Be sure to watch out for Russian phishing scams. This one in particular has sent fake invoices to an administrative email address through PayPal (as seen in screenshot) and also sent through the postal service. They most likely get your information from somewhere in GoDaddy’s systems and then pose as GoDaddy itself to try to get money out of you, or even use the payment information to steal your identity.
In this example, you can see that the GoDaddy image they used through the PayPal invoice is not the actual GoDaddy logo. Then below that, you can see that the person sending the invoice is obviously Russian. Make sure you don’t use PayPal for paying ANYTHING without confirming with the actual source first.
If you’ve gotten a fake invoice through PayPal, forward them the email to email@example.com and they’ll investigate it for you.
When you decide to support a cause you care about, you want your donation to count. Doing some research and planning your giving can help ensure your donations get where they’ll do good. Here are tips to help you plan your donation– and avoid scams.
Do some research online
Looking for a charity to support? Search for a cause you care about – like “hurricane relief” or “homeless kids” – and phrases like “best charity” or “highly rated charity.”
When you consider giving to a specific charity, search its name plus “complaint,” “review,” “rating,” or “scam.”
If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it. That’s how scammers ask you to pay.
To be safer, pay by credit card or check.
It’s a good practice to keep a record of all donations. And review your statements closely to make sure you’re only charged the amount you agreed to donate – and that you’re not signed up to make a recurring donation.
Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. That’s something scammers do.
Some scammers try to trick you into paying them by thanking you for a donation that you never made.
Scammers can change caller ID to make a call look like it’s from a local area code.
Some scammers use names that sound a lot like the names of real charities. This is one reason it pays to do some research before giving.
Scammers make lots of vague and sentimental claims but give no specifics about how your donation will be used.
Bogus organizations may claim that your donation is tax-deductible when it is not.
Guaranteeing sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a donation is not only a scam, it’s illegal.
If you see any red flags, or if you’re not sure about how a charity will use your donation, consider giving to a different charity. There are many worthy organizations who will use your donation wisely.
Report scams to FTC.gov/complaint. Find your state charity regulator at nasconet.org and report to them, too. Share any information you have – like the name of the organization or fundraiser, phone number, and what the fundraiser said.
Organizations that can help you research charities
These organizations offer reports and ratings about how charitable organizations spend donations and how they conduct business:
You probably know that COVID-19 tests are in short supply. But did you know there’s no shortage of scammers setting up fake COVID-19 testing sites to cash in on the crisis?
The fake sites can look real, with legitimate-looking signs, tents, hazmat suits, and realistic-looking tests. And the damage these fake testing sites can cause is very real. They aren’t following sanitation protocols, so they can spread the virus. They’re taking people’s personal information, including Social Security numbers, credit card information, and other health information – all of which can be used for identity theft and to run up your credit card bill. Worst of all, they’re not giving people the help they need to stay healthy. In other words, these testing sites are bad news.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking into testing sites.
If you think you should get tested, ask your doctor. Some people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. They may not need to be tested, according to the CDC. Not sure if you need to get tested? Try the CDC’s self-checker.
Get a referral. Testing sites are showing up in parking lots and other places you wouldn’t expect to get a lab test. Some of these are legit – and some are not. The best way to know is to go somewhere you have been referred to by your doctor or state or local health department’s website. In other words, don’t trust a random testing site you see on the side of the road.
Not sure if a site is legit? Check with your local police or sheriff’s office. If a legitimate testing site has been set up, they should know about it. And, if an fake testing site is operating, they’ll want to know.
Spotted a fake COVID-19 testing site? We want to hear about it. Report it at ftc.gov/complaint.
“Scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both. Don’t let them,” the FBI said. “Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits.”
Unsolicited emails that prompt you to click on an attachment should always raise a red flag when you’re checking your inbox. But these classic email phishing scams still lure unsuspecting users into downloading malicious items and giving up their login information every day.
