that they need to pay for a new card or for expedited service (you don't). Experts say the government is automatically sending the new cards to all 58 million Medicare beneficiaries — for free — so there's no need to pay anyone for anything.

    Grandparent scams
    Particularly insidious, these scams often start with a late-night call from someone purporting to be a relative, and although their voice might not sound right, they might know a few specific details about you or the person they're pretending to be. It's an emergency, they say, they've been arrested or are stranded and they can't reach anyone else and could you please wire them some money right now to help them out of a jam? Experts say these scams are effective because they trigger our desire to help, which combined with a little Facebook sleuthing can provide a scammer with everything they need to sucker you out of some money, especially if it's late at night and you're not thinking things through. You can avoid being suckered by saying you must consult another family member first, hanging up and taking a few minutes to check out the story. On the off chance it's actually true, you've only wasted a few minutes verifying things.

    Tech support scams
    Your computer or phone pops up a message: A virus has been detected and you should call a certain number. Sometimes these are deliberate attacks in which someone has infected your device with a piece of software that locks it up until you pay a ransom (an attack called ransomware). But more commonly, it's just a pop-up window designed to scare you. But what's worse, scammers then buy advertising or rig the system on Google so that if you search for a real tech support number, you get theirs instead. The advice remains the same: Consult an actual computer professional. Because really, how likely is it that a giant software company like Microsoft or Facebook would tell you there's a problem and then offer to help you fix it? "No legitimate computer company will call you and unsolicited tell you that you have a virus," said Amy Nofziger, who works for the AARP Foundation and teaches elder fraud seminars. Millennials fall for this scam far more than seniors, according to authorities, but is a growing problem as more and more older Americans get smartphones and computers.

    Lottery scams
    The third-most common scam faced by seniors, a caller claims you've won a lottery or jackpot, often in a foreign country like Jamaica. Experts say be highly skeptical of any caller who claims you've won a prize, especially if you don't remember buying a ticket or entering a drawing. If you win a traditional lottery, no one knows you bought a ticket and it's your responsibility to contact authorities to prove it, not the other way around. Be even more wary if they send you a check with instructions to deposit it and then forward a portion of that to someone else in taxes or fees. Real government-run lotteries withhold taxes before you ever get a dime.

    Veteran scams
    These scams vary widely, from callers offering to pay upfront for future disability and pension payments (usually just a rip off) to scams in which veterans are told to call a special number to determine if they're eligible for special health care under the Veterans Choice Program. You're told to leave a credit card number to check for eligibility ... and then they ring up charges. Other scams: being charged for your own records (the VA can get you those for free) or unsolicited calls claiming to be from the VA looking to update its records (the VA doesn't call you like that).
    Uno2Much likes this.
  14. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    Current 2018 Top 10 List of Scams and Frauds
    Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes

    There are many ways to measure the largest scams, but most measure them by the number of people affected and the total dollars scammed.

    Our list focuses on the scams that you could avoid, those reported to the CFR, FTC, Fraud.org and BBB (Better Business Bureau). For detailed explanations of each scam, how to report a scammer and how to protect yourself, click on the blue titles below for more information!

    We have compiled other lists as well:

    And to see a list of other type of top 10 scams, such as by category, or targetting specific groups, see this page.

