Let your voice be heard

Are you one of those people who will stand up and say something about an issue that you think is wrong?  How do you go about finding others who also feel the same way that you do?  Blogs and social networking sites can be a great way for you connect with like minded people so that you can join together to try and make an impact to change the issues that are important to you.

Since I have a Twitter account I get a notification when I get a new follower, and I always check out that new follower’s page to see if they are connected to any resources that might be a good fit to team up with.  Here are a few recent ones that I wanted to share with you.

LoanFraudVictim – This Twitter user has a website at http://wellsfargomortgagefraud.com/ detailing the story of her battle to hold Wells Fargo accountable for the damage they did.

NetWatchDog – This Twitter user is from the website http://theinternetwatchdog.com/ which is filled with information on internet scams and fraud.

WFmortmodscam – Working to keep Wells Fargo Home Mortgage or another lender from stealing your home? It’s time to fight back! Blogging at wellsfargomortgagemodscam.com/blog/

BanksGoneBad – Florida mortgage pro who has seen banks fraudulently foreclose on homeowners as well as perpetrate fraud on investors and bond holders. I’m helping 2 fight back  http://banksgonebad.com/

What Would You Do?

I wanted to share the following link with you.  The show What Would You Do sets up scenarios and sees if people will jump in to assist.  The one that aired last night had a segment on Nigerian Scams.  The producers of this show actually had contacted me some time ago because they wanted a scam victim to speak with, but we were not able to find one that was willing to speak with them.

You can watch the video of the episode at
or read the transcript at
I would also encourage you to leave your comments on the topic at the link with the transcript.

Scammers use fear to get money

When a potential victim thinks that they might be on to the scammer, the scammer may use fear to try and get the person to send them the money.  Sometimes it is the fear of “I know where you live” and sometimes it is the fear of arrest, as once scammer tried to use in the email below . . . .

From: Charles Boothe ;hondaprelude7188@gmail.com

This is to inform you that due to your illegal action in the process of the Cleaner job offer to you concerning the check issued to you. I was informed by my bank that the check issue has been cleared and yet i haven’t got any reply from you,
For your information as you know all your contact details is with me so i have get the FBI informed,i also gave them your contact details for them to locate you. You may have any explanation to tell them and any information you may be holding for them concerning the payment i sent to you.I know they will get you soon,You may think that i have acted so rude by doing this but i am very sorry.You make me act like that because you never let me know what is going on.
I am very sorry for any inconvenience that i might have cause concerning this job offer and the way i act. Get back to me to confirm you get this email.
Best Regard

No matter what the scammer says, do not send them the money.  They did not contact the FBI, because the check that you were sent was counterfeit.

Waring to all that sell online!

Here is one of those times where my two internet lives collide . . . I have my crafting blog and my scam education and awareness blog . . . and this topic will be posted on both of them.

I was made aware by a post on our scam fighting message board that recently several Stampin’ Up demonstrators have received emails from people wanting to purchase items and pay with a cashier’s check.  This is a scam that we have seen variations of for years on our website, and if the scammers are doing it to Stampin’ Up consultants, it is only time before they start to target other places that sell crafting items.

The scammer will request to purchase items and send a cashier’s check as payment.  If the check arrives, and it is for more than the amount of the items, the scammer will apologize for the error and ask you to deposit the check and wait for it to clear, and then wire the extra money back to them.  If the check is for the correct amount, once you have received the check and deposited it, the scammer will contact you letting you know that they need to cancel the order and will request that you return the money to them by wire transfer . . . they may even tell you to keep a portion of the money for your time and trouble.

If this situation matches one that you hear of, it is a scam.  The cashier’s check will come back as counterfeit later on and you will be held liable for the entire amount of the check.  Just because the bank has told you that the check is “good”, “clear” or “verified” does NOT mean that the money from that check is “real” and that you are safe . . . in most cases, in about a week or two, the bank will contact you and hold you liable for the money.  People have lost thousands of dollars due to these scams, and there is no way to recover this money because the scammers are in another country . . . it would have to be the law enforcement and government in that country that would have to do something about these scams.

To learn more about these and other scams, go to my website ScamVictimsUnited.com

PayPal Scam

I wanted to share a PayPal scam email that I found in my inbox, and how you can tell that it is a scam.

Dear PayPal customer, 

Our company has intended a new feature that will improve the Online Banking security. Upgrading our systems will help protect our customers accounts from 3rd-party access and reduce fraud. This process has started on 14th January, 2011 and will be closed on 19th January, 2011.

All our members are required to update their account profile for the new databases. Filling our online form will take about 3-5 minutes from your time.

To access our profile update form click on the following link to login to your account:

Click here to go to the online form

Please note that failure in updating your profile will result in account suspension.

Alison Grudzinski,
IT Assistant Manager,
PayPal Inc.


____________
Now . . . how to tell that this is a scam email
First, companies like PayPal or credit cards will NEVER send you and email asking you to update your information.
Second, if there was a new PayPal feature upgrade, there would be information on it when you logged into your account.  No need for an email if you just tell people about it when they log in.
Third, the window of when it started to when it ends is VERY small.  They do this to make you want to rush and go and update your account right away, instead of keeping the email in your account for months.
Fourth, the click here to go to the online form.  Again, if there really was an upgrade, they would ask you to log into your account, and you would already know how to do that and where to go, so no need for a link.
And last, the link itself.  I have removed the link from the “Click here” wording so that no one will go there, but when it was active you could hover your cursor over it, and you would be able to see where it REALLY points to, and it is NOT a PayPal site.
Here is an image of what the site would look like if you would have clicked on the link.
They make it look like it really is PayPal, but the URL address is not PayPal.
These types of scams are called Phishing scams (pronounced Fishing)

 

What Would You Do?

Every day we make choices . . . grab some fast food for breakfast, or have some fresh fruit . . . walk up the stairs or take the elevator . . . you can follow the crowd or stand alone. What would you do?

This is the basis of the television segment What Would You Do on ABC.  They set up scenarios that are supposed to make you stop and think, and then they let the hidden camera roll to catch on tape what people really do in these situations.

Now, you might ask what this show has to do with this scam blog.  It turns out that they are looking to do a segment where one of the scenarios will be a person that is entering into a situation that is clearly a scam.  Will people warn them or just let them go on believing that this is all real?

They would also like to partner this with an interview with real life scam victims who would be willing to share their story.  If you are a scam victim who is willing to share your story please contact me.  They would prefer someone in the New York Tri-State Area, since that is where their production studios are located.

The Sophistication of Scams

I just got done reading the article Scams achieve a new level of sophistication which does a good job at pointing out that anyone can become the victim of a scam.  Here are my two cents that I added as a comment to the article . . .

These scams have been evolving for years now, and the WORST part about any of the counterfeit cashier’s check scams is the fact that when someone wants to find out if the check is legitimate and they take it to the bank for them to look at . . . because of course the average person would assume the bank can spot a counterfeit check . . . the banking customer is told that it is “good”, “clear”, “verified” and that “funds are available”.  Look up good, clear and verified in the dictionary and by definition the average person would then assume that there is no problem in cashing and using the money from a check that is “good”, “clear” and “verified”.  But this is where we as banking customers make a mistake . . . we trust our banks are giving us accurate information.

These checks can come back weeks and even months later as counterfeit, and the bank CUSTOMER is held liable for the entire amount, the the bank, who verbally told us it was “good”, “clear” and “verified”.

How about the banks start telling people the truth?  That it could take 10 business days or more for the check to be “good”, “clear” and “verified”.  Is that too much to ask?