Scam of the Day

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Scam of the day – September 27, 2020 – Dropbox Scam

Dropbox is a popular service that enables you to store photos, documents and other information in the cloud.  I recently received an email from someone whose name I did not recognize that purported to include a document stored in Dropbox.  I was instructed to click on a link to view the document.  The email is reproduced below, but I have disarmed the link.  If you hovered your mouse over the link while it was activated, you would have seen that it did not relate to Dropbox.  This is just a phishing scam intended to lure the victim into clicking on the link in which event the victim will either be told to provide personal information that will be used by the scammer to make the person a victim of identity theft or merely by clicking on the link, the victim will unwittingly download keystroke logging malware that will enable the identity thief to steal all of the personal information on the victim’s computer or smartphone and use it to make the person a victim of identity theft.

 

                                          

Sarah Lamstein invited you to view pdf document “Review – CONFIDENTIAL” on Dropbox.

View Document

Enjoy!
The Dropbox team

TIPS

The particular phishing email presently being circulated appears to be legitimate, however, it is not sent by a email address used by Dropbox.  If the email does not appear to originate with dropbox.com, dropboxmail.com or other legitimate Dropbox email addresses, which you can find  by going to this link https://www.dropbox.com/help/217#email you can immediately dismiss the email as a phishing scam.  However, even if the email address appears legitimate you should still be skeptical and contact the company at a phone number or email address that you know is legitimate to find out if the email is legitimate.  Here is a link you can use to contact Dropbox about issues with your account.  https://www.dropbox.com/support.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – September 26, 2020 – Delivery Text Message Scam

The Federal Trade Commission is reporting a substantial increase in a scam by which people are receiving text messages that appear to come from UPS, Federal Express or the U.S. Postal Service indicating that there is a package that has been waiting to be delivered and needs to be claimed.  While this scam has been around for years, it has become more common during the pandemic with more people doing online shopping.  Reproduced below is a copy of one of these text messages.  The text message lures you into clicking on a link to provide information to schedule the delivery.  In one version of this scam the link takes you to what appears to be an Amazon website where you are asked to take a customer satisfaction survey.  You are told that if you will be sent a prize for merely taking the survey and they ask for a credit card number from you to pay for the shipping of your “free” prize.  In other versions of this scam, you are asked under other pretenses for your credit card number for verification purposes.  In both of these instances, the scammer is merely interested in getting your credit card number and making unauthorized charges.  In yet another version of the scam, merely clicking on the link provided will download dangerous malware such as ransomware or keystroke logging malware that can lead to your becoming a victim of identity theft.

Text blurb that says: Thomas, we came across a parcel from March pending for you. Kindly claim ownership and schedule for deliver here: (blurred link).

TIPS

There are a lot of red flags to indicate that this is a scam.  Many of the text messages don’t provide the name of who they purport to be.  If you got a legitimate message from a delivery service, it would indicate which delivery service was sending you the text message.  In addition, the phone number sending you the text message is generally not a phone number used by the USPS, Federal Express or UPS although more sophisticated criminals would be able to “spoof” the number of these legitimate delivery services to make it appear that the text message was trustworthy.  The bottom line is that you should never click on any link in a text message unless you are absolutely sure and have confirmed that it is indeed legitimate.  If you have any concerns that such a text message might be legitimate, you can do a reverse phone lookup to see who actually owns the phone number used to text you or, more simply, call the USPS, Federal Express or UPS to see if anyone actually did send you such a text message whereupon you will be told that they did not.  Federal Express specifically has indicated that it does not send unsolicited text messages. Neither the USPS nor  UPS will send you a text message unless you have already signed up for their text message service.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – September 25, 2020 – Wildfire Charity Scams

Natural disasters, such as the recent wildfires in California and the Pacific Northwest have caused tremendous destruction  Natural disasters such as this bring out the best in people who want to donate to charities to help the victims. Unfortunately natural disasters also bring out the worst in scammers who are quick to take advantage of the generosity of people by contacting them posing as charities, but instead of collecting funds to help the victims of the fires these scam artists steal the money for themselves.

Charities are not subject to the federal Do Not Call List so even if you are enrolled in the Do Not Call List, legitimate charities are able to contact you. The problem is that whenever you are contacted on the phone, you can never be sure as to who is really calling you so you may be contacted either by a phony charity or a scammer posing as a legitimate charity. Similarly, when you are solicited for a charitable contribution by email or text message you cannot be sure as to whether the person contacting you is legitimate or not.

