OWLCafé | Technology

Scams



Scams Revealed | Protection | Current Events | Reporting | Scenarios
Shopping Online


Surprise at the Front Door - Be very careful out there! Beware of people bearing gifts. The following is a recounting of the incident from the victim: Wednesday a week ago, I had a phone call from someone saying that he was from some outfit called: "Express Couriers,"(The name could be any courier company) He asked if I was going to be home because there was a package for me that required a signature. Read the whole story.


Social Networking Safety
Internet Safety for Kids | Guide for Parents
Kids’ Rules for Online Safety
The Essential Teen Internet Safety Guide
Cyber Security Tips
Tips for Safe Internet Banking
Tips for Identifying Fraudulent Emails
Putting Parental Controls on Child’s Mobile Phone


NEVER give a caller your credit card 3-digit security number from the back of your credit card. Chances are the caller already has your credit card number and only needs to obtain the 3-digit number to make purchases. Report to your credit card bank if anyone tries to obtain your number. Read Snopes.com for more information about this scam.


Watch Your Bags
The Booster Bag Scam will make you think twice about where you set your purse or bag down in an airport, hotel, coffee shop, or anywhere else a thief might be lurking.


How Fast can a Car Disappear?
Three empty tin cans and 18 inches of wire and your car is gone! Amazingly simple. This carjacking was caught on a security camera in a parking lot. Watch how fast this happened.

More YouTube videos about fraud and scams


This is a Fraud! DO NOT RESPOND to any email like this . . .

-----Original Message-----
From: Yahoo - Microsoft Online Draw <with some email address here>
Sent: Wed, Jun 6, 2012 1:51 pm
Subject: You are a Winner

Dear Winner, Congratulation. you have won the sum of usd$1,000.000.00 from the 2012 UN aid programme. your Ref No.is 150018IPD contact Mrs Grace on this email (with some email address here) quoting your Ref.No. for your claim and clarification
Thanks You, Cory Moisey



Here's some great advise. We found it as one of those "pass it along" emails. It's been cleaned up and ready to give to you. Print it out and keep it with your important papers as a reminder. Avoid Fraud


Profiles of Elder Abuse Victims and Scammers - NOLO Law for All

Scammers target elders that they perceive to be vulnerable - those that are isolated, lonely, physically or mentally disabled, unfamiliar with handling their own finances, or have recently lost a spouse.


Common Scams Affecting Seniors
How to Report Fraud
Advance Fee Loans Work-at-Home/Business Opportunity Ploys
Credit Repair Scams Sale of Annuities
Fake Check Scams Reverse Mortgage Abuse
Foreclosure Rescue Scams Prizes/Sweepstakes Fraud
Home Improvement Fraud Predatory Lending
Identity Theft Phony Charities
Living Trust Scams Investment Fraud

Scams Revealed

Home Based Business Scams - New scams are being invented everyday and therefore the number of scams that are circulated increase.

Hoax-Slayer - Stay informed about the latest email hoaxes and scams by subscribing to the Hoax-Slayer Newsletter.

What is elder fraud? - Portland Police Bureau

Signs of a Scam

Frauds & Scams - Snopes.com


True or False?

Medical Claims - Is what you hear from your neighbor true or false?

Travel Myths? - Check it out before to leave the country.

Recognize the Scam Quiz


Protection

Protect Yourself from Fraud - Identity theft is the number one fastest growing crime in America. The easiest ways to avoid trouble.

Verify Phone - VerifyPhone.com is one-stop site for area code lookup, phone number lookup, and free phone number reviews. Start tracing Phone Numbers using our premium Reverse Number Lookup service now!

Scam Busters - Internet Scams, Identity Theft, and Urban Legends: Are You at Risk?

Experian - Take steps now to protect yourself from credit fraud. Learn the warning signs and get the information you need to prevent credit fraud and identity theft. By being informed about the sources that credit thieves use to steal personal information, you can better protect yourself from becoming a victim.

 

Snopes.com - Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation. Use the search box above to locate your item of interest, or click one of the icons below to browse the site by category.

USA,gov - Consumer Frauds, Scams, and Tips to help you avoid scams and fraud.

Fraud Guides - Almost every day consumers are confronted with a variety of scams including credit card fraud, identity theft, travel scams, medical fraud, counterfeiting and misrepresentation of products and/or services.

Postal Scams - Outside the fast lane of cybercrime, crooks still use "snail mail" postal scams to target victims.


