Scam of the Day

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Scam of the day – October 31, 2020 – FTC Releases 2020 National Do Not Call Registry Data Book

Since it began in 2003, the National Do Not Call list has grown to include more than 241.5 million phone numbers.  When you register your phone number with the Do Not Call list it becomes illegal for telemarketers to contact you by phone.  The Do Not Call list does not apply to charities so you still may be contacted by charities even if you have registered for the Do Not Call list. However, when you receive a call from someone purporting to be representing a charity, you can never be sure who is really calling so you should never give your credit card number to someone who calls you allegedly from a charity. If you are interested in a particular charity, contact the charity directly to make your contribution.

If you are registered for the Do Not Call list and you do receive a call from a telemarketer, you can be confident that the call is a scam because no legitimate telemarketer would call you if you are enrolled in the Do Not Call list. It is also important to note that while telemarketing is not in and of itself illegal, telemarketing through robocalls is always illegal.   Registering for the Do Not Call list will not stop robocalls. Illegal automated robocalls continue to be a major source of complaint for many people with the most common subjects of illegal robocalls being debt reduction, vacation offers,  timeshares and warranty plans.

Each year, the Federal Trade Commission issues an annual report for the Do Not Call List and this year’s report for the Fiscal Year 2020 (October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020)  has some interesting data.  The majority of complaints filed by consumers involved robocalls, the automatic prerecorded calls used often by scammers.  Many of those robocalls were also classified as impostor scams where the caller falsely claims to be an official from the IRS, the Social Security Administration or some other governmental agency.

TIPS
Registering for the do not call list is easy and free.  Merely go to http://www.donotcall.gov to register your phone number.

As for impostor scams, it is important to remember that your caller ID is not fool proof. In fact, it is a very simple task to spoof a telephone number.  You cannot trust your caller ID to accurately inform you as to who is really calling you.  You should never provide personal information to anyone over the phone whom you have not called.  If you ever receive a call requesting personal information and you think it might possibly be legitimate, merely hang up and call the entity back at a number that you know is accurate and even then do not provide personal information unless there is a real need for it.   Additionally, neither the IRS nor the Social Security Administration will ever initiate contact with you by phone, email or text message.

There are a number of  options for preventing robocalls including a number of apps that for free or a small fee will  reduce and in some instances prevent robocalls.
Samsung’s SmartCall informs you if the call you are receiving is from a known robocaller. This feature is available with newer Samsung Galaxy phones. Here is a link to information about SmartCall and instructions as to how to activate this app.
http://www.samsung.com/levant/apps/smart-call/

Google also has a spam blocker that will warn you when you are receiving a robocall and your screen will turn red. Here is a link to information about the app and how to install it.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.dialer&hl=en

AT&T also offers free apps to block robocalls on iPhones and Android phones. Here is a link to information about these apps.
https://www.att.com/features/security-apps.html?partner=LinkShare&siteId=TnL5HPStwNw-yrUS1uDw9WGvN._xt67yew&source=ECay0000000CEL00O

Verizon’s CallerName ID is a free service for iPhones and Android phones that will alert you to suspected robocallers. Here is a link to Verizon’s app.
https://www.verizonwireless.com/solutions-and-services/caller-name-id/

T-Mobile offers a free scam blocker of known robocallers for Android phones which you can activate by merely dialing #662#

Sprint offers a paid service to protect your iPhone or Android phone from robocalls. For more information, use this link
http://explore.t-mobile.com/callprotection

For landlines as well as smartphones there are a number of apps such as Nomorobo, Truecaller, Hiya, RoboKiller and YouMail that offer robocall blocking for free or for small monthly charges. Here is a link to those apps. I have used Nomorobo for years and find it to be tremendously useful

https://www.nomorobo.com/
https://www.truecaller.com/
https://hiya.com/
https://www.robokiller.com/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.youmail.android.vvm&hl=en_US                                                                                                                                                                                                                         https://www.youmail.com/home/apps

Finally, you can just choose to ignore any calls that come from numbers you do not recognize.   This is a good option.  If they are legitimate calls, they will leave a message and you can call them back.  In particular, if a robocall does leave a message, you should listen to it right away in case it is one from a legitimate source.