    Top 10 Scams
    1. Debt Collection:
      Most of the complaints under this category involve debt collectors. Consumers tell of receiveing calls from harassing collectors who are threatening and will repeatedly call attempting to collect a debt. Other complaints that fall under this category involved credit/debit card fees, pay day loans, credit repair companies and unauthorized use of credit/debit cards. Some of these complaints involved hidden fees and billing disputes as well.
    2. Fake Government Officials
      If you received an email, letter or phone call from a government agency (typically the IRS or FBI) and it instructs you to wire, Western Union or MoneyGram money someplace, or follow a link and enter information - don't believe it! The U.S. government would never instruct anyone to use those methods to pay any bill or carry out a financial transaction, particularly with an overseas bank or agency.
    3. Identity Theft, Phishing and Pharming
      Scammers gain access to your confidential information, like socil security numbers, date of birth and then use it to apply for credit cards, loans and financial accounts. Typically, the victim receives an email that appears to be from a credible, real bank or credit card company, with links to a website and a request to update account information. But the website and email are fakes, made to look like the real website.
    4. Phone scams
      This includes telemarketers violating the Do Not Call list, Robodialers, scammers calling up pretending to be from a bank or credit card compamny. The National Do Not Call Registry (U.S.) or the National Do Not Call List (Canada) offer consumers a free way to reduce telemarketing calls. Scammers call anyway, of course, and they've even found a way to scam consumers by pretending to be a government official calling to sign you up or confirming your previous participation on the Dot Not call list!
    5. Loans Scams / Credit Fixers
      False promises of business or personal loans, even if credit is bad, for a fee upfront. Or a scam that promises to repair your credit for a fee.
    6. Fake Prizes, Sweepstakes, Free Gifts, Lottery Scams
      You receive an email claiming you won a prize, lottery or gift, and you only have to pay a "small fee" to claim it or cover "handling costs". These include scams which can go under the name of genuine lotteries like the UK National Lottery and the El Gordo Spanish lottery. Unsolicited email or telephone calls tell people they are being entered or have already been entered into a prize draw. Later, they receive a call congratulating them on winning a substantial prize in a national lottery. But before they can claim their prize, they are told they must send money to pay for administration fees and taxes. The prize, of course, does not exist. No genuine lottery asks for money to pay fees or notifies it's winners vian email.
    7. Internet merchandise scams
      You purchase something online, but it is either never delivered or it is not what they claimed it was, or is defective.Online shopping, and other shop from home, such as catalog, mail and phone shopping scams are on the rise.
    8. Automobile-Related Complaints
      Car loans, car buying, car sales, auto repair, fake or useless extended warranties. Some of the complaints alleged consumers paid for repairs and that services provided were shoddy. Consumers reported repair companies that return vehicles to the consumer in a worse condition than how it was initially given to them. Other complaints involved consumers not receiving title to their vehicles at the time of sale
    9. Credit Bureaus and related credit scams
      Credit/debit card fees, pay day loans, credit repair companies and unauthorized use of credit/debit cards. Some of these complaints involved hidden fees and billing disputes as well.
    10. Phishing/Spoofing Emails
      Emails that pretend to be from a company, organization or government agency but ask you to enter or confirm
      your personal information
    Uno2Much and Paradise like this.
  15. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    • And here are the next most common scams:
    • Fake check payments
      You sell something online or through Craig's List Consumers and you're paid with phony checks, and instructed to
      wire money back to buyer. The check looks real... but after you try to cash it, you find out it is a fake; and you're arrested for passing a counterfeit check! Read more about scam checks on this page and here about the EBay check scam.
    • Recovery/Refund Companies
      A scammer contacts and claims you owe money on a debt or the scammer offers to recover money lost in a previous scam
    • Online Dating Scams
      Fake profiles of scammers posing as attractive men and women, then claiming they need money to help in an emergency, typically when they claim to be out of the country on a business trip.
    • Facebook Fake Friend Scam - Did you ever get a Friend Request on Facebook from someone you already thought was your Friend? If you hit Accept, you may have just friended a scammer. Con artist nurtures an online relationship,
      builds trust, and convinces victim to send money.
    • Click Bait Scam - This one takes many forms, but many people may recall seeing those using Robin Williams death or the Malaysian Airline plane that went missing ("click here for video"). Other click bait schemes use celebrity images, fake news, and other sensational stories to get you to unknowingly download malware.
    • Fake bills and invoices - "Pro forma" invoicing: You get a bill that looks real, but either you never ordered the product or service, or they're not really the company you bought it from.
    • Tech Support Scam: You get a call or a pop-up on your computer claiming to be from Microsoft (or Norton, or Apple) about a problem on your computer. They say if you give "tech support" access to your hard drive, they can fix it. Instead, they install malware on your computer and start stealing your personal information.
    • Medical Alert Scam - This is a telemarketing scam that promises a 'free' medical alert system, that scam targeted seniors and caretakers. The robocalls claimed to be offering the medical alert devices and system free of charge because a family member or friend had already paid for it. In many cases, seniors were asked to provide their bank account or credit information to 'verify' their identity and, as a result, were charged the monthly $35 service fee. The system, of course, never arrived and the seniors were left with a charge they had trouble getting refunded. Easy rule of thumb - be wary of 'free' offers that require your personal information upfront and always verify with the supposed friend or family member that the caller says paid for the service.
    • Ebay / Auction Reseller Scam - Scammers posing as buyers convice sellers into shipping goods prior to receiving payment. Usually the fake buyer claims it's an 'emergency' like a child's birthday and asks the seller to ship the same day. The seller receives an email that appears as though it came from PayPal for the payment, but emails like that are easy for scammers to fake.
    • Arrest Warrant Scam - Scammers create a fake Caller ID, which allows them to call you and appear to be calling from a local police, sheriff or other law enforcement agency. They say there is a warrant out for your arrest, but that you can pay a fine in order to avoid criminal charges. Of course, these scammers don't take credit cards; only a Western Union Moneygram, other wire transfer or pre-paid debit card will do.
    • Invisible Home Improvements - In addition to email, mail and phone, scammers now just show up at your door. Scammers posing as home improvement contractors come door-to-door sale and target seniors, those who live alone, and victims of weather-related disasters are common targets
    • Casting Call Scam - Scammers pose as agents or talent scouts looking for actors, singers, models, reality show contestants, etc., and use phony audition notices to fool aspiring performers into paying to try out for parts that don't exist.
    • Foreign Currency Scam - Investments in foreign currency can sound like a great idea, and scammers frequently use real current events and news stories to make their pitches even more appealing. They advertise an easy investment with high return and low risk when you purchase Iraqi Dinar, Vietnamese Dong or, most recently, the Egyptian Pound. The plan is that, when those governments revalue their currencies, increasing their worth against the dollar, you just sell and cash in. Unlike previous hoaxes, you may even take possession of real currency. The problem is that they will be very difficult to sell, and it's extremely unlikely they will ever significantly increase in value.
    • Scam Text Messages - It looks like a text alert from your bank, asking you to confirm information or 'reactivate your debit card' by following a link on your smart phone. But it is just a way to steal personal information