With the news that the government is going to issue payments of up to $1,200 in coronavirus relief to US taxpayers in the coming month, the FBI recently issued a warning to be on alert for attackers masquerading as the agency and asking for personal information supposedly in order to receive your check. “While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money,” the warning said.
Among other steps to create a safer inbox, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency recommends turning off your email client’s option to automatically download attachments. Not all email clients offer this and each client is different, but some do. Because social engineering attacks — scams designed to persuade you to hand over your sensitive information by targeting specific information about you — have become increasingly common in times of crisis, it’s also a good idea to read up on how to identify these security risks.
And remember, never reveal personal or financial information in an email, or respond to requests for it.
This scam is to discuss DEBTORS who scam companies and received services or merchandise and not pay. Here is a recent one. Debtor: American Midwest Clothing Inc Contact Name: Adnan Paryani Address: 2846 West 48th Place City: Chicago State: IL Zip: 60632 Country: USA Phone 1: 1-714-706-2830 Balance: $3,267.50 Business Name: FIVE STAR CLOTHING (01/15/2019) Phone: (312) 788-4404 (CT) FIVE STAR CLOTHING Business Name: AMERICAN MIDWEST CLOTHING INC (01/24/2014 to 01/15/2019) Phone: (714) 706-2830 (PT) AMERICAN MIDWEST CLOTHING INC Services remdered..Freight charges.
Crowdfunding is one way to support a project you believe in and get rewards for that support. But the project you’re backing is only as good as the people behind it. Some dishonest people can take your money but produce nothing – no product, no project, and no reward.
Here’s how crowdfunding works: People called “creators” ask for small amounts of money from lots of people to fund projects through websites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. In exchange, creators offer rewards to contributors, like a product that the creators are trying to make. Sounds great…unless the creators don’t create anything but profit for themselves.
In its lawsuit against iBackPack, the FTC says people shelled out over $800,000 via crowdfunding campaigns. The company said those funds would help it provide consumers with backpacks and shoulder bags with built-in batteries for charging mobile devices. But, according to the FTC, iBackPack’s claims that bags would soon be going out to consumers were lies. What’s more, the FTC’s investigation found that the money the creators took in from their campaigns generally didn’t go toward what they said it would. Instead, the FTC says, iBackPack’s CEO pocketed a large part of the funds for his own personal use. And when people began to complain, the CEO allegedly threatened some of them – adding that he knew their addresses and other personal information.
If you’re thinking about contributing to a crowdfunding campaign, take a minute to research the creator’s background and reviews before you pay. For example, has the creator engaged in previous campaigns? How did those campaigns turn out?
Fraudsters are dipping their toes in the water by making mysterious — yet familiar — charges on users’ credit and debit cards.
Recently, more scammers. have been using iTunes as a disguise to make fraudulent purchases. According to financial site MoneyTips, the charge looks something like this: “APL*ITUNES.CON/BILL 866-712-7753 CA.”
The majority of the charges start out small (so small, the cardholder likely won’t notice them at first glance).
When you detect a charge that looks like the one above, MoneyTips recommends checking your purchase history. under the Apple account linked to the card in question to see if they add up.
One of the most sensitive pieces of personal information is a consumer’s Social Security number (SSN), used by companies, the government, and other institutions to identify individuals–and highly sought-after by identity thieves.
In our era of data breaches, electronic transactions, and privacy concerns, scammers are aware of how concerned consumers are about guarding their SSNs, and that is why we are seeing an increase in the “Social Security imposter scam.”
The Federal Trade Commission received more than 76,000 reports about the Social Security imposter scam in the past 12 months alone. With average losses of $1,500, this new scam is quickly becoming one of fraudsters’ favorite tricks.
The scam usually begins with a consumer receiving a call from someone claiming to be with the Social Security Administration. The caller informs the victim that their SSN has been suspended because it was stolen or has been involved in a crime.
In a variation on this scam, the caller may also reach out to tell a victim that they qualify for an increase in benefits. All they need to do is provide the scammer with some information. Typically, these callers will ask their victims several questions to get personal information that they can then use to steal their identity or drain their bank accounts.
