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Never Ending Scams

Identity Theft and Credit Protection Guide
:)Thanks to the class of Ms. Ward and Katelyn (3/20/2013)

One of the fastest growing crimes in our technology-filled world is the crime of identity theft and the resulting credit fraud that often results.

Identity theft can take many different forms, and different types of personal information can become compromised. For example, many identity thieves typically look to illegally gather personally identifying information, such as legal name, address, social security numbers, dates of birth and account numbers. From this information, thieves can then assume people's identities and apply for loans, credit cards and even conduct transactions, without the true owners being aware of the situation. Because of identity theft and credit fraud, thousands of U.S. consumers are scammed to the tune of nearly one billion dollars each year.

Identity thieves employ a number of different methods to obtain the personal identification information they need to commit fraud, including the following: Click here to view the protection guide at netcredit.com

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Online Deals, Coupons and More: A Complete Guide to Shopping Safely Online
:)Thanks to Marylyn for sharing this (4/28/2012)

Todayís modern shopping experience is much different from previous generations. In the past, traditional brick and mortar stores were the only way to receive goods or services. The information superhighway has expanded consumerís shopping horizons and now making purchases online is almost more prevalent than in stores. More and more consumers are increasingly making purchases solely online and actual storefronts are changing their ways to keep customers coming through the door. Since many retailers are now offering online shopping options, it is important that consumers remember to stay safe while cruising and shopping on the Internet. Understanding the basics of Internet security is a great way to help protect you from any fraudulent activity on your credit card or bank account as well as identity theft. Know the warning signs and learn how to make smart online purchases, and you can buy things on the web without fear.
Learn more click here.

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Online Identity Theft Prevention Tips
:) Thanks to Nancy for sharing this with us! - 4/7/2012)

One day you could be applying for some type of loan. Maybe itís a car loan or a credit card or maybe even a mortgage. Suddenly, the loan officer informs you that your loan has been declined because of a delinquent credit account that shows up on your credit card, and you know nothing about this account. What happened? You may have become a victim of Identity Theft.

Click here to view this important info

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:)Thanks again to Sarah for sharing this valuable resource with us! added 2/22/2012)

Online Couponing and Shopping - Basic Consumer Safety

Before starting an online transaction, take time to read the following consumer safety tips. While there are opportunities for a deal around every corner, shoppers need to be prepared. For more information, check out any one of the included resources. A little online shopping savvy goes a long way.

Be a Cautious Consumer

Protect Your Privacy

Cyber Security Tips for Shopping Safely Online

And much more click here!

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Learn about...

Financial Identify Theft Ė Financial identify theft is the action of stealing another personís identity in the form of personal information, such as bank account or credit card numbers, to receive benefits in that personís name.

Criminal Identity Theft Ė Criminal identity theft occurs when a person represents themselves as someone else and gives another personís personal information to law enforcement during an arrest or investigation to avoid a criminal record in their own name.

Identify Cloning Ė Identify cloning is the process of obtaining another personís name, social security number and other personal information in order to hide themselves from law enforcement or creditors.

Business or Commercial Identity Theft Ė Business or commercial identity theft occurs when services or purchases are made to a personís business account or domain account.

And Identity Theft Laws and Fraud.

Click here for scambusters.org/, another good resource!

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Credit Card and Identity Theft Resource Guide

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Please Read........Another way to lose everything !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just last weekend on Friday night we parked in a public parking area. As we drove away I noticed a sticker on the rear window of the car. When I took it off after I got home, it was a receipt for gas. Luckily my friend told me not to stop as it could be someone waiting for me to get out of the car. Then we received this email yesterday:

'WARNING FROM POLICE BEWARE OF PAPER ON THE BACK WINDOW OF YOUR VEHICLE--NEW WAY TO DO CARJACKINGS (NOT A JOKE)'

Heads up everyone! Please, keep this circulating... You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. You start the engine and shift into Reverse. When you look into the rearview mirror to back out of your parking space, you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you shift into Park, unlock you r doors, and jump out of your car to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view. When you reach the back of your car, that is when the carjackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off. They practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.