    Read more at http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/current_top_10_scam_list.php#8EhD37Ldl3psYVJb.99
    Read more at http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/current_top_10_scam_list.php#KoElghikyK5GpE8f.99
    Uno2Much and Paradise like this.
  16. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    You think it's a friend calling, but it's actually a growing phone scam
    Rebecca Schulte, 24, was at her apartment in West Hollywood when she received a call from a familiar area code. She picked up.

    "I'm on the side of the road, there's been a really bad car accident," a man said. He told her he'd found her number in the injured man's phone.

    Rebecca knew her father had been driving, and in a panic she asked if it was him: "Is it Brian?"

    "Is your name Brian?" she could hear the man ask.

    He told her it was. "He's bleeding a lot," he added.

    Then, the man told her that if she didn't send him money immediately he would let her father die.

    "I stopped mid-sob," she said.

    She suspected it was a scam and hung up.

    Still, many people do end up sharing financial information over the phone.

    More than $9 billion was lost from phone scams in 2017, up from $7.4 billion in 2015, according to a company that tries to combat such issues, Truecaller.

    More than 7 million complaints were filed with the national do not call registry last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

    "Phone scams are one of the big problems right now," said Adam Doupe, associate director of the Center for Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics at Arizona State University. "They're much more effective than email scams."
  17. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    To Catch a Credit Card Thief
    When Chad Evans took a job in 2016 as manager of online investigations for retailer PetSmart Inc., he thought he’d be ferreting out small-time credit card fraudsters. But sometimes he catches glimpses of what may be larger, darker crimes.

    Evans and his team spend their days in a squat Phoenix office building combing through online transactions to find suspicious patterns. He’s basically an internet mall cop, tasked with nabbing virtual shoplifters. Not every company has an Evans. Many websites accept fraud as a cost of doing business. But online fraud has soared in recent years—a side effect of the introduction of chip cards, which have made it harder for crooks to create fake cards to use in stores. This has forced many merchants to rethink their approach. Along with rejecting suspicious purchases, they’re tracing them to their sources and building cases against the perpetrators with police.

    That’s why the 33-year-old found himself in a police car one day last year, parked down the street from a customer’s home on an all-day stakeout in Tucson. Weeks earlier, Evans and his team had spotted something weird. Several people had complained that their cards had been stolen and used to buy $400 Garmin Trashbreaker electronic dog collars. His security software determined the orders were linked, but they were being shipped to houses all over the country, including in Tucson. When the next order came in, Evans decided to follow it.

    Evans called police departments around the country and told them what he knew. Locally, he worked with the Pima County Sheriff’s Office to set up a controlled delivery of the dog collar. When the recipient arrived home to pick up the package, police swarmed. Evans later spoke to him and learned that he was hired through a posting on Craigslist. Evans says the man was paid $20 to receive a package and ship it to a freight-forwarding center, which would combine his items with other shipments and send them overseas. Evans persuaded the man to share a list of everything he’d shipped for the service. “It was water filtration systems, duct tape, containment fences, tents, clothing, blankets, shoes,” Evans says. After seeing the list, he says, “we started thinking human trafficking and human smuggling.” Evans and his team began to compile documents and other data and presented the case at the FBI field office in Phoenix.

    “Fraud never really goes away. These guys aren’t packing up shop”
    Uno2Much and Paradise like this.
  18. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    Sophisticated scammers now targeting homebuyers by posing as brokers
    Mike Malone, who owns a construction company in upstate New York, was ready to buy a vacation condominium in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Last month, he received an email from someone he thought was his broker, instructing him to transfer almost $500,000 to an account at Bank of America.

    "My wife went to the bank that day and completed the wire transfer and called me and said, 'The wire transfer is done, you might want to check on that,'" Malone said.

    But when his broker told him she had never sent an email, he realized his vacation home deal had somehow been targeted by sophisticated scammers. The email he received was different from his broker's real email by just one letter. The "y" was missing from the company's name, and the money his wife sent had actually gone to a bank account set up by scammers.