TIPS

Never provide credit card information over the phone to anyone whom you have not called or in response to an email or text message. Before you give to any charity, you may wish to check out the charity with http://www.charitynavigator.org where you can learn whether or not the charity itself is a scam. You can also see how much of the money that the charity collects actually goes toward its charitable purposes and how much it uses for fund raising and administrative costs.  Charity Navigator has a listing of specific charities that it has vetted that are good choices for anyone wishing to help the victims of the California and Pacific Northwest widlfires.  Here is a link to a list of legitimate charities vetted by Charitynavigator.org for you to consider if you want to donate to help the people harmed by these wildfires.https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=7574

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – September 24, 2020 – Deadly Ransomware Attack

I have been warning you about the dangers of ransomware for five years, but today’s ransomware story involves the first reported incident where a ransomware attack has actually resulted in a fatality.  A hospital in Germany was forced to turn away patients coming to its emergency room due to its computers being unusable as a result of which one of the patients sent to another hospital twenty miles away died due to the delay in getting treatment. Ransomware is the name for malware that once installed on a computer, often unwittingly through clicking on links in spear phishing emails, encrypts and locks all of the victim’s data. The cybercriminal who sent the ransomware then threatens to destroy the data unless a bounty is paid. Ransomware attacks have been made against government agencies, companies and individuals.  Like all forms of malware, ransomware must be downloaded on to your computer in order to cause problems.  This is generally done by luring people to click on links or download infected attachments contained in spear phishing emails.

For the last five years protection from ransomware has focused on backing up your data daily so that if you do become a ransomware victim, you do not feel compelled to pay the ransom because your data has been protected.  However, recently,  some cybercriminals have changed their tactics in regard to ransomware.  A week ago the University of Utah announced that it had paid $457,059 to cybercriminals who used ransomware to attack the University’s computers and encrypt its data.  What was unusual about this was the fact that the University of Utah had backed up all of its data and was in no danger of losing the data if it did not pay the ransom.  However, in a relatively new tactic that has been employed against law firms and others recently, the cybercriminals threatened to make public the sensitive information they stole if a ransom was not paid.  We are now seeing about 10% of ransomware attacks involve the making public of data accessed by the cybercriminals.

TIPS

Because ransomware attacks as well as most other types of malware attacks are spread through phishing emails that lure unsuspecting people into clicking on malware infected links or downloading attachments tainted with malware, you should never click on links in emails  or download attachments unless you have absolutely confirmed that the email is legitimate.  Ransomware attacks are not limited to cities and large institutions.  They are also used to attack individuals and extort money from them.

You also should update all of your electronic devices with the latest security updates and patches as soon as they become available, preferably automatically.  Many past ransomware attacks exploited vulnerabilities for which patches had already been issued.   The No More Ransom Project has a website that provides decryption tools for some of the older versions of ransomware that are still being used.  Here is a link to their website  https://www.nomoreransom.org/en/decryption-tools.html  It is important, however, to remove the ransomware before downloading and using the decryption tools.  This can be done using readily available antivirus software.  It is also important to remember that even if you have the most up to date security software on your computer and phone, it will not protect you from the latest zero day defect malware which is malware that exploits previously undiscovered vulnerabilities.

Another precaution you should follow is to regularly back up all of your data on at least two different platforms, such as in the Cloud and on a portable hard drive.  However, this will not protect you from a ransomware attack that threatens to make public your data, so everyone should truly focus on not just protecting data in the event of a ransomware attack, but on preventing such attacks through security software and training to recognize phishing and spear phishing emails.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – September 23, 2020 – Google Voice Scam

Today’s Scam of the day was sent to me by a Scamicide reader who listed a small item for sale on Craigslist along with his cell phone number for people to contact him.  Someone responded to his ad through a text message indicated that they were interested in purchasing the item, but wanted to verify that he was a real person by sending a 6 digit code that they would send in a separate text message.  The Scamicide reader’s Scamdar (a word I invented to describe when you are suspicious of a scam, similar to radar) was activated and he did not provide the 6 digit code which was a good thing because the person answering the advertisement was indeed a scammer.  The scam involves the Google Voice/Google Phone service which is a free phone number provided to you by Google.  Calls to that number are forwarded to your cell phone.  In order to set up a Google Phone number you need to provide your phone number for verification purposes.  Google then texts or calls you with a 6 digit code that you must enter online to finish the process.  The good new is that if you fall for the scam and send the 6 digit code to the scammer, you won’t lose any money, however, you can be sure that a scammer will be using your phone number to perpetrate scams and hide his or her tracks.

