SCARS™ Frequently Asked Questions About Scams & Scammers

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SCARS™ Frequently Asked Questions About Scams & Scammers4 min read2019-01-22T05:15:34-05:00

SCARS™ Frequently Asked Questions About Scams & Scammers

FAQs Updated January 22, 2019

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Identity Theft2018-10-31T15:45:35-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Identity Theft

  • Ensure websites are secure prior to submitting your credit card number.
  • Do your homework to ensure the business or website is legitimate.
  • Attempt to obtain a physical address, rather than a P.O. box or maildrop.
  • Never throw away credit card or bank statements in usable form.
  • Be aware of missed bills which could indicate your account has been taken over.
  • Be cautious of scams requiring you to provide your personal information.
  • Never give your credit card number over the phone unless you make the call.
  • Monitor your credit statements monthly for any fraudulent activity.
  • Report unauthorized transactions to your bank or credit card company as soon as possible.
  • Review a copy of your credit report at least once a year.

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Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Escrow Services Fraud2018-10-31T15:46:04-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Escrow Services Fraud

  • Always type in the website address yourself rather than clicking on a link provided.
  • A legitimate website will be unique and will not duplicate the work of other companies.
  • Be cautious when a site requests payment to an “agent”, instead of a corporate entity.
  • Be leery of escrow sites that only accept wire transfers or e-currency.
  • Be watchful of spelling errors, grammar problems, or inconsistent information.
  • Beware of sites that have escrow fees that are unreasonably low.

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Scam FAQ: Fake Bank Apps2019-01-22T04:48:24-05:00

SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Fake Bank Apps

Scammers will spoof the apps of big banks in order to separate you from your money. A recent survey by Avast, a multi-national cybersecurity firm, found that one in three worldwide users mistakenly believed that a fake mobile banking app was the real thing, putting their financial data at risk. Thieves use the big customer base of major banks to try to get past the secure app stores and collect personal information.

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Scam FAQ:  How To Avoid Bogus Employment/Business Opportunities2018-10-31T15:41:01-04:00

Scam FAQ:  How To Avoid Bogus Employment/Business Opportunities

  • Be wary of inflated claims of product effectiveness.
  • Be cautious of exaggerated claims of possible earnings or profits.
  • Beware when money is required up front for instructions or products.
  • Be leery when the job posting claims “no experience necessary”.
  • Do not give your social security number when first interacting with your prospective employer.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Be wary when replying to unsolicited emails for work-at-home employment.
  • Research the company to ensure they are authentic.
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.

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Scam FAQ: What Is A Swatting Call2019-01-27T04:20:56-05:00

SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: What Is A Swatting Call

A “Swatting Call” is where someone calls the local police emergency number (911) and reports a violent crime either at your home or office.

The caller might claim that there are multiple people dead or that there is a bomb, or some other obvious reason for the police to show up in force – send their SWAT Teams in. Typically, when the police arrive they are not very careful about damage and the trauma on the recipients can be significant, especially if this is in the middle of the night.

The objective of the scam call is to include trauma, embarrassment, and destruction from the fake call on whoever is the target.

 

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Scam FAQ: What Is A Romance Scam2018-11-04T10:01:00-05:00

Scam FAQ: What Is A Romance Scam

  • Romance Scams are an international crime that usually involves a fake identity to fool a person into engaging in a massively manipulated romantic relationship.
  • Romance Scams do not happen because the victim was stupid, they happen because the scammer socially engineered a set of conditions to trap the victim.
  • Romance Scams can happen to anyone since it is based upon triggering the victim’s own brain against them then sustaining the scam through spy-craft style manipulation.
  • Romance Scams don’t just happen to sad lovely people, they can happen to anyone, even people that are married – anyone can be scammed.
  • Romance Scams victims cannot simply get over it, they involve deep-seated trauma that can result in PTSD or other disorders and professional help may be required.
  • Romance Scams are a major challenge to law enforcement worldwide since it involves international treaties and extradition, and the host nations in Africa benefit from the influx of money.
  • Romance Scams began in the early 1990’s and have grown into an industry rivaling the illicit drug industry, and they help support human trafficking and terrorism.
  • Romance Scams require a globally concerted effort both at the grassroots level to help educate others, and at the governmental level to improve laws and treaties to promote greater enforcement.
  • Romance Scams can be stopped with education and safe habits online, and the diligent efforts of people just like you!

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Scam FAQ: Veterans Charity Scams2019-01-22T16:24:28-05:00

SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Veterans Charity Scams

 
Fake charity scams are nothing new, and the Veterans Affairs Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service warns that veterans of the armed forces are particularly vulnerable.
 
The scammers reportedly offer pension buyouts to veterans or ask veterans to donate to a charity that sounds and looks real but isn’t.
 
The scammers take the donations or cash the pension checks.
 
The scammers will also take the donor’s personal information to create a new fake identity or commit more crimes under that person’s name.
 
According to an AARP survey, 16% of veterans have lost money to fraudsters, compared to 8% of non-veterans.

 

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Scam FAQ: U.S. Tax Arrest Scam2019-01-22T09:59:56-05:00

SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: U.S. Tax Arrest Scam

 
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently warned the public about “sophisticated phone scams” targeting taxpayers by claiming to be IRS employees.
 
The scammers demand that the victims owe money to the IRS and to pay them promptly or be arrested, deported or have their driver’s license suspended. Sometimes, the caller becomes aggressive, warning people that a Sheriff or local law enforcement will show up at their door if they don’t pay immediately.
 
The IRS warning also reminded consumers that the IRS would never call to demand immediate payment over the phone, threaten to bring in local police, ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, or require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes.

