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SCAMS

You are on your computer and a window pops up telling you to call a number immediately. It says there is a big problem of some kind and not to turn off your computer. DON'T CALL. Turn off or restart your computer immediately. They are crooks. After your computer comes back online, everything is fine.

Be aware of a growing phone scam targeting utility customers.

Phone scammers posing as your utility provider call and insist you are delinquent on your bill. They may also threaten to turn off your power, rig caller ID to make it look like the call is from your utility provider or tell you to put the money on a prepaid debit card and ask for the card number. Don't believe it.
Hang up the phone. Then, call your utility provider by using the phone number provided on your bill, followed by a call to the police. DO NOT pay over the phone if immediate payment is demanded to avoid a disconnection

.
Calling Centers in India Target Americans pretending to be IRS agents.

These people "threatened potential victims with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay taxes or penalties to the government."
Payments by victims were laundered by a U.S. network of co-conspirators using prepaid debit cards or wire transfers, often using stolen or fake identities, the statement said. The call centers also ran scams in which victims were offered short-term loans or grants on condition of providing good-faith deposits or payment of a processing fee, it said.

 

Visa / Master Card FRAUD  - A very convincing call from the "credit card fraud department": objective is to get you to tell them the 3 digit security code on the back of your card.

Verified with Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/creditcard.asp

This is a heads up for everyone regarding the latest in Visa fraud. Royal Bank received this communication about the newest scam. This is happening in the Midwest right now and moving across the country. This one is pretty slick, since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself. One of our employees was called on Wednesday from 'VISA', and I was called on Thursday from 'MasterCard'.

The scam works like this:
Person calling says - 'This is (name) and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460, your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona?' When you say 'No', the caller continues with, 'Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching, and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address). Is that correct?' You say 'yes'.

The caller continues - 'I will be starting a Fraud Investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. 'Do you need me to read it again?

'Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works - The caller then says, 'I need to verify you are in possession of your card'. He'll ask you to 'turn your card over and look for some numbers'. There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the last 3 are the Security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the last 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, 'That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?

'After you say no, the caller then thanks you and states, 'Don't hesitate to call back if you do', and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. We were glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card. We made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the Scammer wants is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or Master Card directly for verification of their conversation.

The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card, as they already know the information, since they issued the card! If you give the Scammer your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report. What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a 'Jason Richardson of MasterCard' with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA Scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening. I dealt with a similar situation this morning, with the caller telling me that $3,097 had been charged to my account for plane tickets to Spain, and so on through the above routine.

 

Mailbox is full/over the limit

Email Hackers- I've been getting lots of these emails lately. Unless you already know that you have a limited mailbox from your email provider, this is a scam. Are your other emails still getting thru? Has anybody you know told you that their emails to you have bounced back? If your email account is still cooking along, delete this scam email. Always check to see the email address attached to the email. They may say in the email that they are from Gmail or Chase Bank but the email address doesn't match. DELETE.

You may receive an email from "Email Administrator" or some such title saying your email is over the limit or full. This is most likely a scam to get you to get you to go to a site and give them your password. They then hack your addressbook to send emails out to everyone in your address book as if they were coming from you. Delete the email. If your email account has hundreds of emails in the new mail folder, start deleting junk mail. You can create folders to save important emails
but get them out of your new mail folder.

Signs of a Charity Scam

These days, charities and fundraisers (groups that solicit funds on behalf of organizations) use the phone, face-to-face contact, email, the internet (including social networking sites), and mobile devices to solicit and obtain donations. Naturally, scammers use these same methods to take advantage of your goodwill. Regardless of how they reach you, avoid any charity or fundraiser that:

  • Refuses to provide detailed information about its identity, mission, costs, and how the donation will be used.
  • Won't provide proof that a contribution is tax deductible.
  • Uses a name that closely resembles that of a better-known, reputable organization.
  • Thanks you for a pledge you don’t remember making.
  • Uses high-pressure tactics like trying to get you to donate immediately, without giving you time to think about it and do your research.
  • Asks for donations in cash or asks you to wire money.
  • Offers to send a courier or overnight delivery service to collect the donation immediately.
  • Guarantees sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a contribution. By law, you never have to give a donation to be eligible to win a sweepstakes.