TIPS

If you do fall for the scam, you need to get your personal number back.  This is a somewhat complicated process.  Here is a link tht takes you to the instructions found in the Google Voice Help Forum.  https://support.google.com/voice/thread/845902?hl=en

A good rule to remember to avoid this problem is to never enter any 6 digit code on calls or text messages from Google unless you have initiated the process and requested that your number be used for your Google Voice Account.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – September 22, 2020 – Another Nigerian Email Scam

Today’s Scam of the day is another version of the Nigerian email scam that continues to plague the online community. Although it may seem that the Nigerian email scam began in the era of the Internet, the origin of the scam actually goes back to 1588 when it was known as the Spanish Prisoner Scam.  In those days, a letter was sent to the victim purportedly from someone on behalf of a wealthy aristocrat who was imprisoned in Spain under a false name.  The identity of the nobleman was not revealed for security reasons, but the victim was asked to provide money to obtain the release of the aristocrat, who, it was promised, would reward the money-contributing scam victim with a vast reward that included, in some circumstances, the Spanish prisoner’s beautiful daughter in marriage.

In the most common versions of this scam circulating on the Internet today, you are promised great sums of money if you assist a Nigerian or someone elsewhere in his effort to transfer money out of his country.  Other variations include the movement of embezzled funds by corrupt officials, a dying gentleman who wants to make charitable gifts, or a minor bank official trying to move the money of deceased foreigners out of his bank without the government taking it.  The example below of the email  received by a Scamicide reader involves a program to compensate fraud victims.  In most variations of this scam, although you are told initially that you do not need to contribute anything financially to the endeavor, you soon learn that it is necessary for you to contribute continuing large amounts of money for various reasons, such as fees, bribes, insurance or taxes before you can get anything.  Of course, the victim ends up paying money to the scammer, but never receives anything in return.  This particular version of the scam uses the name of a real person, General Laura J. Richardson who unfortunately has had her name used by scammers since at least 2013.  One indication that this email is a scam is that it is not addressed to you by name, but plainly was sent as a mass mailing seeking to ensnare multiple victims.

Here is a copy of the email presently being circulated.

From: “Gen. Laura J. Richardson” <gen.laura.richardson@filescompany.net>
Subject: HELLO
Date: September 18, 2020 at 8:55:10 AM CDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

 

I’m Laura Richardson, A staff General in the US Army presently serving in Syria as a combat instructor, I sincerely apologize for intruding into your privacy, this might come as a surprise to you, but nothing is more distressing to me at this time as i find myself forced by events beyond my control, i have summoned courage to contact you. Am 45 years old lady, am a widow and I had a son who is now 16 years of age.

Some money in various currencies where discovered in barrels at a farm house in the middle East during a rescue operation in Iraq War, and it was agreed by Staff Sergeant Kenneth Buff and myself that some part of these money be shared between both of us, I was given a total of ($5 Million US Dollars) as my own share , I kept this money in a consignment for a long while with a security Company which i declared
and deposit as my personal effects and it has been secured and protected for years now with the diplomatic Delivery Service.

Now, the WAR in Iraq is over, and all possible problems that could have emanated from the shared money has been totally cleaned up and all file closed, all what was discovered in the Middle East is no more discussed, am now ready to retire from active services by the end of this year, but, i need a trustworthy person that can help me take possession of this funds and keep it safe while i work on my relief
letters to join you so that we could discuss possible business partnership together with the money.

But I tell you what! No compensation can make up for the risk we are taken with our lives.  You can confirm the genuineness of the findings by clicking on this web site.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east********stm

I’m seeking your kind assistance to move the sum of US$5 Million Dollars to you as far as I can be assured that the money will be safe in your care until I complete my service here in (SYRIA) before the
end of the year.

The most important thing is; “Can I Trust you”?,As an officers on ACTIVE DUTY am not allowed access to money, therefore, i have declared the content of the consignment as personal effect that i would like to be delivered to a friend. You will be rewarded with 30% of this funds for your help, all that i required is your trust between us till the
money get to you.consent to me I am looking forward to hear from you.