    "I was thinking about having to go home that night and tell my wife that we had lost a significant amount of money and we probably are never going to get it back," Malone said.

    This week, the FBI, Secret Service and other agencies announced 74 arrests aimed at crime syndicates operating in the U.S., Canada, Mauritius, Poland and Nigeria. For years, Nigeria has been the headquarters for email scams targeting businesses and individuals.

    Scott Smith, an assistant director of the FBI, says scammers have made off with billions of dollars in the last several years.

    "They start with easy email fraud scams, prince of Nigeria type scams, or other types of bogus email scams. And they have moved and evolved into targeting businesses, big and small, for larger sums of money," Smith said.

    Mike and Gail Malone were lucky. Secret Service agents on their case moved quickly, froze the scammers' bank account, recovered their money and made arrests.
    Uno2Much and Paradise like this.
  19. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    Nigerian scammers now stealing billions of dollars from people at work

    By this point, savvy people know it’s a bad idea to trust an email from a Nigerian prince hoping to use their bank account to unload a dead relative’s vast wealth.

    And they’re just as suspicious of the sudden Internet-based love interest with questionable grammar who needs a few thousand untraceable dollars to clear up a passport issue in time for a magical first date.

    But in a sophisticated and terrifying evolution of the Nigerian 419 scam, web-savvy crime syndicates are figuring out ways to bilk U.S. citizens of billions.

    On Monday, the FBI announced the arrest of 74 people across the world — including 29 people in Nigeria and 41 in the United States — who authorities say were part of complex international networks that combed filings by the Securities and Exchange Commission, spoofed CEO emails and successfully targeted even hardened employees whose jobs are to safeguard their companies from financial mismanagement.

    The recent scams have the same DNA as the poorly worded emails that have been showing up in people’s inboxes since the 1990s. Instead of playing on hopes of finding love or lust for sudden wealth, they play on fears about missing a vital company payment or upsetting a boss’s boss.

    “[Scammers] are doing their research … going onto company websites and looking for the right people,” FBI Assistant Director Scott Smith, who helped lead the investigation, told the Wall Street Journal. “They may even go as far as pulling annual reports and finding what companies they do business with and [impersonating] those accounts.”

    Adeyemi Odufuye and his team, for example, sifted SEC records, company websites and other business documents, looking for the names and email addresses of chief executives, chief financial officers and controllers, court documents say.

    Odufuye, who had a half dozen nicknames, including “Jefe,” the Spanish word for “chief” or “boss,” led a crew responsible for stealing $2.6 million, including $440,000 from one business in Connecticut, according to the Justice Department.

    The schemes used a variety of tactics to gain people’s trust and steal their money, federal authorities say. They registered website domain names that were hard to distinguish from the companies they were targeting — impersonations meant to give emails an air of authenticity. Some of those emails arrived with malware attachments that would snap images of a victim’s desktop or transmit key log information — a hacker trick for nabbing someone’s password.

    They even employed money mules whose sole purpose was to move the ill-gotten gains from account to account, authorities say, disguising the electronic paper trail from investigators.

    Odufuye was extradited from Britain on Jan. 3. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
    Uno2Much and Paradise like this.
  20. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

    This happened local but there could be a version going on around you as well...

    Sophisticated scammers targeted nearly 150 IPL customers this week
    If you think you’ll never fall for a scam, two small business owners say you should think again.

    The owners were among at least 142 Indianapolis Power and Light customers contacted by scammers this week. The utility company’s spokesperson told FOX59 that, by comparison, only 13 customers reported scams last week.

    The spike came earlier this week, and JP Lahr & Sons Roofing Service owner James Lahr found himself in the middle of the scam.

    “(We were) within 10 minutes of making a financial mistake,” Lahr said.

    It began when a man called Lahr’s office and spoke to his office manager Mary Storm. The man told her he worked with IPL and had an order to shut off the company’s power. He said he would be there within an hour, unless the company paid their outstanding bill.

    “I said, ‘We have paid these bills. We have been in business since 1934 and never had a problem,'” Storm said.

    After Storm became suspicious, the scammers convinced her to call Lahr, who was on a job site.

    “We’re in panic mode because we don’t want to be turned off, and you’re not really thinking immediately about what does or doesn’t add up,” Lahr said.

    According to Lahr, the scammers gave a 317 number and it rang to an automated phone system with extensions. After he spoke with one woman, she transferred him to another woman who was supposedly a “payment specialist.”

    “It sounded very legitimate,” Lahr said. “The phone calls were very professional, the way they had the phone tree set up when you called their number.”

    The biggest red flag came when the scammers told Lahr he could not pay by credit card or check. They told him he could pay cash but they were located in Martinsville, so ultimately they convinced him to buy three $500 Green Dot debit cards.
    Uno2Much and Paradise like this.

Share This Page