These times of getting back to “normal in the end of the COVID-19 era are slow, but pay particual attention, because you may be fooled into thinking it is safer times against spammers and scammers, but it is not. In fact, at the present time, scammers are actually at their peak according to both The Motley Fool and AARP. So be very careful, you don’t want to be caught with a big chunk of your wallet missing!
Largest Scale Scam of Today: Event scams
8 current items to avoid as big events come back
- Ticket scams
- Unemployment scams: watch your mail for government issued income statements to file your tax return
- Fake Cures: there really is no easy way
- Phishing attempts: watch your emails and texts
- Malicious “apps”: research and trust before going the the Play Store or Google Play, and especially manually installing with an .apk file
- Connections to public wi-fi: NEVER use a password
- Social media sharing: watch for cloned accounts
- Selling puppies that don’t exist
Scammers have been getting more and more desperate before and especially after the pandemic started. Always be careful.
Here is a list of some more recent reported alleged fraud crimes:
A recent flood of persons are using the .co.zw domain. When it comes to supposed merchants using a domain other than .com be very careful. That is not to say that every company using .com domains is the “way” to stay safe, it isn’t. Always be careful.. Never use your credit card to purchase a gift card to a supposed company, unless you do some research, and develop a trust. Bizarrely added, never start a transaction over the internet to another source, including a phone. If a company cannot handle doing a business transaction in one spot, it is a warning flag right away. It does not cost a merchant that much to be capable of handling a transaction of YOUR choice. Never do a transaction you do not feel comfortable doing–in other words: if you wanted to do a transaction over the phone–do not be intimidated, bullied, or tricked into starting the transaction over another mode of transaction. Con-artists are notorious to using tactics to get you over to the mode they feel comfortable of swindling your pocketbook. Try to use a credit card, so that you have recourse if something goes wrong, in order to be able to file a claim with the card company, and even so, there will be a lot of hoops to jump thorough in order to claim a fraudulent charge. If you believe that you have been a victim, call police immediately and see my tips at the bottom of this post.
Recent reports of unemployment scams, including Delaware Department of Unemployment. The U.S. Department of Justice recently issued a warning to those seeking unemployment insurance benefits. You need to watch your mail for tax forms with tax season right upon us now, to see if there are any government issued income statements that come in the mail, especially if it is not issued in your state. The income statement is isssued for a reason, not at random. If you receive one, someone has probably stolen your identity one of many ways, including the “dark web”. If you receive one, and it is not income that you incurred, you will not be able to file your taxes without the information included or corrected first. If you think that someone stole your identity, always call police first. There are plenty of other actions, up to and including contacting the department of unemployment for whichever state has sent you the tax form–that you are going to have to go through in order to file your taxes. You probably won’t be able to file on time, so immediately, file for an extension of time to file with both your Federal return and your state return*. Calling your tax professional will help out dramatically. Getting insurance like Life-Lock by Norton can help, but if you already have your identity stolen before you get insurance, they may be able to help you for a charge, but like any insurance–if it is not valid on the day of an incidence, you will not have any coverage.
* = A recent post lists the 9 states that do not have a state tax or return due: Tax Day Delay: Tax Return’s Due Dates By State — 2021. If you are in one of these states, you only have to get with the I.R.S. to rectify the filing.
Use a VPN. by using a VPN, you are able to switch IP addresses for each implement of surfing the web. For instance doing a giveaway, like at VersaTileer Giveaways, I can see what a VPN does to protect yourself, that while visiting Facebook, then Twitter, and then other sources, that the IP address changes for all different sources. This is how you protect yourself. Because the IP address is changing back and forth, tracking is becoming more and more impossible for hackers to use viruses and Trojan-horse bug to send information to other unknown sources, because when the IP address keeps changing, the Trojan-horse bug calls to transfer information and the information sometimes is blocked because it cannot access the switching compound it need in order to work, and sometimes it does attempt to send the information, and when it does, it goes to an error page instead because with the VPN swtiching from surce to source, it put the spammers, scammers and virus installer, out of business at the cource. There are many VPNs available. Feel free to search for one, but you do the search. Don’t fall for someone claiming to be a reputable VPN source and find out it is a scammer. If you think that someone hacked you, always call police first, then see my suggestions at the bottom.
