SCARS|RSN™ Frequently Asked Questions About Scams & Scammers

/SCARS|RSN™ Frequently Asked Questions About Scams & Scammers
SCARS|RSN™ Frequently Asked Questions About Scams & Scammers4 min read2019-01-22T05:15:34-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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.
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.
Scam FAQ: Fake Bank Apps2019-01-22T04:48:24-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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.

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.
Scam FAQ: What Is A Swatting Call2019-01-27T04:20:56-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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.


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

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!

Copyright © 2018 SCARS

Scam FAQ: Veterans Charity Scams2019-01-22T16:24:28-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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.


Scam FAQ: U.S. Tax Arrest Scam2019-01-22T09:59:56-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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.


Scam FAQ: U.S. Secretary of State Scam2019-01-22T09:55:21-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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.


Scam FAQ: U.S. Medicare Card Scam2019-01-22T05:19:08-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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.


Scam FAQ: Ticket Scams2019-01-22T16:22:14-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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.


Scam FAQ: Tech Support Fraud2019-01-22T10:09:19-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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.


Scam FAQ: Tax Prep Scam2019-01-22T10:07:36-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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.


Scam FAQ: Phone Porting Scams2019-01-22T09:53:46-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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.


Scam FAQ: Patrick Dempsey Scam2019-01-22T09:52:23-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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.


Scam FAQ: No Roof Scam2019-01-22T09:48:43-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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.


Scam FAQ: Netflix Scam2019-01-22T09:46:35-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ 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 or by contacting its customer service department directly.
The FTC also said consumers can report phishing scams at or by forwarding them to the agency’s [email protected] address and to [email protected], 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 [email protected]


Scam FAQ: Jury Duty Scams2019-01-22T05:13:55-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Jury Duty Scams

Another new spoofing phone call scam has popped up and involves scammers posing as judicial officials or police and calling people to let them know they failed to report for jury duty and owe a fine.
Scammers can spoof law enforcement phone numbers or names so people receiving the call may think that the call is legitimate.
The FBI in Atlanta has received numerous complaints about the scam from people in and around the Savannah, Georgia area.


Scam FAQ: IRS (U.S. Tax) Scam2019-01-22T05:10:05-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: IRS (U.S. Tax) Scam

Whether you have received your tax refund check by now, are waiting on an extension from the Internal Revenue Service or are just starting to prepare your taxes, be on alert for scammers.
The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry are warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for scams as “a surge of new, sophisticated email phishing scams” are being reported.
The holidays and tax season present great opportunities for scam artists to steal valuable information through fake emails the IRS states.
They want consumers to watch out for email schemes that try to fool you into thinking they’re from the IRS or partners in the tax community.
In 2018, the IRS noted a 60% increase in bogus email schemes that seek to steal money or tax data.
The tax season can also see threatening scam calls from fake IRS agents. These fake agents usually demand money from victims or state that they will be arrested. The IRS has stated publicly that the summer is when the calls usually increase.
The calls can also be recorded messages left on your voicemail that leave the impression that if you do not call back, the IRS will issue a warrant for your arrest. It’s important to note that the IRS does not ever call or leave urgent messages asking you to call them back.
Taxpayers can forward these email schemes to [email protected]—then hit delete.


Scam FAQ: Instagram Fake Ads2019-01-22T05:08:01-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Instagram Fake Ads

It can be difficult to tell what’s real or not on social media these days—including advertisements. Scammers often post fake ads to get you to buy one product only to send you a cheap knockoff. Instagram has offered some tips if you think you have come across a suspicious ad:
You can learn more about an account if you go to their profile, tap the menu and then select “About This Account.”
There, you can see the date the account joined Instagram, the country where the account is located, accounts with shared followers, and username changes. Within “About this Account,” you can also see all ads that the business is currently running.
People can report an account, an ad, or a post that they feel is misleading. To report an ad, click the “…” on the top right of the ad and click Report Ad. Follow the on-screen instructions and select “It’s a scam or it’s misleading.”
You can always go back and visit your own ad interactions, including all ads you have clicked on in Stories and Feed, from the past 90 days within your Settings.


Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Internet Extortion2018-10-31T15:44:59-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Internet Extortion

  • Security needs to be multi-layered so that numerous obstacles will be in the way of the intruder.
  • Ensure security is installed at every possible entry point.
  • Identify all machines connected to the Internet and assess the defense that’s engaged.
  • Identify whether your servers are utilizing any ports that have been known to represent insecurities.
  • Ensure you are utilizing the most up-to-date patches for your software.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks2018-10-31T15:34:00-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks

  • Inspect the cashier’s check.
  • Ensure the amount of the check matches in figures and words.
  • Check to see that the account number is not shiny in appearance.
  • Be watchful that the drawer’s signature is not traced.
  • Official checks are generally perforated on at least one side.
  • Inspect the check for additions, deletions, or other alterations.
  • Contact the financial institution on which the check was drawn to ensure legitimacy.
  • Obtain the bank’s telephone number from a reliable source, not from the check itself.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
Scam FAQ: How To Spot Wire Transfer Fraud2018-11-01T07:37:38-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Spot Wire Transfer Fraud

What Are The Warning Signs Of Wire Transfer Fraud?

Know How To Recognize The Warning Signs Of Wire Transfer Fraud:

  • Someone that you have never met in person is asking for money. This is the biggest red flag for fraud. If you’re in a long-distance relationship with someone you’ve never met in person, be wary of possible fraud, if they start asking for money. The reality is: fraudsters are professionals and they’ll do whatever it takes to get their hands on your cash. When it comes to that new love, overseas inheritance or investment opportunity, it’s worth the cost of the plane ticket to ensure it’s legit. If you can’t meet them in person, you should think twice before sending your money.
  • You receive an email that claims you’ve won a jackpot but you have to pay fees before you can receive the prize. The reality is: the fraudsters are the ones hitting the jackpot. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • You see an ad online for a great deal, but you’re required to transfer the money right away to receive the product. The reality is: the product doesn’t exist and they just want your money.
  • While many people use wire transfers to pay for luxury items, it’s worth checking the reputation of the seller, if you’re transferring a large sum.
  • You get a job as a mystery shopper but they send you a check for more than what you’re owed. You’re asked to send the excess funds back via wire transfer. The reality is: this is just a clever way to steal your cash, as the check is probably fake.
  • You receive an email from someone pretending to be your bank or other service provider saying you need to update your security info. The reality is: as soon as you click the link, you’re vulnerable to malware. Phishing emails that try to steal your information or get you to wire money will often contain a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. The email might not address you by name, and it comes from a suspicious and unrecognizable source. It will probably ask you to provide financial information or to verify it, but if you hover over a URL, you’ll see that it will take you to a suspicious and unknown website. Don’t click on any links within these emails; instead, just delete them and block the sender.
  • You receive an email or a phone call that claims the IRS wants you to pay back taxes, and you need to transfer your money or you’ll be arrested. The reality is: the IRS will formally contact you by mail rather than by phone, and they won’t be asking for your payments by credit card or by wire transfer either.
Scam FAQ: How To Spot A Scam2018-11-01T22:57:19-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Spot A Scam

How Can I Tell If Something Might Be A Scam?

It’S Probably A Scam If Someone:

  • Makes an offer that sounds too good to be true;
  • Promises that you can win money, make money, or borrow money easily;
  • Asks for money to enter a contest, win a sweepstake or lottery, or claim a prize;
  • Refuses to send you written information before you agree to buy or donate;
  • Refuses to give you a physical address;
  • Refuses to give you the details of the offer before you make any payment;
  • Requests your bank account or credit card number when you are not making a purchase with that account;
  • Uses scare tactics or pressure to act immediately;
  • Insists that you wire money or have a courier pick up your payment;
  • Refuses to stop calling after you’ve asked not to be called again;
  • Contacts you to ask for personal information the company already has.
  • Gives you a check or money order and asks you to send some of the money somewhere.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Third Party Receiver Of Funds Fraud2018-10-31T16:01:15-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Third Party Receiver Of Funds Fraud

  • Do not agree to accept and wire payments for auctions or purchases that you did not post.
  • Be leery if the individual states that his country it makes receiving these type of funds difficult.
  • Be cautious when the job posting claims “no experience necessary”.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Reshipping Fraud & Scams2018-10-31T15:56:30-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Reshipping Fraud & Scams

  • Be cautious if you are asked to ship packages to an “overseas home office.”
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Be leery if the individual states that his country will not allow direct business shipments from the United States.
  • Be wary if the “ship to” address is yours but the name on the package is not.
  • Never provide your personal information to strangers in a chatroom.
  • Don’t accept packages that you didn’t order.
  • If you receive packages that you didn’t order, either refuse them upon delivery or contact the company where the package is from.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Ponzi/Pyramid Schemes & Scams2018-10-31T15:53:54-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Ponzi/Pyramid Schemes & Scams