And guess what, ladies? I bet your purse is still in the car. So now the carjacker has your car, your home address, your money, and your keys. Your home and your whole identity are now compromised!

BEWARE OF THIS NEW SCHEME THAT IS NOW BEING USED.

If you see a piece of paper stuck to your back window, just drive away. Remove the paper later. And be thankful that you read this e-mail. I hope you will forward this to friends and family, especially to women. A purse contains all kinds of personal information and identification documents, and you certainly do NOT want this to fall into the wrong hands.

Warning For Women...Serious!

MAKE SURE YOUR DAUGHTERS, FRIENDS, RELATIVES, ETC. KNOW!

This was written by a guy from KVLY-TV in Fargo.

This is something that happened to us on the way back from vacation last week. At first I didn't think much of it until now. The reason we were a little suspicious is we had been riding in a jeep all day with 100 degree temps and we stopped at a truck stop for something to drink.

When I was leaving, a young girl followed me out and asked what kind of cologne I was wearing.

Well, after 7 hours in the car sweating, I don't think you could tell if I was or was not wearing any cologne. We just got in the jeep and said no thanks.

Then it was about 3 weeks ago, I was at a service station in Birmingham getting gas. It was about 9:30 pm. I was approached by 2 men and 2 women in a car. The man that was driving asked me 'What kind of perfume do you wear?'

I was a bit confused and I asked him 'Why?'

He said, 'We are selling some name brand perfumes, at cheap prices.

I said I had no money. He then reached out of the car and handed me paper that was laminated; it had many perfumes on it. I looked quickly at it and gave it back. I said, have no money. He said it is OK, we take check, cash, or credit cards.

Then the people in the car began to laugh. I just got in my car and said no thanks.

Then I received this e-mail yesterday and it sent chills up my spine.

Please read this. It is no joke. Here is the e-mail I was sent:

....

Dear Friends:

I know not all of you are women that I am sending this to, but am >hoping you will share this with your wives, daughters, mothers, sisters, etc. Our world seems to be getting crazier by the day. Pipe bombs in mail boxes and sickos in parking lots with perfume. Be careful. I was approached yesterday afternoon around 5:30 PM in the Wal-Mart parking lot by two men asking what kind of perfume I was wearing. Then they asked if I'd like to sample some fabulous scent they were willing to sell me at very reasonable rate. I probably would have agreed had I not received an e-mail warning of a "Wanna smell this neat perfume?" scam.

The men continued to stand between parked cars, I guess to wait for someone else to hit on. I stopped a lady going towards them, pointing at them and told her about how I was sent an e-mail at work about someone walking up to you at the malls or in parking lots and asking you to SNIFF PERFUME that they are selling at a cheap price or at least compare to which one you like best.

THIS IS NOT PERFUME... IT IS ETHER!

When you sniff it, you'll pass out. They'll take your wallet, your valuables and heaven knows what else. If it were not for this e-mail, I probably would have sniffed the 'perfume' but thanks to! the generosity of an e-mailing friend, I was spared whatever might have happened to me.

I wanted to do the same for you.

PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO ALL YOUR WOMEN FRIENDS AND PLEASE BE ALERT AND BE AWARE. IF YOU ARE A MAN AND RECEIVE THIS, PASS IT ON TO YOUR WOMEN FRIENDS.

Ladies, this happened to me yesterday and I didn't smell the perfume either, thanks to this email. This is true. Believe me, I know. I was over by Big Lots in the parking lot at lunch time when I was approached.

So either day or night, it does not matter. There were 3 guys together when I was approached. I called the police when I got back to my desk.

Like the email says above, LET EVERYONE KNOW ABOUT THIS - YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, CO-WORKERS, whomever. It helped me. The first thing that popped into my head was this e-mail warning.