You get call/communication to save money on utilities. Calls from “agents” that are trying to lower your utilities. Remember, it no one is ever going to call you, and save you money. They have to work for a living too. What reputable people will do is make lists like I do here and give suggestions, and also go on events, symposiums, and other ways and means. One time I was at Menards and switched my electric and they offered a gift card in return. Why was this not a scammer? Because the company decided to do an event of solicitation where people would come into a store and solicit. Difference: The combination effort of a reputable store like Menards to be involved puts them on the hook that the company had done research and background checks first before putting a solicitor on their floor of business. I did get cheaper rates and got the gift card. But you still have to be careful. People calling your phone cannot qulify for the expert checking that the store had done before I ever stepped into the Menards. If you think that someone hacked you in a utility scam, always call police first, then see my suggestions at the bottom.
Business transaction requests payment by gift card/wire-transfer. You are in the middle of a transaction with a company you think is a good company to do business with, and a attempt to defraud you by stating that they will save you money if you pay by a way and means that is often bizarre and uncustomary. Any company not honoring the way your want, is usually always a scammer. This is a especially true if you are going along with the tactics, and have a slight change of mind, and then the scammer often gets downright belligerent with you as you threaten to cut their scheme off. In recent years, there have been transactions in the amounts between $3,300 to $250,000 (ouch!) in gift cards to a scam artist who might have known the person. The scammers have also been known to pose as friends, family, and your known associates. Scammers even pose as charity, so be careful Never complete a transaction by reading any gift cards over the phone. If you encounter an attempt, the best thing to do is cease communication–hang up, drop the website, etc.–then always call police first, then see my suggestions at the bottom.
You don’t want to wait in that long line. Recently, the PlayStation 5 was in high demand that websites were crashing, and despite COVID-19, there were somewhat the longest lines in any store’s recent history to be able to purchase them. so turning to other sources, remember that listings are not always what they seem to be. scammers realize this and try to capitalize on the facts. They are out there to get the first person they can scam. Don’t let it be you. Be leery of any posts that support an Instagram account as being legit. All sorts of high quality fashion items including appearal, jewelry and shoes are out there right now with either counterfiet merchandise or no merchandise at all, and once you complete what you think is a real transaction, you find out that it is not a real store or entity at all, nothing but a scam. If you are victim to a Facebook or Instagram scam, contact police and review the Instagram help page: Instagram help forum or Facebook help forum. If you are defrauded, the only way you will successfully be able to contact either of Facebook or Instagram via telephone would be to have the police directly reach out to them while at the station.
What To Do If You Think You Have Been Scammed
Report the incident immediately to any of the following agencies:
- Your local police station if you are at any monetary loss, especially if you have any recourse to issue a fraud claim, because they will need a police report number in order to initiate a claim.
- The Federal Trade Commission at FTC Complaint Assistant.
- The U.S. Postal Inspection Service if you received a check by mail or if the mail was used as a tool to facilitate the fraud.
- Your state or local consumer protection agencies. Visit NAAG for a list of state Attorneys General.
- For online crimes involving cash, counterfeit checks and money orders, file an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center which is a joint project of both the FBI and National White Collar Crime Center.
- If it involves a check or draft, notifying the bank whose name is on the check or draft.
- Notify the website or online service where you encountered the scammer (Online auction website or a job posting website), so they can be blocked from utilizing their services to further the scamming in the future.
- If it involved counterfeiting or other bank related criminal activities, contact FDIC.gov or call the FDIC at 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342).
Never become victim to offers convincing you to do a transaction. If it sound too good to be true, it probably is. I am there to help keep your money in your wallet and safe!
Fraud Season Continues…Be Aware!!