  • If the “opportunity” appears too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Beware of promises to make fast profits.
  • Exercise diligence in selecting investments.
  • Be vigilant in researching with whom you choose to invest.
  • Make sure you fully understand the investment prior to investing.
  • Be wary when you are required to bring in subsequent investors.
  • Independently verify the legitimacy of any investment.
  • Beware of references given by the promoter.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Phishing/Spoofing Scams2018-10-31T15:52:21-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Phishing/Spoofing Scams

  • Be suspicious of any unsolicited email requesting personal information.
  • Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask for personal information.
  • Always compare the link in the email to the link that you are actually directed to.
  • Log on to the official website, instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited email.
  • Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the email to verify if the email is genuine.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Nigerian Letter Or “419” Email Scams2018-10-31T15:50:57-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Nigerian Letter Or “419” Email Scams

  • If the “opportunity” appears too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Do not reply to emails asking for personal banking information.
  • Be wary of individuals representing themselves as foreign government officials.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Beware when asked to assist in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts.
  • Do not believe the promise of large sums of money for your cooperation.
  • Guard your account information carefully.
  • Be cautious when additional fees are requested to further the transaction.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Investment Fraud2018-10-31T15:47:35-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Investment Fraud

  • If the “opportunity” appears too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Beware of promises to make fast profits.
  • Do not invest in anything unless you understand the deal.
  • Don’t assume a company is legitimate based on “appearance” of the website.
  • Be leery when responding to investment offers received through unsolicited email.
  • Be wary of investments that offer high returns at little or no risk.
  • Independently verify the terms of any investment that you intend to make.
  • Research the parties involved and the nature of the investment.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Spam Email2018-10-31T15:59:10-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Spam Email

  • Don’t open spam. Delete it unread.
  • Never respond to spam as this will confirm to the sender that it is a “live” email address.
  • Have a primary and secondary email address – one for people you know and one for all other purposes.
  • Avoid giving out your email address unless you know how it will be used.
  • Never purchase anything advertised through an unsolicited email.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Lottery Scams2018-10-31T15:49:31-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Lottery Scams

  • If the lottery winnings appear too good to be true, they probably are.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Be leery if you do not remember entering a lottery or contest.
  • Be cautious if you receive a telephone call stating you are the winner in a lottery.
  • Beware of lotteries that charge a fee prior to delivery of your prize.
  • Be wary of demands to send additional money to be eligible for future winnings.
  • It is a violation of federal law to play a foreign lottery via mail or phone.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid DHL / UPS Fraud2018-10-31T15:39:13-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid DHL / UPS Fraud

  • Beware of individuals using the DHL or UPS logo in any email communication.
  • Be suspicious when payment is requested by money transfer before the goods will be delivered.
  • Remember that DHL and UPS do not generally get involved in directly collecting payment from customers.
  • Fees associated with DHL or UPS transactions are only for shipping costs and never for other costs associated with online transactions.
  • Contact DHL or UPS to confirm the authenticity of email communications received.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Debt Elimination Fraud2018-10-31T15:36:18-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Debt Elimination Fraud

  • Know who you are doing business with — do your research.
  • Obtain the name, address, and telephone number of the individual or company.
  • Research the individual or company to ensure they are authentic.
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Ensure you understand all the terms and conditions of any agreement.
  • Be wary of businesses that operate from P.O. boxes or mail drops.
  • Ask for names of other customers of the individual or company and contact them.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Credit Card Fraud2018-10-31T15:33:40-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid Credit Card Fraud

  • Ensure a site is secure and reputable before providing your credit card number online.
  • Don’t trust a site just because it claims to be secure.
  • If purchasing merchandise, ensure it is from a reputable source.
  • Promptly reconcile credit card statements to avoid unauthorized charges.
  • Do your research to ensure the legitimacy of the individual or company.
  • Beware of providing credit card information when requested through unsolicited emails.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid BEC Business Email Compromise Scams2018-10-31T16:04:54-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid BEC Business Email Compromise Scams

  • Be mindful of any email, phone call or text messages requesting multiple gift cards even if the request is ordinary.
  • Beware of sudden changes in business or personal practices and carefully scrutinize all requests for multiple gift card purchases even if requests are ordinary.
  • Since many of the fraudulent e-mails reported in this new trend are spoofed, confirm requests for the purchase of gift cards using two-factor authentication. If using phone verification, use previously known numbers, not the numbers provided in the e-mail request.
Scam FAQ: How To Avoid An Auction Scam Or Fraud2018-10-31T15:34:23-04:00

Scam FAQ: How To Avoid An Auction Scam Or Fraud

  • Before you bid, contact the seller with any questions you have.
  • Review the seller’s feedback.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Ensure you understand refund, return, and warranty policies.
  • Determine the shipping charges before you buy.
  • Be wary if the seller only accepts wire transfers or cash.
  • If an escrow service is used, ensure it is legitimate.
  • Consider insuring your item.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited offers.


