Publisher’s Clearing House Scam

The below item appeared in the local news so I thought I’d post it to this blog which is all about different kinds of scammers out there trying to part you from your money and other illegal activities.

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) –
Patricia Morgan thought it was odd when she got a letter in the mail purporting to be from Publishers Clearing House. Inside was a check for more than $4,000.

The letter instructed Morgan to call a James Moore at an 800 number to begin processing her prize, but the conversation immediately raised red flags.

“Well I thought something was kind of fishy because he told me now I want you to go and deposit the check right now, tonight. He said deposit it tonight,” Morgan said.

She was suspicious, so she went to the bank to get the check checked out.

“And they said there was nowhere that they had issued a check like that,” Morgan said. “And she said please don’t cash this check because you will lose everything you have if you do.”

It was bogus, a scheme to get Morgan’s money.

NBC12 On Your Side investigator Eric Philips tried calling the number several times, but only got a recorded message or a fast busy signal.

Morgan doesn’t know how the fraudsters got her contact information, but experts say schemes like this one are numerous and that the public, especially the elderly, should beware.

“Remember these folks are pros,” said Tom Gallagher with the Richmond Better Business Bureau. “This is how they make their living, this is how they pay their kids’ pediatric bills. To me it’s evil, it’s evil.”

Morgan did not fall prey, and she’s hoping others won’t either.

“I just had a funny feeling something wasn’t right,” Morgan said. “Somebody’s not just going to send you four or five or six thousand dollars in the mail for nothing.”

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IRS Scams

I receive a daily email from the IRS on various tax matters, mostly on health care, but this one is on people trying to scam you by phoning you about taxes owed.  Don’t fall for this scam as the IRS does not call people about taxes due.  Here’s the IRS notice I received today.

IRS Urges Public to Stay Alert for Scam Phone Calls

The IRS continues to warn consumers to guard against scam phone calls from thieves intent on stealing their money or their identity. Criminals pose as the IRS to trick victims out of their money or personal information. Here are several tips to help you avoid being a victim of these scams:

  • Scammers make unsolicited calls.  Thieves call taxpayers claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls,” or via phishing email.
  • Callers try to scare their victims.  Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim if they don’t get the money.
  • Scams use caller ID spoofing.  Scammers often alter caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.
  • Cons try new tricks all the time.  Some schemes provide an actual IRS address where they tell the victim to mail a receipt for the payment they make. Others use emails that contain a fake IRS document with a phone number or an email address for a reply. These scams often use official IRS letterhead in emails or regular mail that they send to their victims. They try these ploys to make the ruse look official.
  • Scams cost victims over $23 million.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, has received reports of about 736,000 scam contacts since October 2013. Nearly 4,550 victims have collectively paid over $23 million as a result of the scam.

The IRS will not:

  • Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
  • Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
  • Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:

  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.

Phone scams first tried to sting older people, new immigrants to the U.S. and those who speak English as a second language. Now the crooks try to swindle just about anyone. And they’ve ripped-off people in every state in the nation.

Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time. For more, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

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Another Day, Another Scam Job – probably illegal

l1994ylyuk@hotmail.com (l1994ylyuk@hotmail.com)
10/09/15
To: muse1877
Show this message…
l1994ylyuk@hotmail.com
From:  l1994ylyuk@hotmail.com Microsoft SmartScreen classified this message as junk.
Sent: Fri 10/09/15 10:17 PM
To: muse1877

Microsoft SmartScreen marked this message as junk and we’ll delete it after ten days.

European Trade company is looking for a Supply Chain Coordinator in the United States.
This is a countrywide position, you could work from anywhere is the United States.
You will be responsible for purchasing different on-line services and products for our worldwide clients.
Basic requirements:
– Proper Identification to work in the United States;
– Proficient in Microsoft Suite Work;
– Ability to exercise good judgement & perform multiple tasks at once;
– Good Background And Credit History;
– Strong interpersonal skills are preferred;
We offer a comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, short term & long term disability insurance, 401k retirement plan, & education assistance.
Monthly payment starts from $6,150; Your commission starts at 7% for each order completed in time.
Interested in this job opportunity? Request an Application Form or apply with your Curriculum Vitae;
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Scams in 2015 are the same as in 2014

So says this article from the local newspaper:  RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) –

It’s a new year but cyber crooks are up to their old schemes. Cyber criminals can hit when you least expect it — by phone, or through a pop up window on your computer screen that says something like “Your computer is damaged. Click here so we can fix it.”

Cyber experts like Theresa Peyton say they constantly get calls from people asking if it is legitimate. She says most times, these are just criminals hoping to gain access to your computer and personal information.

“Not only is it a scam, it is so large the FTC has gotten involved. They are literally starting to prosecute these scam artist who call you, email you. They sound so legitimate and they sound like they are really going to help you but really a lot of times, they are selling you false software taking over your computer and even worse, in some cases putting malware on your the computer,” she said.

In terms of protection, experts says it is pretty simple: if you didn’t reach out to someone first asking for help, odds are it’s a fake. Also remember, you should never give control of your computer to someone who has contacted you by phone or through the internet.

You might think you’d never fall for one of these schemes, but a recent Google study says about 45 percent of the time nearly half of us are falling for those phishing emails. Which means criminals are hacking into computers when you click on phony links in emails. The goal is to your personal information.

Caution is the key. Never open any attachments or click links — that includes e-cards and funny jokes. You should also change your passwords on a regular basis.