Charity Checklist

Take the following precautions to make sure your donation benefits the people and organizations you want to help.

  • Ask for detailed information about the charity, including name, address, and telephone number.
  • Get the exact name of the organization and do some research. Searching the name of the organization online — especially with the word “complaint(s)” or “scam”— is one way to learn about its reputation.
  • Call the charity. Find out if the organization is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name. The organization’s development staff should be able to help you.
  • Find out if the charity or fundraiser must be registered in your state by contacting the National Association of State Charity Officials.
  • Check if the charity is trustworthy by contacting the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving AllianceCharity NavigatorCharity Watch, or GuideStar.
  • Ask if the caller is a paid fundraiser. If so, ask:
    • The name of the charity they represent
    • The percentage of your donation that will go to the charity
    • How much will go to the actual cause to which you’re donating
    • How much will go to the fundraiser
  • Keep a record of your donations.
  • Make an annual donation plan. That way, you can decide which causes to support and which reputable charities should receive your donations.
  • Visit this Internal Revenue Service (IRS) webpage to find out which organizations are eligible to receive tax deductible contributions.
  • Know the difference between “tax exempt” and “tax deductible.” Tax exempt means the organization doesn’t have to pay taxes. Tax deductible means you can deduct your contribution on your federal income tax return.
  • Never send cash donations. For security and tax purposes, it’s best to pay by check — made payable to the charity — or by credit card.
  • Never wire money to someone claiming to be a charity. Scammers often request donations to be wired because wiring money is like sending cash: once you send it, you can’t get it back.
  • Do not provide your credit or check card number, bank account number or any personal information until you’ve thoroughly researched the charity.
  • Be wary of charities that spring up too suddenly in response to current events and natural disasters. Even if they are legitimate, they probably don’t have the infrastructure to get the donations to the affected area or people.
  • If a donation request comes from a group claiming to help your local community (for example, local police or firefighters), ask the local agency if they have heard of the group and are getting financial support.
  • What about texting? If you text to donate, the charge will show up on your mobile phone bill. If you've asked your mobile phone provider to block premium text messages — texts that cost extra — then you won't be able to donate this way.

 

Paramedic Call Scam

I received this call October 27th in the morning.

I man identified himself as a paramedic at Florida Hospital. He said my phone number was the emergency contact for a man in critical condition.He asked me if I had a husband, brother, friend, or son who would have listed my number. (He didn't have a name just an emergency number!) He was fishing for me to guess who it might be so he could confirm my details. I instead asked for a description. He said a white male, about 6 foot tall, 200 pounds, with short brown hair. I responded that that didn't sould like anyone I knew. He said ok and hung up.
This is an insidious con that plays with the victim’s desire to protect those they love most. How does it work? You receive a call out of the blue and the person at the other end says is a paramedic informing you that one of your loved ones is hurt badly in a traffic accident that just happened. They never have a name but try to get you to guess who it might be. Once they "confirm" who it is, they ask for immediate money for medical care or surgery. There are often sound effects in the background, sirens or hospital noises. Sometimes they drop the charade and say they have your family member as a hostage and you'd better pay up.

 

DEBT EMAIL SCAM

I just received this email claiming I had an overdue debt. Note: My comments are in purple. Some of their mistakes and lies are in red.

