New Investigative Series Wants to Help You Settle The Score!

Exciting New Investigative Series Wants to Help You Settle The Score!

Have you been the victim of a bait & switch?
Have you been stung by a scammer?
Have you been duped by an online seller, shamed on the internet or outright ripped off by someone on social media?

The internet is something we use everyday…but dangers lurk everywhere.
Online thieves, con artists, shysters & scammers are having a heyday, and their crimes are often too small scale to call the cops or file an expensive & time consuming lawsuit.

You don’t know where to go, or who to turn to…so turn to us.
If you’ve been burned by an online thief, if you’ve ‘clicked this link’ and ended up losing money, or had your reputation tarnished by a facebook or Yelp type post, then this is your chance to stand up & let your frustration be heard!

New TV Series for a Major Cable Network wants to help you find the perp, settle the score, and get even.
We’ll find out what happened, what went wrong, and chase down the person you think is guilty.

Please send an email to LetsEvenTheScore@gmail.com and tell us your story!
And please tell them that Shawn from Scam Victims United sent you!

Minnesota Bill HF343

I have mentioned the Minnesota Bill HF343 on this blog in the past.  It is one that several people who are concerned about the growing number of scams and fraud wish to see become a law.  Just this week it was sent to the General Register, which means it is one step closer to becoming a law.

To hear the audio from that meeting you can go here . . . http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/audio/archivescomm.asp?comm=87004&ls_year=87

I encourage all of you to read the bill and contact the Representatives that are backing this bill to thank them for their work and share with them why you believe this bill needs to become law.

Thousands Scammed by Facebook Starbucks App

Guest Blog Post by Brittany Lyons ~ 

For many Facebook users, the offer of free Starbucks gift cards is simply too much to pass up. Recently, many users clicked on just such a link that popped up in their friends’ status updates, after those friends had “liked” the page. Instead of taking them to a legitimate corporate website, the users were directed to a fraudulent website, where they gave up their private information in order to receive the non-existent gift cards.
Facebook scams like these are not a new occurrence. In August of 2010, the statuses of users’ Facebook pages were flooded with messages letting people know that Justin Bieber was giving away free concert tickets. When users clicked the link, they went to a Facebook application page that asked for the user’s mobile phone number in order to enter a contest to win £50,000 (80,000 USD). The catch is that it was also a premium service that charged £4.50 (7 USD) to the mobile phone bill once a week.
The one thing that Justin Bieber and Starbucks have in common is an extremely large fan base, and thus more potential victims who scammers can target. This is also why scams will often be disguised as popular services like online PhD programs. That large number of potential victims is then multiplied by the number of friends that these fans have, and scams like these get passed along from friend to friend like wildfire. It is possible that thousands of people may have given up their personal information before the Starbucks scam app was removed by Facebook.
This connection between friends is what makes Facebook scams different than the email spam messages of the past. Email spam would just get sent to random people, typically by unknown senders, which made them relatively easy to block, filter or just ignore. Facebook scams, on the other hand, rely on trusted connections between friends in order to spread. Once someone has clicked on the link, the app re-posts that same link on their status, sending it out to all of their connections. Since a Facebook user would not be as suspicious of a message or link from a friend as they would with a random sender, there is a better chance of them opening the scam link or message and passing it on.
To avoid scams like this, it’s important to know the posting habits of your friends. For example, if friends are posting links when they normally do not post links, or they are linking to something you don’t think they are a fan of, there is a good chance that they have been scammed and didn’t even post the link in the first place. Most of these links are actually rogue Facebook apps installed on a user’s Facebook page. If you are ever taken to a Facebook application install page, pay attention to whether or not the application asks for authorization to post on your wall, and think carefully before granting that authorization—your friends will thank you.
Users should also avoid giving out personal information as a rule, especially in the case of promotional offers. Check the security setting on your Facebook profile, so that you are using “secure browsing”–that means there is an “https://” in front of the page URL rather than the “http://” that’s more common. Secure browsing has a tendency to block all apps, rather than just the scams, but the extra step it takes to open a link will prompt you to think twice about how secure it is. Finally, users can also keep track of ongoing scams and frauds by checking the Facebook page of Sophos, a company that monitors and reports scams, viruses and frauds that are spread throughout the Internet.
Overall, the best mentality to have when seeing promotions that offer gift cards and other goodies on Facebook is this: if something seems to be too good to be true, then it probably is.

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Brittany Lyons aspires to be a psychology professor, but decided to take some time off from grad school to help people learn to navigate the academic lifestyle. She currently lives in Spokane, Washington, where she spends her time reading science fiction and walking her dog.

Internet Scam Victims – Real Stories

When I first became a scam victim I was embarrassed and did not want anyone to know . . . that lasted all of 5 minutes and then I was angry at so many things . . . the scammers for their greed, the banking system for not giving me accurate information about how long it takes for a cashier’s check to clear, the wire transfer company for not having more warnings about these scams in their businesses and for turning a blind eye to the problem.