Reporting Fraud

scambook.com - Report scams - The leading Complaint Resolution Platform for Consumers and Businesses

Internet Crime Complaint Center - Report Fraud to the FBI, The IC3 accepts online Internet crime complaints from either the actual victim or from a third party to the complainant. We can best process your complaint if we receive accurate and complete information from you.

 

US Office of Inspector General - The OIG Hotline accepts tips from all sources about potential fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in Department of Health & Human Services' programs.

FBI - Learn about current scams and how to report abuse.

Stop Fraud -  Information on how specific types of fraud complaints or cases of suspected fraud can be submitted to federal agencies.


Shopping Online

1. Keep a clean machine: Keep all web-connected devices ‒ including PCs, smartphones and tablets ‒ free from malware and infections by running only the most current versions of software and apps.

2. Lock down your login: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.

3. Make your password a sentence: A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!

4. Unique account, unique password: Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.

Get Safe Online Expert Advice - There are risks associated with online shopping and you need to take care with what you are buying, from whom, and how you pay for your purchases.

SafeShopping.org - American Bar Association Tips

StaySafeOnline.org - Learn how to protect yourself and your family with these tips.


Scenarios - Credit Card Fraud

SCENE 1. A friend went to the local gym and placed his belongings in the locker. After the workout and a shower, he came out, saw the locker open, and thought to himself, 'Funny, I thought I locked the locker... Hmm, 'He dressed and just flipped the wallet to make sure all was in order. Everything looked okay - all cards were in place... A few weeks later his credit card bill came - a whooping bill of $14,000! He called the credit card company and started yelling at them, saying that he did not make the transactions. Customer care personnel verified that there was no mistake in the system and asked if his card had been stolen... 'No,' he said, but then took out his wallet, pulled out the credit card, and yep - you guessed it - a switch had been made. An expired similar credit card from the same bank was in the wallet. The thief broke into his locker at the gym and switched cards. Verdict: The credit card issuer said since he did not report the card missing earlier, he would have to pay the amount owed to them. How much did he have to pay for items he did not buy? $9,000! Why were there no calls made to verify the amount swiped? Small amounts rarely trigger a 'warning bell' with some credit card companies. It just so happens that all the small amounts added up to big one!

SCENE 2. A man at a local restaurant paid for his meal with his credit card. The bill for the meal came, he signed it and the waitress folded the receipt and passed the credit card along. Usually, he would just take it and place it in his wallet or pocket. Funny enough, though, he actually took a look at the card and, lo and behold, it was the expired card of another person. He called the waitress and she looked perplexed. She took it back, apologized, and hurried back to the counter under the watchful eye of the man. All the waitress did while walking to the counter was wave the wrong expired card to the counter cashier, and the counter cashier immediately looked down and took out the real card. No exchange of words --- nothing! She took it and came back to the man with an apology.. (This scenario actually happened to me at a local restaurant- Falls Terrace-between the waitress and the front desk cashier.) Verdict: Make sure the credit cards in your wallet are yours. Check the name on the card every time you sign for something and/or the card is taken away for even a short period of time. Many people just take back the credit card without even looking at it, 'assuming' that it has to be theirs. FOR YOUR OWN SAKE, DEVELOP THE HABIT OF CHECKING YOUR CREDIT CARD EACH TIME IT IS RETURNED TO YOU AFTER A TRANSACTION!

SCENE 3. Yesterday I went into a pizza restaurant to pick up an order that I had called in. I paid by using my Visa Check Card which, of course, is linked directly to my checking Account. The young man behind the counter took my card, swiped it, then laid it on the counter as he waited for the approval, which is pretty standard procedure. While he waited, he picked up his cell phone and started dialing. I noticed the phone because it is the same model I have, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Then I heard a click that sounded like my phone sounds when I take a picture. He then gave me back my card but kept the phone in his hand as if he was still pressing buttons. Meanwhile, I'm thinking: I wonder what he is taking a picture of, oblivious to what was really going on. It then dawned on me: the only thing there was my credit card, so now I'm paying close attention to what he is doing.. He set his phone on the counter, leaving it open. About five seconds later, I heard the chime that tells you that the picture has been saved. Now I'm standing there struggling with the fact that this boy just took a picture of my credit card. Yes, he played it off well, because had we not had the same kind of phone, I probably would never have known what happened. Needless to say, I immediately canceled that card as I was walking out of the pizza parlor. All I am saying is, be aware of your surroundings at all times. Whenever you are using your credit card take caution and don't be careless. Notice who is standing near you and what they are doing when you use your card. Be aware of phones, because many have a camera phone these days.