 

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Scam FAQ: U.S. Secretary of State Scam2019-01-22T09:55:21-05:00

SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: U.S. Secretary of State Scam

 
This scam starts when you receive an email claiming to be from former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who says you’re owed a payment he knows about because of an investigation by the FBI and CIA.
 
The scam reportedly states that you will receive an ATM card with more than 1 million dollars on it, but first you have to send $320 along with personal information to receive it.
 
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says this is false, warning Americans to not fall for this—or anytime you’re told you have won a prize, owe money, or may go to jail.

 

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Scam FAQ: U.S. Medicare Card Scam2019-01-22T05:19:08-05:00

SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: U.S. Medicare Card Scam

The Federal Government mailed out new Medicare cards that now have an 11-digit identification number instead of an enrollee’s Social Security number to help protect seniors from identity theft. About 59 million people will receive the cards with a requirement from Congress that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards by April 2019.

Because of the update, scammers are taking to the phones to try trick people into giving them their new 11-digit identification number so they can take over their identity. According to an Allianz survey, the elder financial abuse victims average loss was $36,000.

 

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Scam FAQ: Ticket Scams2019-01-22T16:22:14-05:00

SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Ticket Scams

 
Looking for tickets to a concert or for that upcoming football game? If so, beware of tickets scams. The prevalence of online ticket sellers and resellers has created plenty of ticket scam opportunities that you need to be wary of when you go to buy your tickets.
 
The BBB Scam Tracker reported more than 300 ticket scams reported last year with the most common scams center around reselling fake or non-existent tickets posted on online classifieds and price gouging.
 
If possible, try to purchase from venue or pause to verify the source of where you are buying the tickets. Discounted prices may be too good to be true. You can look up sellers on The National Association of Ticket Brokers to confirm the site is a verified reseller.
 
Also, make sure to the site is a secured site or used a protected payment option in credit cards versus cash, debit cards or wire transactions, so you have a better chance at getting your money back if scammed.

 

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Scam FAQ: Tech Support Fraud2019-01-22T10:09:19-05:00

SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Tech Support Fraud

 
In 2017 there were 11,000 complaints related to tech support fraud that resulted in claimed losses of nearly $15 million—an 86% increase in losses from 2016. These tech support scams have prompted the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to warn consumers about criminals claiming to provide the customer, security, or technical support as a cover in an effort to defraud individuals.
 
The scam can take place through a phishing email, phone call, pop-up ad or even a locked screen on your device with a phone number to call to fix. The IC3 offers several tips and guidance on how to handle situations like this and reminds people that legitimate customer, security, or tech support companies will not initiate unsolicited contact with individuals.

 

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Scam FAQ: Tax Prep Scam2019-01-22T10:07:36-05:00

SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Tax Prep Scam

 
Not only are U.S. taxpayers the targets of scammers this tax season, so are the tax professionals that prepare tax returns. Tax fraud is big business for fraudsters that can steal the tax preparers information and turn around and sell it on the dark web for money.
 
This year scammers are sending a lot more phishing emails in an attempt to gain access to the accountant’s computer. By doing so, the scammer can get access to that tax professional’s client list and computer IP address to file fake tax returns on their behalf. Once submitted, the scammer will have the refund check sent to an address that they can pick up the check.

 

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Scam FAQ: Phone Porting Scams2019-01-22T09:53:46-05:00

SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Phone Porting Scams

 
The scam called “porting” involves criminals stealing your phone number and your phone service in order to get access to your bank account through confirmation text messages.
 
Scammers start by collecting your name, phone number and then gather any other information they can find about you such as your address, Social Security number, and date of birth. Then they contact your mobile carrier and state that your phone has been stolen and ask that the number be “ported” with another provider and device. Once your number has been ported to a new device, scammers can then start accessing your accounts that require additional authorization such as code texted to your phone.

 

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Scam FAQ: Patrick Dempsey Scam2019-01-22T09:52:23-05:00

SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Patrick Dempsey Scam

 
This scam is anything but McDreamy, as the popular Grey’s Anatomy actor Patrick Dempsey has publicly stated that he has an online impersonator on the loose. The scammer is asking his fans and others through social media to send money to him for his Maine-based nonprofit. The scam has been going on for a while as fraudsters keep setting up fake accounts to send messages hoping to find victims that will send them money.

 

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Scam FAQ: No Roof Scam2019-01-22T09:48:43-05:00

SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: No Roof Scam

With summer upon us, thunder, hurricanes, and hailstorms can wreak havoc. If you recently suffered damage to your roof from weather events, be wary of people coming to your door offering their repair services as these storms can bring out the worst in people. These scammers will make false promises to people needing to repair or replace their storm-damaged roofs. Many times they will ask payment before they start working or the job is completed. The BBB has partnered with cities on a campaign called the “No Roof Scam” to help consumers spot roofing contractor fraud.

 

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Scam FAQ: Netflix Scam2019-01-22T09:46:35-05:00

SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Netflix Scam

 
The popular streaming service is the target of an email phishing scam featuring the subject line “payment declined,” which may get your attention if you are a subscriber. The email wants you to click on a link to update your credit card information.
 
If you see this don’t click on the link because it can be dangerous malware. Visit your Netflix account by typing the address in yourself to check your account as a safer means of verifying your account status.
 
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a warning to consumers about emails being sent requesting updated payment info.
 
Netflix has stated that customers can get more info to protect themselves against phishing scams and other malicious activity at netflix.com/security or by contacting its customer service department directly.
 
The FTC also said consumers can report phishing scams at ftccomplaintassistant.gov or by forwarding them to the agency’s spam@uce.gov address and to reportphishing@apwg.org, which is used by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, a coalition of internet service providers, security vendors, financial institutions, and law enforcement agencies. In addition, the FTC recommends alerting Netflix, by forwarding the message to phishing@netflix.com.

 

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