Sincerely,

Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson
TIPS

This is a simple scam to avoid.  It preys upon people whose greed overcomes their good sense.  If you receive such an email, the first thing you should ask yourself is how does this possibly relate to you and why would you be singled out to be so lucky to be asked to participate in this arrangement.  Since there is no good answer to either question, you should merely hit delete and be happy that you avoided a scam.  As with many such scams, which originate outside of the United States, the punctuation and grammar are often not good. Often the emails are sent from an email address that has no relation to the purported sender which is an indication that the email is being sent through a botnet of hacked computers. In addition, it is important to note that nowhere in this particular version of the scam email is your name mentioned. The scam email is obviously being sent out as a mass mailing.  The entire email is merely a hoax intended to sound official and legitimate.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – Spetember 21, 2020 – Scammers Posting Phony Real Estate Listings During the Pandemic

During the Coronavirus pandemic, more and more people are going online looking for apartment rentals rather than meet with landlords in person.  Fortunately, there are many online listings of legitmate real estate agents and landlords.  These websites can be easy and efficient ways to locate a home. However, unfortunately there are also many scammers attempting to rent apartments to you that they do not own.  Scammers often go to Craigslist and other similar sites to post their phony apartment listings.   The scam usually starts with a listing that looks quite legitimate and there is a good reason for that.  The listing is often a real on-line listing that has been copied by the scammer who merely puts in his or her name and contact information.  The price is usually very low which attracts a lot of potential renters.  The potential renters are sometimes told that the owner is out of the country and that there are many people interested in the property so if the tenant wants to be considered for renting it, the tenant has to wire money to the landlord somewhere outside of the country immediately.  As I have warned you many times, wiring money is a scammer’s first choice because it is all but impossible to retrieve once you learn that you have been scammed.  Too often, unwary potential tenants wire the money and never hear anything further from the scam landlord.  As for the money, it is gone forever.

TIPS

There are a number of red flags to look for in home rental scams.  First, as always, if the price looks too good to be true, it usually is just that – not true.  Also be wary of landlords who are out of the country.  Never send your payment by a wire transfer or a cashier’s check.  Use a credit card, PayPal or any other payment system with which you can retrieve your funds if the transaction is fraudulent.  It is usually best to deal with websites that specialize in home rentals but you must remember that they cannot possibly monitor every listing to ensure that it is legitimate.  A great and easy way to determine if the listing is a scam is to check out who really is the owner by going on line to the tax assessor’s office of the city or town where the property is located and look up who the real owner is.  If it doesn’t match the name of the person attempting to rent you the home, you should not go through with the rental.  Also Google the name of the owner with the word “scam” next to his or her name and see if anything comes up to make you concerned.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – September 20, 2020 – More Presidential Campaign Scams

A month ago in the Scam of the day for August 31st I told you about presidential campaign scams involving solicitations by telephone for campaign contributions by scammers posing as campaign workers for the major candidates.  However, scammers taking advantage of interest in the presidential election have a variety of other scams that they are perpetrating at this time as well.  Political candidates and PACs supporting them will try to contact you through email and text message solicitations, but unfortunately, you can never be sure when you are contacted in this fashion if the communication is coming from a legitimate source or a scammer.

Another common election time scam involves a call purportedly from your city or town clerk informing you that you need to re-register or you will be removed from the voting lists.  You are then told that you can re-register over the phone merely by providing some personal information, such as your Social Security number. Again, through spoofing, the scammer can manipulate your Caller ID to make the call appear as if it is coming from your city or town clerk.  Scammers will take this information, if provided, and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.

Political polls have been a major part of our election process for years.  Generally, people are contacted by telephone to answer questions about the candidates and their policies. Because it is so common at this time of year to be called by a political pollster scammers call posing as pollsters in an effort to trick their victims into providing information that can be used for purposes of identity theft.  Often they will dangle the reward of a gift card or other prize to lure people into participating in the scam poll.  Even if you are registered with the federal Do Not Call List, political pollsters are allowed to contact you.  Unfortunately, through spoofing, criminals can manipulate your Caller ID to make it appear as if the call is coming from a legitmate pollster.

TIPS

Never click on links that may come attached to such politically related emails or text messages because the risk of downloading dangerous malware is too great.  Instead, if you are inclined to contribute to a particular candidate or PAC, go directly to their website to make your contribution, but  make sure to confirm that you have gone to the real website and not that of a scammer posing as the candidate or PAC.

As for registration scams, the truth is that you will not be called by your city or town clerk and told that you need to re-register and voter registration is not done by phone.  If you have any concerns as to your voting registration status, you can go to your city or town’s website and learn if you are registered or call your city or town clerk to confirm your status.