MAKE SURE YOUR DAUGHTERS KNOW!

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"You're Under Investigation": A New IRS Email Scam

The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers to avoid falling for another new variant of an IRS email scam in which victims receive a fake email claiming they are the subjects of a criminal probe by "IRS Criminal Investigation."

The email states that the recipient filed a false tax return to the California Franchise Tax Board, and must click on a link in the email -- or download an attachment -- to learn more about the complaint.

Anyone clicking on the link or opening the attachment will unleash a Trojan Horse that can take over the person's hard drive and allow scammers to gain remote access to the computer.

"The IRS [urges] people not to click the link in the email or open the attachment. "Similar email variations suggest a customer has filed a complaint against a company and the IRS can act as an arbitrator. The latest versions appear aimed at business taxpayers as well as individual taxpayers.

"The IRS does not send out unsolicited emails or ask for detailed personal and financial information. Additionally, the IRS never asks people for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts."

IRS News room article

The IRS asks that anyone receiving such emails forward them to phishing@irs.gov

Action: If you receive ANY unsolicited email supposedly from the IRS, DELETE it.

It's 100% guaranteed phony!

Discover more IRS email scams, including an IRS audit scam and scam regarding checking for refunds here.

and here

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Fake Red Cross Telephone Scam Targets Military Spouses

In a particularly insidious scam, telephone callers pretending to be Red Cross representatives are contacting military families with relatives overseas, claiming that a family member has been hurt, and that personal and financial information must be supplied before treatment can begin.

Although many people are aware that identity thieves request this kind of information over the telephone, military spouses are certainly more vulnerable when they receive this kind of call.

Therefore, scammers have found that this is an effective way to get military spouses to give personal and financial information that they would not usually consider giving out. After all, they want to make sure their spouse is treated as quickly as possible.

The Red Cross has issued a press release about this scam here.

It reads, in part:

"The American Red Cross has learned about a new scam targeting military families. This scam takes the form of false information to military families as described below:

"The caller (young-sounding, American accent) calls a military spouse and identifies herself as a representative from the Red Cross. The caller states that the spouse's husband (not identified by name) was hurt while on duty in Iraq and was med-evacuated to a hospital in Germany.

"The caller stated they couldn't start treatment until paperwork was accomplished, and that in order to start the paperwork they needed the spouse to verify her husband's Social Security number and date of birth. In this case, the spouse was quick to catch on and she did not provide any information to the caller.

"The American Red Cross representatives typically do not contact military members/dependents directly and almost always go through a commander or first sergeant channels. Military family members are urged not to give out any personal information over the phone if contacted by unknown/unverified individuals, to include confirmation that your spouse is deployed."

Action: Do NOT give out personal information if you receive this type of call. If you have a family member serving overseas, remember that the American Red Cross will NOT contact you directly, unless you first contact them.

This isn't the first time scammers have posed as members of the Red Cross or other charitable organizations -- and sadly we know it will not be the last time.

You can find out more about how to protect yourself from other fake charity scams here.

///////////////////////// Watch out for the distant learning scam

Many people are interested in distance education -- attending college around your busy schedule by way of the Internet. And as you might imagine, there are a LOT of distance learning scams.

Many reputable schools offer real distance learning degrees, but others are quite simply scams -- diploma mills where the main qualification for your degree is your signature at the bottom of a check.

Click here for the rest of the information

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The Hit Man scam

Question: I received this email and I assume it's a scam, but it is very scary nonetheless:

--- Begin Scam Email ---

Subject: Leave Or die

Dear Frend

It is important we come to a conclusion now or never because I have been hired to kill you. this is the simple fact and I have been paid well for this job to be sincere with you. I have your full data's. from your name. to your address.to your phone numbers including this email address. I watch you everyday since the past two weeks and I know where you go and when you come back and everything you do. Do not dare me. I am a born killer. which is what I do to survive. I was born and brought up in Mexico.