Refrence id - A1415F23

Loan due   - $1151.65

You are going to be legally prosecuted in the Court House (WHAT court??) within couple of days. Your SSN is put on hold by US Government (HUH?), so before something goes wrong (LIKE WHAT?)we would like to notify you about this matter.It seems apparent that you have chosen to ignore all our efforts to contact you in order to resolve your debt with Payday Services. At this point you have made your intentions clear and leave us no choice
but to protect our interest in this matter.Your line of credit is over 60 days past due, but it is not too late to restore your good standing!  We want to serve as your trusted financial resource in the future, but to do that; we’ll need to come to an agreement on the past-due balance.If you believe you are unable afford the payment options we have offered, contact us right away by phone or email and we will do our best to accommodate an amount you can commit to.

UNITED LEGAL INVESTIGATION BUREAU (WHO?)HAS STATED 4 SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS AGAINST YOU AND THEY ARE:

(1) VIOLATION OF FEDERAL BANKING REGULATION 
(2) COLLATERAL CHECK FRAUD (WHAT??)
(3) THEFT BY DECEPTION  (WHAT??)
(4) AND THE BIGGEST ONE IS E.F.T. THAT IS ELECTRONIC FUND TRANSFER (Transferring by EFT is now illegal??)

Now, this means (a) few things for you. If you are under any state probation or payroll, we need you to inform your superior or manager what you have done in the past (everythingI've done??) and what would be the consequences once the case has been downloaded and executed in your name.(HUH??) If we do not hear from you within 48 hours of the date on this letter, we will be compelled to seek legal representation from our in-house attorney. We reserve the right to commence litigation for intent to commit wire fraud under the pretense of refusing to repay a debt committed to, by use of the internet. In addition we reserve the right
to seek recovery for the balance due, as well as legal fees and any court cost incurred.
WE HAVE ALL THE RIGHTS RESERVED TO INFORM TO FBI, FTC, YOUR EMPLOYER AND BANK ABOUT FRAUD.
(What a load of bull****)

And once you (are) found guilty into the court house than you have to bear the entire cost for this law suit $4271.15 which is excluding loan amount, attorney's fees, and the interest charges. You have the right
to hire an attorney. If you don't have one or if you can't afford then one will be appointed to you. (Does not apply in matters of debt!) We believe that this was not your intend  and that these steps are unnecessary. We merely require you to
contact our recovery asset location department at +1- 315-608-8843  between 9.30 to 6.30 (EST).

IF YOU WANT TO RESOLVE THIS MATTER THAN IMMEDIATELY CONTACT US THROUGH  EMAIL OR CALL US BETWEEN WORKING HOURS ON   +1- 315-608-8843

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

Copyright © 2006 ACS | Privacy | Terms of use

ACE   CASH SERVICES.

Phone: 315-608-XXXX

 

Prescription and anti-aging drug scams

Because of the rising costs of some prescription drugs, senior citizens are going online to look for cheaper drugs. But these drugs can be counterfeit, making this scam extremely dangerous.
Or, in another iteration of the prescription drug scam, the fraudsters just take the money without delivering the drugs.This scam is growing in popularity.

The same goes with some anti-aging products. Whether it's fake Botox, like the scam in Arizona that made its distributors $1.5 million in about a year, or bogus homeopathic remedies, seniors are being targeted by fraudsters offering anti-aging products. If it seems too good to be true, it is."

Burke advises seniors who are faced with dubious transactions or products to contact their local police department. Many police departments have a fraud unit. If not, they likely will refer them to the state police or FBI.


The Grandparent Scam

    • The grandparent scam is possibly the most widespread senior scam, where the victim receives a call supposedly from a grandchild in trouble abroad and needing money urgently.
    • We reported in full on this type of senior scam in a previous issue, Scammers Pose as Grandchildren to Swindle Grandparents.
    • Usually the excuse is that the cash is needed to post bail and has to be a money wire payment is a dead giveaway for a scam.
    • However, in a new and particularly nasty variation, victims were told their grandchild had been kidnapped and that they had to pay a ransom.
    • In some cases, the crooks knew something about the grandchild and used an accomplice to impersonate their voice.
    • Even more cunningly, they earlier phoned the genuine grandchild, pretending to be from a cell phone company, telling them to switch off their phone for a maintenance project, thus preventing the grandparent from checking the story.

