Checking Into Foreign Lotteries and Sweepstakes- August 9, 2013
Have you received an official-looking letter saying you won a foreign lottery or sweepstakes? Responding to it can be tempting: After all, maybe there’s a possibility that you won some money that could turn your dreams into reality!
Robocall Scams Push Medical Alert Systems- July 18, 2013
The latest in unwelcome, illegal, prerecorded sales calls are from scammers pitching a safety alert system for older adults.
The callers spoof a phone number so it looks like a local call on caller ID. If you pick up, you’ll hear a message saying you’re eligible for an alert system, or system upgrade, or that someone bought a system for you. The message asks you to “press one” on your phone to talk to a live operator, who will quickly ask for a bank account, credit card, or Medicare number, and maybe an address, to “expedite shipping and handling.”
Utility Bill Scam- June 2013
The Better Business Bureau says that a new utility bill scam is popping up throughout the U.S. and Canada. And it involves an approach to get people to part with their money by using a prepaid debit card.
Scammers are calling people and claiming to work for a local electric, water or gas company. The callers tell people that they're late on a utility bill and that their service will be cut off if they don't pay immediately. Then they instruct the victim to purchase a prepaid debit card to pay their bill and call them back with the card number. Thieves then drain the value from the card.
Scammers Now Accepting Green Dot MoneyPaks- May 2013
A MoneyPak lets you go to a supermarket or drug store (more than 60,000 places nationwide) and convert cash into digital currency that can be loaded onto a prepaid debit card or added to a PayPal account. The MoneyPak card you buy at the store is a deposit slip. It gives you access to that money via the 14-digit authorization code on the back.
“As soon as the victim gives the scammer that code, they use it to load all of your money onto their prepaid card,” explained Karen Hobbs at the Federal Trade Commission. “Then they can run to an ATM and get all of the money in cash or they go to an electronics store and buy things that are easily fenced. Once that money is offloaded, it is essentially irretrievable.”
The Affordable Care Act: When Scams Follow the News- May 2013
The Affordable Care Act is in the news lately. And one thing we’ve learned at the Federal Trade Commission is that scams often follow the news. Natural disaster? Charity scams will follow. Implementation of a major new law affecting millions of people? Scammers will be there.
To cut through some of the clutter in the environment with all the articles and discussion of the Act, here’s one key fact to hold onto that can help spot and avoid scams: You can’t sign up yet.
Is Your Mobile Bill a Cram Sandwich?
- April 2013
Five Ways to