Never the less, I do not want to kill you. rasons best known to me. only if you will comply with my ransom and I will let you go and even send you the pictures of the person in charge (Who Paid me to kill you) including a very important video tape that you might need

NOTE: No Police. Ignore this message if you wish to die. I give you 5 days to comply or I will come for you. I am presently on another assignment. You have your choice.

[Name Deleted]

(No Traces)

Reply to: [Email deleted]

--- End Scam Email ---

So, I opened it today. Have you seen any of these scams?

Thank you for your assistance.

Answer: Yes, this scam was first seen last December, and it is one of the scariest email scams people receive. It's called the Hitman scam. You can see another example of a Hitman scam email and read about it here:

http://www.scambusters.org/hitman.html

Often the scammer tells you upfront how much money they want, and we've seen amounts as high as $150,000!

Action: We recommend you follow the steps in the article on Hitman scams above. This is one scam you'll want to report to the police and the FBI.

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Beware the "Robot" Virus

In issue #232 of ScamBusters on fake antivirus software, we reported that scammers sometimes use pop-ups to convince computer users that their systems are infected with a virus. By doing so, they hope to con people into downloading REAL viruses or buying rogue "security" software.

http://www.scambusters.org/fakeantivirus.html

Recently, we learned of another twist on this scam.

In the past few weeks, potential victims began receiving emails such as the following:

--- Begin Fake Virus Alert ---

Subject: Warning!

Dear Customer,

Our robot has detected an abnormal activity from your IP adress on sending e-mails. Probably it is connected with the last epidemic of a worm which does not have official patches at the moment.

We recommend you to install this patch to remove worm files and stop email sending, otherwise your account will be blocked.

Customer Support Center

--- End Fake Virus Alert ---

In reality, this poorly-worded email claiming to be from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), is actually directing you to download a Trojan.

According to Mcafee.com, the "Robot" virus (W32/Nuwar@MM) will -- among other things -- "terminate applications based on window name. Applications using the following text in their window name will be terminated within a few seconds of launch: mcafee, taskmgr, hijack, f-pro, lockdown, msconfig, firewall," etc.

http://www.mcafee.com

Although the virus was first detected in November 2006, and has been given a variety of names by different security vendors, this particular email is new.

If you think there is a chance that an email like this is legitimate, your best prevention is to contact your actual ISP to determine if they really sent such an email. Chances are excellent that they didn't.

And as always, NEVER download anything from the Internet, or click on a link in an email, unless you're positive about the source!

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Area Code Spam

We actually received a call last week from the 809 area code. The woman said "Hey, this is Karen. Sorry I missed you--get back to us quickly. I have something important to tell you." Then she repeated a phone number beginning with 809. "We didn't respond".

Then this week, we received the following e-mail:

Subject: DON'T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809 , 284 AND 876

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION PROVIDED TO US BY AT&T. DON'T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809

This one is being distributed all over the US . This is pretty scary, especially given the way they try to get you to call. Be sure you read this and pass it on. They get you to call by telling you that it is information about a family member who has been ill or to tell you someone has-been arrested, died, or to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc. In each case, you are told to call the 809 number right away. Since there are so many new area codes these days, people unknowingly return these calls.

If you call from the US , you will apparently be charged $2425 per-minute.

Or, you'll get a long recorded message. The point is they will try to keep you on the phone as long as possible to increase the charges. Unfortunately, when you get your phone bill, you'll often be charged more than $24,100.00.

WHY IT WORKS:

The 809 area code is located in the British Virgin Islands (The Bahamas).

The charges afterwards can become a real nightmare. That's because you did actually make the call. If you complain, both your local phone company and your long distance carrier will not want to get involved and will most likely tell you that they are simply providing the billing for the foreign company. You'll end up dealing with a foreign company that argues they have done nothing wrong.

Please forward this entire message to your friends, family and colleagues to help them become aware of this scam

Sandi Van Handel AT&T Field Service Manager (920)687-904

Related...click here

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