Consumer Clearinghouse Distributors, CCD

My grandfather got a postcard in the mail the other day with a return address of

CCD
P.O. Box 413019
Naples, FL 34101

It says that they are holding a parcel in his name, and to “see other side for immediate claim information” On the other side it says: This office is attempting to reach you. To claim this parcel, you must telephone the number below immediately and arrange for delivery. The item is prepaid, but a processing and delivery fee of $6.95 must be remitted. This fee can be paid only by telephone and only with a credit card (Visa or MasterCard) Call 1-800-773-8591 The lower right corner says Consumer Clearinghouse Distributors, CCD

A recent story on this scam said this . . .

Consumers reported to the BBB that once they called the toll-free number, they were told that they would receive a necklace valued at $50 or more, and were asked to pay a $6.95 charge to release it. Consumers were then asked to give the company their credit-card number. The BBB said that consumers reported that not only did the company want them to pay the fee, but also wanted them to enroll in other programs that require payment of a monthly fee to get other trinkets and products.

http://www2.journalnow.com/content/2009/mar/05/ask-sam1/community-askSAM/

Another story on this scams says
Postal inspectors in Cleveland said their counterparts in Florida are investigating the mailer. If you receive one, you can mark it “Attn: Postal Inspector” and put it back in your mailbox for your letter carrier to forward. Or file a complaint with postal inspectors online.

http://www.cleveland.com/consumeraffairs/index.ssf/2009/03/postal_inspectors_investigatin.html#more

Here is the link to file a complaint
https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/contactUs/filecomplaint.aspx

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Internet Crime On The Rise

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released it’s 2008 Internet Crime Report today.  You can view report in full by going to http://www.fbi.gov/page2/march09/internet_033009.html

There was a 33% increase in complaints in 2008 over 2007, with an increase of $25 million lost.  Just think, if more could have been done to educate people about scams and warn them before they became victims, that is money that those people would still have in their pockets.

With the economy in the state that it is, we need to do EVERYTHING we can to protect the money that we have.  One way to do that would be to increase scam awareness with signs in the post offices, banks, Western Union and MoneyGram locations.  PSA would also do a lot to get the word out to the masses.

Saturday Night Live: Geithner Cold Open

Here is the video that I spoke about below. Will Forte was playing the role of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and announces that he is open to ideas from the public on how to fix the economic crisis.

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more about “Saturday Night Live: Geithner Cold Open“, posted with vodpod

 

SNL and Nigerian Scams

Did anyone watch Saturday Night Live last night, March 7 2009?  The opening segment was one that hit home with us.  Will Forte was playing the role of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and announces that he is open to ideas from the public on how to fix the economic crisis.  There is even a reward being given out to the person who can come up with the best idea.  They get several callers, all with humorous ideas or comments, but it was the last caller who REALLY got my interest.  It was from Nkumo, a Nigerian Prince, who had $7 million in a bank account.  The problem is that he needs some money to cover the fees to get the money out.  If Timothy Geithner and the US government would give him the reward money that they have he would be more than happy to share a portion of the $7 million with them.

 

I think that it is really great that issues like this are making it into the popular shows like SNL, and that the writers are taking on the current issues.  It teaches people about these scams in a light-hearted and humorous way.  It brings the issue to the front of people’s minds and causes them to talk about it.

 

I also think it is ironic because I have been saying for a while that if the United States would do more to warn and educate people about scams it would help our economy.  In 2007 over $238 million was lost by United States citizens to scams.  And, that is just the amount for ONE YEAR.   If the money that is lost in scams were to stay in the United States, the economy might be doing a little better right now.

 

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/geithner-cold-open/1056121/

Protecting yourself

We recently had a high school senior who is writing a paper on scams visit Scam Victims United, and they asked me some really great questions, which I then asked if they would be okay with me using as topics for some blog posts.  Here is one of those questions.

Is it possible for one to make themselves less likely to be targeted by a scam artist? What are some ways that this can be done? 

 

If you are on the Internet and have an email address, you are a target, but that is why education about the different scams and the banking terms above are so important.  If you know this information then you are at least better protected. 

 

There are always ways that we can be safer.  You would not leave cash on the front seat of your unlocked car, right?  Well, in the same manner you should not send account or identification information via email.  Never click on a link in an email in order to “update your account” because those links will often go to fake sites the scammers have made that look like the real thing.  If you are worried that there really is something wrong with your account, call the business or go to their site on your own and check the information there.  We have all become too trusting that if it is in a email with the right logo attached it MUST be from the company that they say they are with. 

 

Also, Google is your friend!  When in doubt, Google it and see what comes up.  I know that many people have Googled things like a scammer’s phone number, or the company that they say that they work for, and that search has brought them right to a post on our message board and then saved them from becoming a victim.  Google is a very powerful thing!

 

Another thing that some people do not know is that you should not post your email address online.  There are computer systems that go out and look for these email addresses and scammers that are lurking on sites collecting them.  You are opening yourself up to spam and scams doing this.  Most message boards have a system where when you sign up you enter your email address, and then when you post on there if anyone wants to contact you they can go to your profile and click on the “email” button.  On our site this email button appears under every post you make so it is easy to find.  This is a safe way for people to get your email address.