Action: Never send money before onfirming the whereabouts of the grandchild.

Email Hackers

You may receive an email from "Email Administrator" or some such title saying your email is over the limit or full. This is most likely a scam to get you to get you to go to a site and give them your password. They then hack your addressbook to send emails out to everyone in your address book as if they were coming from you. Delete the email. If your email account has hundreds of emails in the new mail folder, start deleting junk mail. You can create folders to save important emails
but get them out of your new mail folder.

Tax Season: ID Theft and Fraud Warning!

Tax scams and tax related ID theft take many forms including mail, phone, e-mail and now even social media and texting.

EMAIL SCAMS: IRS Phishing

Taxpayers and their advisors should be prepared for e-mail scams that use the IRS name. Some demand payments while others promise refunds or request information on you or a payment you’ve made in the past. They want your name, social security number, bank account numbers, and other identifying details they need to accomplish anything from printing fake checks to taking control of your checking account or even filing a false tax return and collecting a refund in your name.

The IRS has explicitly stated that they will never request personal or financial information by e-mail, texting, or any social media. Forward scam e-mails to phishing@irs.gov. Do not open any attachments or click on any links in suspect e-mails. Taxpayers should also be aware of unrelated scams (such as lottery sweepstakes winners) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

PHONE SCAMS: Impersonating the IRS

One scam currently operating (just one of many) that involves several callers including an initial “agent” and then an angry “supervisor” who call and demand immediate payment to avoid threats ranging from arrest to deportation. They have scammed people in every state and continue to operate from a variety of area codes (many calls use numbers with Washington D.C. and Virginia area codes). I actually asked a number of people who received these calls in the past to send me the phone numbers; they were all from the same three numbers and by simply entering the numbers in Google, I brought up many identical fraud complaints.

Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. They use 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 pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest or suspension of a driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. They may leave an “urgent” call back message. If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

Note: IRS will never:
1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill;
2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe;
3) require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card;
4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying

According to J. Russell George, the treasury inspector general of the Tax Administration, this scam has already taken $14 million from the thousands of taxpayers who have actually reported it; many likely have not. George cautions that the scam continues to grow, “It is critical that all taxpayers continue to be wary of unsolicited telephone calls from individuals claiming to be IRS employees. This scam, which is international in nature, has proven to be the largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen. The callers are aggressive, they are relentless, and they are ruthless,” he said. “Once they have your attention, they will say anything to con you out of your hard-earned cash.”

According to the IRS website and various government press releases, the IRS usually first contacts people by mail — not by phone — about unpaid taxes. And the IRS won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS also won’t ask for a credit card number over the phone.

The callers who commit this fraud often:

• Utilize an automated robo-call machine

• Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers

• May know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number

• Make caller ID information appear as if the IRS is calling

• Send bogus IRS e-mails to support their scam

• Call a second or third time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles (caller ID supports their claim)

Fighting Back: How to Report Scam Attempts

The IRS itself provides substantial guidance on these issues and even has a form you can complete on line if you’ve already been defrauded.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do:

• If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.

• If you don’t owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form on TIGTA’s website, or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484

• You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.

Special Thanks to of-counsel attorney Ike Devji with LegalShield provider law firm Davis Miles McGuire Gardner PLLC for providing the content of this article.

SCAMS that are out there....

  • Scammers who phone to claiming they need your details for a new Medicare card…
  • Bogus shipping companies asking you to pay before shipping an item previously ordered that you don’t know about...
  • Scammers who phone to say you’ve been photographed breaking the speed limit and asks you to forward a $150 fine...
  • Scammers who phone to say they are from Microsoft and you have a virus they need to clean from your computer. (Microsoft NEVER calls you.)
  • Scammers who phone to say they are from your bank and there is fraud involving your credit card or checking account.  Hang up and call your bank yourself to check things out.

 

 


  webmistress-Barbara A.
barbaboush@gmail.com