Scam FAQ: Home Improvement Scams2019-01-22T05:06:10-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Home Improvement Scams

Another common seasonal scam centers around home improvement. As the weather gets nicer, homeowners often look to improve their homes.
The Better Business Bureau says in 2017, there were nearly 350 home improvement scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker across the U.S., resulting in more than $600,000 lost. Some scammers go door-to-door, offering to do improvement projects.
They may take a deposit, and then never complete the work If you’re not sure the salesman is legit, you can ask for a card and get back to them once you have been able to research the company by visiting the BBB website. These scams can also happen after major national disasters — hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, mudslides, and fires, among other things.


Scam FAQ: Grandparent Scam2019-01-22T05:04:43-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Grandparent Scam

This scam has been around and has seen an increase in activity of late. Depending on who answers the phone call, the person on the other line will say, “Hi, Grandpa” or “Hi, Grandma” pretending to be the grandson or granddaughter of the older victim. The scammer then tells them a story that ends with, “I need money right away to… (insert issue here—pay my traffic ticket, post bail, pay for an ambulance).”
All of this is said without providing too many details. If pushed, the scammers will say things like “please don’t tell Mom or Dad” or “My nose is broken, so I may sound strange.” Victims can end up wiring money to the scammers as a result. Read more here about other senior scams.


Scam FAQ: Gift Card Scams2019-01-22T05:02:15-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Gift Card Scams

The BBB is warning people about emails offering help to check their gift card balances. If you receive one of these emails, do not click open or click links within. Scammers use these emails websites in order to get your card number and PIN in order to drain your account. The BBB offers the following tips to avoid gift card balance scams:
Go to the retailer’s website: If you need to check a gift card balance, go to the site listed on the back of the card itself. If there is none, go to the website of the company and look for a link to the gift card page.
Use gift cards right away: A good way to avoid scams and other issues is to simply use gift cards soon after you receive them.
Examine the gift card before buying: Before purchasing a gift card, be sure to give it a thorough look to make sure the PIN isn’t exposed, or the packaging hasn’t been tampered with.
Register your gift card with the retailers: If the retailer allows the option to register your gift card, take full advantage. registering your gift card makes it easier to keep track of any misuse occurring, that way you can report it sooner and potentially end up saving the money that is stored.


Scam FAQ: Fortnite Scam2019-01-22T05:00:36-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Fortnite Scam

Fortnite: Battle Royale has more than 125 million players worldwide, and that tremendous pull extends to hackers and scammers too. Players and parents should pay attention as Fortnite creator Epic Games is warning gamers about the most common Fornite scam involving “free V-bucks.” Scammers offer free or discounted v-bucks, the in-game currency, to help players elevate their game. What can result in identity theft, downloading malware on a device or having your money stolen.


Scam FAQ: Death Threat Hoax2019-01-22T04:50:48-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Death Threat Hoax

The FBI has warned consumers about death threats being made through emails that state “I will be short. I’ve got an order to kill you.”

The email then demands money or bitcoin as a payout from the email recipients. Other versions of the scam could state that a “hitman has been hired to kill” them. This scam is very aggressive and threatening in nature to convince people that they have to pay or else.


Scam FAQ: Cryptocurrency Scams2019-01-22T04:51:53-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Cryptocurrency Scams

As the price and popularity of Bitcoin and other cyber-currencies skyrocketed in late 2017, scammers eagerly sought to take advantage of the frenzy. The Japanese Bitcoin exchange Coincheck was hacked in January, and the thieves were able to steal more than $500 million in cryptocurrencies. This is the largest cryptocurrency hack to date. Facebook and Instagram have banned advertisements for certain bitcoin, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and some other cryptocurrency-related products because of deceptive and misleading practices. Several ads were leading victims to sites such as Prodeum, whose only purpose was to take their money and not provide the advertised service.


Scam FAQ: Car Scams2019-01-22T04:53:33-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Car Scams

The FBI shared information on a growing scam in which crooks target people looking to buy cars and other vehicles online. The FBI has received 26,967 complaints with losses totaling $54,032,396 since tracking this issue from May 2014 through December 2017. This car scamstarts with a criminal posting an online advertisement with a low price to get the attention of a buyer, including photos of the vehicle and contact information. When a buyer reaches out, the “seller” sends more photos and what appears as a logical reason why the price is discounted and indicates a need to sell.