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Pisa Malake will send me $6000.00/Day

According to Pisa Malake, I can receive $6000.00/day, up to a total of $1.5 million.  If you do the math, that would be $6000.00/day for 250 days.  Wouldn’t that be nice – by the way – wonder if Pisa’s nickname is “Leaning Tower”.

Google Incorporation® (officess81@yahoo.pt)
12/03/14 
From:  Google Incorporation® (officess81@yahoo.pt)
Sent: Wed 12/03/14 12:01 AM
To:
COMPENSATION PROGRAM BY THE UNITED NATION AND WORLD BANK(IMF) VICTIM AWARD.
GOOD DAY AND MY GREETINGS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. THIS IS TO BRING TO YOUR NOTICE THAT WORLD BANK AND UNITED NATIONS TO PAY YOUR SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATION$1,500,000.00 USD (ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLARS) ONLY. YOU ARE LISTED AND APPROVED FOR THIS PAYMENT AS ONE OF THE SCAMMED VICTIMS TO BE PAID THIS AMOUNT.

WE HAVE CONCLUDED TO EFFECT YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH (WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER IN ISTANBUL TURKEY EUROPE) AND $6,000.00 WILL BE SENT DAILY TO YOU UNTIL THE $1.5MILLION IS COMPLETELY TRANSFERED.

THOUGH, MRS. ADALET ADEM SENT $6,000.00 IN YOUR NAME TODAY, SO CONTACT WESTERN UNION AGENT ISTANBUL TURKEY AND REQUIRE FROM HER TO GIVE YOU THE MTCN, SENDER’S NAME AND QUESTION/ANSWER TO PICK THE $6,000.00 HAS FIRST PAYMENT OUT OF YOUR $1.5MILLION.

HERE IS THE DETAILS OF THE INFORMATION NEEDED FROM YOU:
AGE:_______________
SEX:___________________
COUNTRY:_____________________
FULL NAME:________________________
DESTINATION:__________________________
MAILING ADDRESS: ___________________________
PHONE NUMBER_____________________________________
PASSPORT BY ATTACH OR DRIVER’S LISENCE NUMBER.___
THEY WILL BE SENDING USD$6,000.00 PER DAY ONCE YOUR PAYMENT FILE IS ACTIVATED. CONTACT ISTANBUL TURKEY WESTERN UNION PAYMENT DEPARTMENT UNIT BELOW:

DIRECTOR NAME: MRS. ADALET ADEM
E-MAIL: (westernnion@careceo.com)
TEL: +905-45958-3014

BEST REGARDS.
PISA MALAKE

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Smishing Scams

I’d never heard of “smishing scams” until this article appeared in the local paper, see below:

A new scam uses text messages to trick you into giving up your banking information.

The text messages used in smishing scams vary, but they all pose as an urgent alert from a bank or business. Some give a number to call, others claim there’s trouble with your account and you need to get it straight now.

One scam text message fraudulently uses the company name SunTrust and gives a number to call. When the victim dials what’s equivalent to a toll number, the system may ask you to hold. While waiting the charges rack up, some as high as $19 dollars per minute.

A return call may also ask the recipient to validate your account data through a text or phone call. In an online message, SunTrust says if you get a message like this, do not respond. Report it to your bank.

Tom Gallagher with the Better Business Bureau reminds people neither SunTrust, nor any other bank, would call, text or email you regarding your bank account. The BBB says ignore the message. If you have already called and given out information you have damage control to do.

“I’m going to suggest that you get a hold of the bank and maybe talk to them about changing your accounts and go to the credit bureaus,” said Gallagher. “There are three main credit bureaus. Just go online and look up credit checks.”

To be safe, don’t respond. If you get a text you’re unsure of, delete it. Ignore instructions to confirm your information or visit a link. Also, be careful about displaying your cell number in emails or listing it on websites.

You can also file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC.

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Fake Job Offer – ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions

The below is from a local news story on a fake job offer found on Craigslist.
If you’ve ever been out of work, then you know jobs are hard to come by. To make matters worse, crooks are trolling reputable websites hoping to fool desperate job seekers. A local company was targeted and contacted 12 On Your Side to warn others.
If you’re looking for work, at first glance, a recent job offer on Craigslist may look legit. It claimed to be for an office position with ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions. The ad says you can make $15.75 an hour. Terrence Banks with ClearPoint says it looked real enough to fool job seekers, and even him. “We were outraged and we did immediate actions to try and stop it,” Banks said.
He says if someone hadn’t notified them, ClearPoint would never have known. “Actually, the consumer was looking for the job opportunity and found out they were phishing for information. In fact, it lead her to a different site where they asked her to upload a resume. I mean they got really in depth with how they were pushing the scam,” he said.
The eager jobseeker became suspicious when the person claiming to be from ClearPoint told them they needed to pay some cash to upload a resume. When ClearPoint found out about the fake posting, it quickly contacted Craigslist and other agencies to warn the public.
Craigslist took down that fake job post and has a section dedicated to warning users about scams. ClearPoint says it does use third party sites like Craigslist to post jobs but says you should always double check on its website to confirm the job offer is real. If any post claiming to be a job offer is asking you for money, steer clear.
“This is not the first time ClearPoint has been targeted for a scam, usually it is for debt settlement , advanced fees up front,” Banks says. The Better Business Bureau put out an alert when it got word of the job deception. The agency says don’t give up any information until you have confirmed the job offer is real. Crooks know good jobs are hard to come by and they hope by misusing a company’s good name, they can fool you.
The BBB says another sign that a job posting may not be legit, is if you are urged to pay for a credit check, or the person is trying to get your banking information to set up a direct deposit — before you are hired.
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