Beware of Scams
Every day new scams and frauds are born and no one is safe.
But as you go about your business, searching for the right opportunity, browsing the internet highway, chatting and sharing with friends and family, here is some information on scams that could happen to you:
If you see an ATM spewing out money, it's probably been hijacked by hackers.
Here's how it works: Bad actors disguised as repairmen install malicious software in an ATM, causing the machine to dispense all its cash, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Connecticut. Others in on the scheme then pocket the money.
'Can you hear me?'
Last year was topped by the "Can you hear me?" scam, according to the Better Business Bureau. The consumer advocacy organization received more than 10,000 reports involving this scheme in 2017.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, the scam goes like this: You receive a phone call, and the person on the other end of the line asks, "Can you hear me?" The caller records you saying "Yes."
This thief can now use your voice signature to impersonate you and authorize charges via phone.
Fake Vacation Listings
According to the Better Business Bureau, con artists post photos of properties that aren't for rent or that don't exist in an effort to get your credit card information. Last year 2017, the number of persons filing complaints for travel and vacation scams totalled 2,560.
This is where scammers use the processing power of your devices to “mine” cryptocurrency, which they can then convert into cash. You may click a link in a phishing email, or in an ad or mistype a web address where they have embedded malicious codes to infect your device. They can then use your device’s processor without you even knowing.
Find out how you can protect yourself from websites that use cryptojacking code here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/06/protecting-your-devices-cryptojacking
Thieves are using devices called "shimmers" in card slots at ATMs. These “shimmers” skim the embedded smart chip in your ATM card to steal your details from the magnetic strip.
Thieves can use this information to create a clone of your card and rack up charges.
Gift Card Scam
First of all, gift cards are for gifts, not payments. Anyone who demands payment by gift card is probably a scammer. If you receive an email from a family member or friend, a text message of any kind, or a call asking you to pay for something by gift card, think before you gift. Would your friend or family member really request this? Gift cards are like giving someone cash. Once you give them the gift card numbers and PIN, your money is gone.
Email Death Threats
Beware of email threats, demanding that you pay a sum in virtual currency or prepaid cards — or else! The FBI suggests that individuals who receive such messages report them to the agency's Internet Crime Complaint Center. For Jamaica, please contact the Inspectorate of Constabulary.
These scammers try to trick you out of your money or get access to your personal information. Scams may come through phone calls from real people, robot calls, or text messages. The callers will make false promises of opportunities to buy products, invest your money, or receive free product trials, through free grants and lotteries. Some scammers may even call with threats of jail or lawsuits if you don’t pay them. No matter how desperate you are, do not believe their hypes. Do not give in to pressure to take action immediately. Report these calls to the relevant authorities.
Check out more videos at the end of the page.
Ticket Selling Scams
Counterfeit resale ticket sellers will take advantage of you when tickets for popular events are in high demand or are selling out quickly. They do this by selling duplicates of a legitimate ticket in the form of electronic tickets that they email to multiple buyers; selling stolen tickets; selling counterfeit tickets or pretending to sell tickets online for the sole purpose of stealing your identity or credit card information. Don’t pay for tickets before seeing them first to verify that the section and seat numbers on the tickets actually exist at the venue.
Paid To Click (PTC) Scams
I cannot begin to mention the number of PTC sites out there with some sort of complaint against them so please check to see if your paid-to-click site is listed here: https://www.ptc-top.com/ptc-scam/
Online Job Scam
Scammers stalk job boards looking for potential victims. Lookout for companies offering fantastic pay for a few hours of work. Some may try to get you to cash fraudulent cheques to cover your first pay cheque and send the difference to them or someone else. Or they may ask you to send them money to pay for supplies such as software or services such as pay to have your resume reviewed or improved. Some will even ask for your banking information for payment via transfers or ask you to pay for a credit report as part of the application process. Do your research! If they can contact you directly and you cannot contact them, walk away.
Overpayment Banking Scam
A scam artist sends you a cheque and tells you to deposit it in your bank account, then wire a portion of the money back to them. Since the cheque was fake in the first place, you will have to pay your bank the amount of the cheque, plus you’ll lose any money you wired to them. Report any fake cheques to your bank immediately.
Phishing Banking Scam
You may receive an email message that asks you to verify your bank account or debit card number. Don’t click on links in emails to verify your bank account. Report and forward any such phishing emails to your bank immediately.
Unsolicited Cheque Fraud
Someone sends you a cheque for no reason. Don’t cash it! If you cash it, you may be authorizing the purchase of items or signing up for a loan you didn’t ask for. Verify the authenticity of a cashier’s cheque with the bank that it is drawn on before depositing a cheque by using the contact information on the bank’s website.
Surprised Winnings Scam
These scammers try to trick you into sharing your personal information or sending money in advance in order to receive a prize from a lottery or competition that you never entered. Don’t pay money to collect money, period.
Scammers impersonate genuine charities and ask for donations or contact you claiming to collect money after natural disasters or major events. If you were contacted via email, do not click on any links in the email or respond with your banking or credit card information. If you really want to help, contact recognized charitable organizations by visiting their websites directly, not through a link in an email or by phone.
Email Hacking - Identity Theft
These criminals hijack your email and then contact people in your address book, claiming to have lost your number or have been mugged while on vacation overseas. They will then ask you to send money to them. Be vigilant about your email password and be very sceptical if you receive emails or messaging requests from friends asking for money. If they are truly your friend, you can follow up with them offline to confirm the situation.
Tech Support Scam
An "ALERT" pops up on your screen that you have a virus and that you should “Call Technical Support Immediately” and “Don't Turn Off Your Computer”. The number to call is usually an 1800 number. It's a scam! Don't fall for it, turn off your computer.
You may receive a call from a “company representative” that states they were calling because of suspected abnormal activity from your computer.
Or you receive a call that your Windows license has expired and all services are suspended on your computer. To renew call a number or go to helpme.net …. ALL SCAMS!
If you were scammed be sure to get rid of any malware on your computer. Update or download legitimate security software and scan your computer. Delete anything the software says is a problem.
Change any passwords that you shared with someone. Change the passwords on every account that uses the passwords you shared.
If you paid for bogus services with a credit card, call your credit card company and ask to reverse the charges. Check your statements for any charges you didn’t make, and ask to reverse those, too.