The criminal then instructs you to purchase prepaid gift cards in the amount of the sale and share the prepaid codes. You’re usually told you’ll receive the vehicle in a couple of days, but victims never hear from the scammers again.


Scam FAQ: ATM Jackpotting2019-01-22T05:11:53-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: ATM Jackpotting

Jackpotting is a new cyber-attack scam that the Secret Service warned financial institutions about criminals installing software or hardware on ATMs that force the machines to issue large amounts of cash.
Criminals have found ways to exploit the standalone machines commonly found in pharmacies, big-box retailers, and some drive-thru ATMs.
It’s hard to know the exact financial implications because sometimes these crimes aren’t disclosed publicly, but anytime money is missing,
it’s sure to have an impact on the banks and ultimately you—the consumer—in the former of higher fees or more obstacles to accessing your cash.


Scam FAQ: ATM & Credit Card Shimmer Scams2019-01-22T09:58:29-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: ATM & Credit Card Shimmer Scams

A shimmer scam is an update on skimming except that thieves are using “shimmers” to target chip-based credit and debit cards. A shimmer is a very thin piece of paper that can read your card number and access your credit or debit card’s EMV chip—the chip designed to help make your card more secure.
A thief will put a shimmer into an ATM and let it collect information from each card that is used, allowing them to create a non-chip version or magnetic strip credit card then.
Shimmers have been showing up more recently despite first being reported on in 2015. In 2017, the number of debit cards compromised at ATMs and merchant card readers—typically via skimming devices that capture card data—rose 10%, according to FICO.
DID YOU KNOW? A shimmer is a very thin piece of paper that can read your card number and access the EMV chip on your credit or debit card.


Scam FAQ: Apple Care Scam2019-01-22T04:56:51-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Apple Care Scam

This new smartphone scam uses phishing emails to send Apple users to a fake Apple website. iPhone users receive a pop-up image of a system dialog box that tells users their phone has been “locked for illegal activity.” When users click on the link, scammers enroll them into a fraudulent “mobile device management service” that allows scammers to send malware apps to iPhones. Read more here about phishing scams and how to spot them.


Scam FAQ: Amazon Fake Order Cancellation Emails2019-01-22T04:57:48-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Amazon Fake Order Cancellation Emails

If you get an email about an order cancellation from, there’s a good chance it’s a scam. Click on links in the email and you could unintentionally download malware onto your device. Or you might be sent to a site that aims to collect your Amazon account information, like your username and password. If you receive such an email and recently placed an order, go to to check your order status.


Scam FAQ: Airbnb Scam2019-01-22T04:59:22-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Airbnb Scam

This scam takes advantage of travelers renting an apartment or house through Airbnb by featuring fake homes on the site and directing the renter to a fraudulent or “spoof” website to finalize payment. Scammers will often even trick real owners, who don’t know their property is being spoofed. Potential travelers end up paying money for a rental property that either doesn’t exist or isn’t available.


Scam FAQ: “Your Order Has Arrived”/Shipping Status Scam2019-01-22T19:26:55-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: “Your Order Has Arrived”/Shipping Status Scam

You may have received an email that says your “order” from Amazon or other ecommerce retailer has arrived or has been shipped. It likely asks you to click on a link.
These emails can be a phishing scam attempting to get personal information from you by asking you to confirm your bank information or other information only known to you.
If you are unsure about an email, make sure to check the actual email address to see if it from the company it says its from. Usually phishing scams will say the company name “Amazon,” but when you click on the email address, you’ll notice it’s not from an Amazon domain.
Also, you should never send personal information to an email address without confirming first that it is a legitimate business.
You can always visit the retailer’s website directly and log in to your account to confirm any issues or call their customer service number on their main website.


Scam FAQ: “Can You Hear Me?” and “Yes” Calls2019-01-22T04:54:41-04:00

SCARS|RSN™ Anti-Scam FAQ: “Can You Hear Me?” and “Yes” Calls

This scam happens when you answer the phone, and the person on the other line asks: “Can you hear me?” and you respond, “Yes.” Your voice is being recorded to obtain a voice signature for scammers authorize fraudulent charges over the phone. You can visit the FCC website to block any unwanted calls. The BBB Scam Tracker received more than 10,000 reports on the “Can you hear me?” scam, but none of the reports resulted in an actual loss of money.


Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams

RSN Team

a division of SCARS
Miami Florida U.S.A.

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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?

It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.

Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:

  1. Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
  2. Your National Police or FBI (
  3. The Scars Worldwide Reporting Network HERE or on

This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.

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