Stay safe from scams at the holidays

This information can be found at
http://www.ic3.gov/media/2009/091130.aspx

This holiday season the Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI) is reminding people that cyber criminals continue to aggressively create new ways to steal money and personal information. Scammers use many techniques to fool potential victims including fraudulent auction sales, reshipping merchandise purchased with a stolen credit card, and sale of fraudulent or stolen gift cards through auction sites at a discounted price.

Fraudulent Classified Ads or Auction Sales
Internet criminals post classified ads or auctions for products they do not have. If you receive an auction product from a merchant or retail store, rather than directly from the auction seller, the item may have been purchased with someone else’s stolen credit card number. Contact the merchant to verify the account used to pay for the item actually belongs to you.

Shoppers should be cautious and not provide financial information directly to the seller, as fraudulent sellers will use this information to purchase items for their scheme from the provided financial account. Always use a legitimate payment service to protect purchases.

As for product delivery, unfamiliar Web sites or individuals selling reduced or free shipping to customers through auction sites many times are deemed to be fraudulent. In many instances, these Web sites or sellers provide shipping labels to their customers as a service. However, the delivery service providers are ultimately not being paid to deliver the package; therefore, packages shipped by the victims using these labels are intercepted by delivery service providers because they are identified as fraudulent.

Diligently check each seller’s rating and feedback along with their number of sales and the dates on which feedback was posted. Be wary of a seller with 100% positive feedback, if they have a low total number of feedback postings and all feedback was posted around the same date and time.

Gift Card Scam
Be careful about purchasing gift cards from auction sites or through classified ads. If you need a gift card, it is safest to purchase it directly from the merchant or another authorized retail store. If the gift card merchant discovers the card you received from another source or auction was initially obtained fraudulently, the merchant will deactivate the gift card number and it will not be honored for purchases.

Phishing and Smishing Schemes
Be leery of e-mails or text messages you receive indicating a problem or question regarding your financial accounts. In this scam, you are directed to follow a link or call the number provided in the message to update your account or correct the problem. The link actually directs the individuals to a fraudulent Web site or message that appears legitimate where any personal information you provide, such as account number and PIN, will be stolen.

Another scam involves victims receiving an e-mail message directing the recipient to a spoofed Web site. A spoofed Web site is a fake site or copy of a real Web site and misleads the recipient into providing personal information, which is routed to the scammer’s computers.

Tips
Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud:

Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.

Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.

Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Virus scan the attachments if possible.

Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.

Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to and determine if they actually match and will lead you to a legitimate site.

Log on directly to the official Web site for the business identified in the e-mail, instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited e-mail. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.

Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify if the e-mail is genuine.

To receive the latest information about cyber scams, please go to the FBI Web site and sign up for e-mail alerts by clicking on one of the red envelopes. If you have received a scam e-mail, please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.IC3.gov.

For more information on e-scams, please visit the FBI’s New E-Scams and Warnings webpage at http://www.fbi.gov/cyberinvest/escams.htm.

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National Organization for Victims Assistance

One of the people that I had the pleasure to meet at the Expo in Florida a couple of weeks ago was Will Marling from NOVA, the National Organization for Victims Assistance. If you have not heard of NOVA the following video will give you a lot of great information on them.

Also, look for more information coming about the next NOVA conference

Victim to Victorious!…The Journey Continues

August 22-25, 2010

Hilton Salt Lake City Center

Salt Lake City, UT

http://www.trynova.org/conference/2010/

 

Worth checking out

I know that we usually talk about scams, but this site is just too good for me to not tell you about.

Restaurant.com is my new favorite site. I went there yesterday to purchase gift certificates for family members for the holidays. I was able to purchase $50 worth of gift certificates for $27!


When you go to the site you can enter your zip code and it will show you the restaurants in your area that are a part of the program, and then you choose the amount of gift certificates you want to purchase. The best part is that there is no waiting for a gift card to arrive in the mail. You are able to print out the certificates for the restaurants right away! You could be getting ready to go out to eat right now, check online and find a discounted gift certificate for your favorite restaurant in your area, print it out and save some money on today!