That is when I KNEW I had to do something.  I started to contact the media in order to get our story out there, and you know what . . . it HELPED!  It helped me to talk about it and get it out there, but it also helped so many other people.  My phone was ringing off the hook from people saying “The same thing happened to me” or from people who heard our story in the media in time for them to know the situation they were about to enter into was a scam and it saved them thousands of dollars.

If you are a scam victim, you could do the same thing for someone else.  I am contacted by the media in a regular basis asking for help in locating recent scam victims who would be willing to share their story.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that you saved someone else from going through the living hell that becomes your life when you discover you are a victim of a scam.

If you would like to be able to help to educate people about scams and fraud, and possibly save someone from becoming a victim, please email me and I will work to connect you with a media person that will do your story justice and help us to take a step forward in educating people about these scams.

Also, you can connect with me and follow our updates from http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch/

Survey on Scams and Fraud

A post-graduate researcher has asked us to help them with a survey they are doing.  I have personally taken this survey and feel it is safe for all of you to take, otherwise I would not even ASK for your help.  It does NOT ask for any personal information at all, just some questions on your feelings and thoughts on different real life situations.

Here is a link to the survey
http://survey.scamresearch.info//index.php?sid=43356&lang=en

And here is a link to some more information on the person doing this research if you are interested
http://scamvictimsunited.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=6529

Thank you for your help!  Please spread the word to other scam fighting websites that you know.

What’s your story?

I am being contacted by media personal, and I want to have a little info about people that may be willing to speak with them about why the topic of scams and fraud is so important to them. I was thinking of "sorting" them by states, since I usually get a media contact that wants someone in their state.

If you would be willing to speak to a media person about YOUR PERSONAL connection with the topic of scams and fraud here is an example of what I am looking for . . . mine would read like this

Shawn and Jeff Mosch
full mailing address for contact
best phone number for them to contact you at
best email address to contact you at

Summary:
Shawn and Jeff Mosch are scam victims turned Victim’s Advocate who work to educate people about internet scams. After their personal experience with a counterfeit cashier’s check scam in 2002, they found a lack of information and resources available at the time. This was the motivating factor in creating their website, ScamVictimsUnited.com. They continue to be passionate about this issue and work with other agencies to bring more awareness to the topic of scams and push for laws that will help to protect people from these scams.

--------------------------

It does not need to be long . . . if you were a victim it can just be the type of scam you were a victim of, when it happened and how much you lost.

<b>DO NOT POST YOUR INFO ON A MESSAGE BOARD ON IN A COMMENT TO THIS POST SINCE IT WILL INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT INFO!</b>
Please send it directly to me from my blogger contact info
http://www.blogger.com/profile/00668897360179366316
or contacting us through the Feedback page or our site which goes to our main Admin email address.
http://scamvictimsunited.com/feedback.htm

If you could put Summary and your name in the subject line that will help me find them all in my inbox

Thanks!

Things that are certain

I am going to guess that most of you have heard the quote from Benjamin Franklin who said, “The only things certain in life are death and taxes.”  Well Ben, I would like to add one more thing to that list . . . scams.  No matter what the season, reason or situation, scams will continue on.  The scammers may change the story, but once you peel back the layers of the story, the scam that remains is the same.


Here is an example of what I am talking about.  This is an email telling the recipient that they overpaid in their taxes and are entitled to a refund.

Overpayment Notification
Date of this Notice: MAR. 06, 2011Taxpayer Identifying Number: xxx-xx-xxxxForm: 1040
Tax Period: DEC. 31, 2010

Subject: Taxpayer Overpayment on Tax Refund
Dear Taxpayer:
Our records show you were overpaid on your Federal Tax Refund under Social Security Number xxx-xx-xxxx, therefore $380.00 of the overpaid Tax Refund must be returned.
This memorandum serves as notification of an overpayment of Tax Refund that you received and the subsequent repayment that is your responsibility.

The overpayment totals $380.00 for 1040/2010 filing period you were overpaid in error because of an incorrect Tax Adjustment causing an incorrect refund.

You are offered the following options of repayment within five (05) business days from today Mar. 11, 2011. Failure to respond timely will result in the immediate recovery of the overpayment, fines, and possible criminal prosecution.

If you disagree with the amount listed below, you have the right to an immediate Pre-decision Meeting with a person who has direct access to the agency appointing authority for this purpose.

A summary of the overpayment is as follows:

Here are your Re-payment Options: 1. Submit payment within five (05) business days of the “date of demand” to the account: Name(s) on Receiving Account: C Street: City: Zip Code: State: Country: United States Bank name: FIFTH THIRD BANK
Bank Account Number: Electronic ABA Routing Number(ex. Direct Deposit/Automatic Payment): Wire ABA Routing Number: Bank Address:348 Lincoln Highway, North Versailles, PA, 15137 Bank phone #:1-800-972-3030
2. Write on transfer reference: “Payment of Erroneous Refund” and your SSN. 3. Failure to comply within the given time frame will result in stiff penalties and interest accruals in excess of what is owed.

Sincerely yours,

WILLIAM C. MALAHAI19-06693Tax Assessment Supervisor

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