Because of the numerous data breaches, these scammers may have access to accurate personal information—such as an individual’s real SSN—that they can use to build trust and appear legitimate. Regardless, before concluding the scam, fraudsters will almost always request payment to “unfreeze” the SSN or to process the increase in benefits. The scammer may request that they be paid via an unusual payment method such as by gift card, or some form of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
One complaint we received from a consumer in Florida is typical of the scam:
“I received a call from the Social Security office explaining my Social Security number had been stolen and someone is committing money laundering [with the number].” The thieves had “abandoned a car with drugs in it, [that was] purchased in my name [and] found in Texas.”
In order to resolve the issue, the consumer was “told to secure assets by purchasing gift cards,” and provide the gift card numbers to the Social Security office. The consumer was told that he would receive a refund equal to the amount he paid to unfreeze their account by the Federal Reserve in a few weeks.
Unfortunately, the consumer never received a refund, and he lost nearly $20,000 to this scam.
While the scam can be devastating, there are several steps you can take to prevent yourself, and your loved ones, from falling victim to this scam:
Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers are very good at spoofing your caller ID to make it appear they are calling from a government agency. If you receive an unexpected call from Social Security, don’t answer it. Instead, call Social Security’s customer service number at 1-800-772-1213 to see if they were actually trying to contact you.
Remember, Social Security will never suspend your Social Security number. If someone contacts you saying your number has been suspended, they are trying to steal from you.
Social Security will never call and demand that you wire them money or pay them with gift cards or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Any supposed Social Security officer that makes this request is a fraudster.
Don’t give out your personal information on request. If you are asked to confirm your Social Security number or bank account number by a phone call or email you did not initiate, it is a scam.
Don’t trust a caller just because they know some of your personal information. Sadly, due to numerous data breaches, we have received reports that fraudsters are providing victims with their SSN to build trust. Just because an individual knows your Social Security number or some other piece of personal information, they are not necessarily legitimate.
Spread the word. The Social Security imposter scam is relatively new, and many Americans may be unaware of it. To prevent additional victims from falling for this scam, we need your help. Please mention this scam, or forward this alert, to friends and loved ones. Together, we can stop this scam from growing, and protect Americans from identity theft, and prevent victims from losing their savings to fraudsters.
The Social Security imposter scam can be difficult to detect and is growing in popularity. If you come across this scam, or if you fall victim to it, report it! You can file a complaint at Fraud.org via this secure online complaint form. We’ll share your complaint with our network of more than 90 law enforcement and consumer protection agency partners who can and do put fraudsters behind bars.
The Federal Trade Commission has charged Worldwide Processing Group with illegally purchasing and collecting debts that people didn’t owe or had disputed. The FTC reported the company knew the debts were fake, but collected them anyway.
This group also collected fake debt from a Kettering woman who lost hundreds of dollars as part of the scam that she reported through the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.
“Protect yourself and stay up to date by regularly pulling your credit reports and reviewing account statements. Keep track of money owed so if you receive a call from a collection company, you know what is legitimate and what is not,” John North, president and CEO of BBB serving Dayton/Miami Valley said.Here are some tips to protect yourself from debt collection scams:
Ask the debt collector to provide official validation notice of the debt: In the U.S., debt collectors are required by law to provide this information in writing. The notice must include the amount of debt, the name of the creditor and a statement of your rights. If the collector won’t provide the information, hang up.
Ask for more information: If you do own money and aren’t sure if the caller is real, ask for his or her name, company, street address and telephone number.
Do not provide bank account, credit card or other personally identifiable information over the phone: If the collector is legitimate, he or she should have details on the accounts in question.
Hang up if you don’t have any outstanding loans: Don’t press any numbers or speak to an agent.
Check your credit report: This will help you determine if you have outstanding debts or if there has been suspicious activity.
Place a fraud alert on your credit report.
Research the company: Use trusted third-party resources, such as your BBB. Visit www.bbb.org or call 937-222-5825 or 800-776-5301 to get a Business Profile on the company.