Finally, legitimate pollsters do not offer prizes or other compensation for participating in their polls.  They also will never ask for personal information such as your Social Security number, credit card number or banking information.  Anyone posing as a pollster asking for such information is a scammer and you should hang up immediately.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – September 19, 2020 – Porn in Cloud Account Scam

People are reporting receiving calls that purport to be from Apple’s Special Investigations Unit telling them that illegal child pornography has been discovered on you cloud account.  The phony investigator is sympathetic when you inform them that you never stored child pornography on the cloud or anywhere else.  He or she tells you that most likely the child pornography was somehow planted by a hacker on your computer and it is being backed up in the cloud.  In order to remedy the problem, the phony Apple investigator tells you he or she needs remote access to your computer in order to locate and remove the child pornography from your computer.  The cost of this service can be as high as thousands of dollars which the phony investigator requests be paid through Amazon gift cards.   This scam presents a double whammy.  Victims of the scam not only pay the scammer for services they don’t need, but by providing remote access to their computers, they enable the scammer to install a wide variety of malware that can lead to identity theft and further scams.

TIPS

Even if your Caller ID indicates that the call is coming from Apple, your Caller ID can be manipulated easily through a technique called “spoofing” by which the scammer can make your Caller ID read whatever he or she wants it to read.  One way you can be sure if you receive such a call that it is a scam is that neither Apple nor any other tech company is going to call to inform you that there is child pornography on your computer. Also, Apple does not have a Special Investigations Unit.  Additionally, legitimate tech companies do not accept Amazon gift cards or any other form of gift card as payment for their services.  As for enabling someone to have remote access to your computer, you should never do so unless you have absolutely confirmed that the remote access is legitimately warranted and the person to whom you are giving the remote access is also legitmate.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – September 18, 2020 – Online Trading Academy Settles Claim of FTC

In March I told you about the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suing the investment training company Online Trading Academy (OTA) and its principals for fraud.  Now the FTC has settled its claims agains the OTA and its principals.  As a part of the settlement, the defendants will be paying millions of dollars to the FTC who will be refunding  the money to victims of the scam.  The Online Trading Academy lured people largely through seminars into purchasing its phony investment trading programs for as much as $50,000.  The Online Trading Academy scammed victims out of more than 370 million dollars over the last six years.  According to the FTC, OTA told people that it had a patented strategy that would enable people using the strategy to make substantial income trading stocks whether the stock market was “going up, down or sideways.”  OTA also provided false testimonials from people OTA wrongfully misrepresented as successful traders who used its strategy.  Finally, according to the FTC, customers requesting refunds were required to sign contracts preventing them from making negative comments about OTA or reporting them to law enforcement agencies.

TIPS

Never rush into any investment or other opportunity being sold through a seminar until you have carefully investigated the people selling their investment or system as well as the investment or system itself.  Always be a bit skeptical as to testimonials which should also be carefully investigated before being relied upon.  Before investing with anyone, you should investigate the person offering to sell you the investment with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Central Registration Depository.  This will tell you if the broker is licensed and if there have been disciplinary procedures against him or her.  You can also check with your own state’s securities regulation office for similar information.  Many investment advisers will not be required to register with the SEC, but are required to register with your individual state’s securities regulators.   You can find your state’s agency by going to the website of the North American Securities Administrators Association. https://www.nasaa.org/investor-education/how-to-check-your-broker-or-investment-adviser/ Many investment advisers will not be required to register with the SEC, but are required to register with your individual state securities regulators.  You should also check with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for information about the particular  investment adviser. https://www.finra.org/investors/protect-your-money/ask-and-check

It is also important to remember that you should never  invest in something that you do not completely understand.  This was a mistake that many of Bernie Madoff’s victims made.Annuities are a legitimate investment, but are both quite complicated and not appropriate for everyone which is why you should make sure that you understand all of the details of an annuity before buying or surrendering one.  You also may want to check out the SEC’s investor education website at www.investor.gov.  Scammers can be very convincing and it may sound like there is a great opportunity for someone to make some money, but you must be careful that the person making money is not the scam artist taking yours.

Millions of dollars recovered by the FTC from Online Trading Academy and its principals through the settlement will be refunded to victims of their scam.  If you were a victim of this scam, go to the “FTC Scam Refunds” tab in the middle of the first page of http://www.scamicide.com for information about what you need to do to claim your refund.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

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