This place is worth checking out! In addition to having great deals, a portion of what you spend goes to support Scam Victims United . . . yes, that is right . . . you can eat out, save money, and help to support our site!

Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of
ScamVictimsUnited.com
There is strength in numbers!

 

Find us on Twitter, Facebook and more through
http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch

Support Scam Victims United by shopping at
http://shopittous.blogspot.com/


ATM Scam

Robert Siciliano o fhttp://IDTheftSecurity.com was recently on Extra. He was showing how easy it is for a scammer to attach a skimmer to an ATM machine and steal the bank information from hundreds of people in one day. The even scarier part is that the ATM machine that Robert bought to demonstrate this was purchased on Craigslist.

 

Here is a link to the segment that aired.

http://extratv.warnerbros.com/2009/11/protect_yourself_from_atm_skimmers.php

Boston Globe Article here:
http://www.boston.com/business/personalfinance/articles/2009/11/22/independent_atms_pose_more_risk_than_you_think/

More here: http://www.finextra.com/community/fullblog.aspx?id=3551

Help Scam Victims for the Holidays

The Holiday Season is approaching, and as always at Scam Victims United we would like to help those out that are going through really tough times this year due to scams.

We call it our “Secret Santa Program” and here is how it works . . . If you are a parent who has recently been hit by a scam and is now wondering how you are going to provide Christmas gifts for your child, please send a private message to me with the subject “Dear Santa” and in it list the ages of your children and one gift that they would like to see from Santa this year, along with your complete mailing address. (Please remember that this is supposed to be for small children who still believe in the magic of Santa)

Everyone else that visits this site, if you would like to help to make Christmas better for one child, or one family, please send me a private message with the subject “Santa’s Helper” and I will then forward you the information of one family that needs help this year. Please only contact me if you plan of following through . . . this could be the ONLY gift that some of these children get this year!

If you would like to help support ScamVictimsUnited.com this Holiday season you can send donations through PayPal http://www.scamvictimsunited.com/donations.htm
Purchase Scam Victims United merchandise at http://www.cafepress.com/scamvictim
Purchase books and movies at our Amazon Store http://astore.amazon.com/scamvictimsun-20
Purchase items from the retailers listed at http://shopittous.blogspot.com/

Retailers include
1-800-PetMeds
iTunes
Starbucks
Best Buy
Napster
plus many more!

If anyone has any questions, feel free to email/private message me.

Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of ScamVictimsUnited.com

Find us on Twitter, Facebook and more through
http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch

The National Consumer Empowerment Conference and Expo

The National Consumer Empowerment Conference and Expo this past weekend in Florida was a wonderful event, and I was so happy to be a part of it. I met some wonderful people, heard some inspiring stories, and made friendships and partnerships that I hope will last a lifetime. In the following weeks I will share some of the stories of the people from this event with you.

 This entire event started off as an idea in the head of one inspirational woman, Denise Richardson. Denise took on a battle with a large bank in order to fix the accounting errors and credit problems that they created for her. Her story is truly an inspiration and shows that one person can stand up and make a difference, and that as consumers we need to look out for ourselves because the people we trust with our money, the banks, are not.

While my story is different from Denise’s, I do feel a common bond with her . . . fighting the bank for what is right! We were both told that we could not take on the “big bad bank”, and we were both told by the bank employees not to worry, and we both learned over the years that what the bank tells you and what they actually do are not always the same thing. We have both gone from being the average woman to someone who is willing to stand up and speak . . . and sometimes yell . . . for the rights of the consumer. Denise is someone I respect, trust and motivates me to do even more in my work in fighting scams.
I would strongly encourage you to read Denise’s book, Give Me Back My Credit!
Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of ScamVictimsUnited.com
There is strength in numbers!

Find us on Twitter, Facebook and more through
http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch

Support Scam Victims United by shopping at
http://shopittous.blogspot.com/

Support Scam Victims United while you shop

Support Scam Victims United by shopping with the following retailers. Every time that you make a purchase at one of these retailers through our links, a portion of what you spend will go to Scam Victims United.

If you plan on doing any of your Christmas shopping online, please think about doing it with our retailers. As we add more, you will be able to find them at http://shopittous.blogspot.com/