Archive for Scams

Are You Susceptible To Scams?

Scam-Alert1If you haven’t already, chances are good that you’ll have a run-in with a scammer. It might be a phishing email asking you to click on a link, a phone call telling you your computer has been compromised, or a contractor who shows up at your door ready to trim your trees. Scams are everywhere. Each and every day, scammers are finding new and clever ways to cheat people out of their hard-earned money. While schemes are constantly changing, the characteristics of a scam victim remain fairly constant. Understanding what scam victims have in common can help you avoid being an “April Fool” and falling for the next scheme that comes your way. A few characteristics of someone who is more susceptible to scams are, they are afraid of being rude, they live alone, they don’t read the fine print and they rush into decisions. So, before you say yes to anything, The Better Business Bureau of Western North Carolina says think twice and be cautious! For more information and resources contact the BBB at 1-800-452-2882.

Grandparent Scam

ScamsMany seniors have been ripped off in recent years by scam artists posing as grandchildren. In most versions of the scam, the phony grandchild claims to have gotten into trouble while traveling overseas and needs cash to get out of the jam. But some seniors knew that their grandchildren weren’t overseas, so the crooks came up with a new variation of the scam. Now the phony grandchild pretends to have caused an accident that injured a foreign tourist visiting the U.S., and claims to be in a local jail until he or she pays the tourist’s medical bill. The money needs to be sent overseas because the tourist has returned home to recover. In both versions of the grandparent scam, the con artist is using a common scam technique: playing on the emotions of a potential victim, in this case a grandparent who wants to help their grandchild. And in both versions the goal is the same: to get the grandparent to wire a large amount of cash overseas. Remember, once you’ve wired money to another country, it’s gone. Be skeptical anytime someone asks you to send money overseas, no matter who they claim to be. If you think you or someone you know might have been scammed or contacted by a scammer, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.


Affordable Care Act Scam Alert

As reported on in past news stories by WRGC, the first day of enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is October 1. On that day, people will be able to begin shopping for insurance plans on the newly created Health Insurance Marketplaces. Unfortunately, scammers are likely to use these changes as an opportunity to try to rip you off.

While the scammers’ approaches may differ, their goal will be the same: to con you into paying money that you don’t need to pay, sell you a fake product, or trick you into providing private information like Social Security or bank account numbers. They’ll try to get you to rush into action without taking the time to think it through or ask questions.

If someone asks for money to help you sign up for insurance, or presses you for sensitive personal information, here’s the best prescription: Hang up the phone, close the door, or delete that text or email.

Authorities are keeping a close eye on potential scams related to health care reform. For reliable information about the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, visit www.healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596. If you’ve been the victim of a scam, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office on our website or call us at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina.

Summer Job Seekers Shoud Beware of Scams

Students across North Carolina are getting out of school for the summer and many are looking to land a summer job. Unfortunately, scammers use the lure of employment and potential earnings to try to rip off eager job seekers.

There are many ways to tell a phony job offer from a legitimate opportunity:

· Be skeptical of high earnings claims. Jobs that promise big money for simple tasks or say you’ll earn thousands of dollars a week by working from home are usually too good to be true.

· Don’t agree to wire or ship money. Steer clear of job opportunities that promise you’ll earn a commission by working as a mystery or secret shopper, transferring money through your account, cashing checks, or repackaging and shipping merchandise.

· Be suspicious if you’re asked for money upfront. Don’t agree to pay to get a job or to apply for one. If you’re asked to pay for training or education, check it out thoroughly.

· Check out the company thoroughly including online, with your local Better Business Bureau, and by calling our office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. Ask for a physical address and verify it. Simply having a presence online doesn’t make a company legitimate.

· Guard your personal information. Don’t provide your Social Security Number or other personal financial information to a potential employer unless you’ve checked out the company thoroughly and know the job is legitimate.

· Get it in writing. Walk away if a potential employer won’t give you details of the job in writing, including job duties, hours and what you’ll be paid.

If you spot a possible job scam, report it to 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a consumer complaint online at ncdoj.gov.

This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Social Security Administration Warns of a New Scam to Steal Benefits

The Social Security Administration recently released a new fraud advisory. The advisory is in regard to a newly emerging scam where identity thieves are attempting to steal Social Security benefits. The Inspector of Social Security Administration is warning the public and, in particular Social Security benefit recipients of a scam that involves identity thieves obtaining private information of beneficiaries and then utilizing that information to open a ‘My Social Security’ account on the Social Security website. If the scam is successful the thieves can then use the account to redirect Social Security deposits into a different bank account controlled by them. The Inspector General went on to say that this should in no way discourage people from using the Social Security Administrator ‘my security’ feature on their website. The truth is that by establishing your account you eliminate the risk of a new account being opened in your name by an identity thief. This feature enables the public to view their earning history and estimated benefits and allows beneficiaries to obtain a host of services online. To help prevent this type of fraud the Inspector General recommends that you do the following:

 ·         Never provide personal information when receiving unsolicited calls or contacts

 ·         Never agree to accept pre-paid debit cards or credit cards in another person’s name

 ·         Never agree to send or wire money to an unknown person

 ·         Always contact your local SSA office if you receive a call from a person claming to be from SSA, and that person asks you to provide your social security number or other personal information.

 If you think you may have already been a victim of this new scam you are strongly encouraged to call the Social Security Administrations free customer service line at 1-800-772-1213 or visit your local Social Security office.