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 – October 30, 2020 – Dangerous Cell Phone Scams

Today’s Scam of the day was prompted by an email from a Scamicide reader whose wife was contacted by an acquaintance asking for her cell phone number and  to participate in a transaction where she would receive code numbers by text mesage that she was asked to forward to the acquaintance.    The nonsensical reason for this charade given to the Scamicide reader’s wife was that this complicated arrangement was a way for the acquaintance’s daughter to place orders for keto diet products which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  The truth is that this arrangment  is related to two possible scams.

In the first possible scam, the scammer uses your phone number to request a free Google Phone number.  Someone who has your phone number can request a free Google phone number from Google which will send you a confirmation text message with a six digit code.  If you provide that code number to the person who already has your phone number, he or she can use that six digit code to compete the application for a free Google phone number which will most likely be used to perpetrate scams.  In addition, providing this code to a scammer can put them a step closer to being able to get access to your Google account and all of the information contained therein which could lead to identity theft.

Another similar scam begins when you receive a text message from Google with a verification code and soon thereafter you get another text message which states, “Google has detected unusual activity on your account.  Please reply with the verification code sent to your mobile device to stop unauthoried activity.”  Unfortuntately, the first text message from Google was sent to you in response to Google being contacted by an identity thief who is attempting to take over your Google accounts including your gmail.  The identity thief doesn’t have your password so he or she contacts Google to get a code to change your password which Google sends to your cellphone.  If you provide the code to the identity thief, he or she will be able to get access to your gmail account and can gather information from your emails that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

As I so often warn you, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.”  There is no legitimate reason for you to provide to anyone a verification code that is texted to you by Google or any other company with which you do business.  Never share verification codes with anyone by text message, phone or email.  Instead use these codes only on the login page of your account.  In addition, if you do receive a verification code that you didn’t request, immediately let your account provider know about it because it is a sign that someone is trying to get access to your 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 – October 29, 2020 – Mystery Shopper Scams Increasing

I have written many times over the last eight years about the mystery shopper scam because it continues to ensnare unwary victims, however, these scams continue to be effective and are increasing in number so it is important to remind you about them again.   Mystery shoppers are people hired to shop at a particular store and report on the shopping experience for purposes of quality control. Unlike many scams, there actually are legitimate mystery shopper companies, but they never advertise or recruit through emails, text messages or letters.

The manner in which the scam generally works is that when you answer an advertisement, or respond to a letter, email or a text message to become a mystery shopper, you are sent a bank check. You  deposit the check into your own account and spend some of the money on the goods that you purchase which you are allowed to keep and also are directed to keep some of the balance of the check as payment for your services. You are instructed to return the remaining funds by a wire transfer. In a recent Walmart themed mystery shopper scam, the targeted victim was sent a legitimate appearing, but counterfeit check for $2,940 and told to keep $540 as payment and then go to the nearest Walmart and use the remainder of the check to buy six $400 Kroger gift cards and provide the numbers to the scammer.  The scam victim was then told to keep the gift cards for their next assignment although there never is another assignment and the scammers use the numbers on the Kroger gift cards to make purchases, making the actual cards worthless.  The victim of the scam loses the $2,400 used to purchase the gift cards from the victim’s own bank account when the check bounces.

TIPS

One reason why this scam fools so many people is that there really are mystery shopping jobs although the actual number is quite few and they do not go looking for you. An indication that you are involved with a scam is when you receive a check for more than what is owed you and you are asked to wire the difference back to the sender. This is the basis of many scams. Whenever you receive a check, wait for your bank to tell you that the check has fully cleared before you consider the funds as actually being in your account. Don’t rely on provisional credit which is given after a few days, but which will be rescinded once a check bounces and never accept a check for more than what is owed with the intention to send back the rest. That is always a scam. Also be wary whenever you are asked to wire funds or send gift cards because this is a common theme in many scams because it is difficult to trace and impossible to stop. Legitimate companies do not use gift cards as payments.

For more information about legitimate mystery shoppers, you can go to the website of the Mystery Shopping Professional Association https://www.mspa-americas.org/scam-alerts/

If you receive a mystery shopper scam solicitation or check through the mail you can report it to the United States Postal Service at
http://about.usps.com/publications/pub300a/pub300a_tech_024.htm

You also can report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which investigates these scams at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1

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.”my

Scam of the day – October 28, 2020 – Freeway Pawn Scam

The California Highway Patrol has issued a warning copied below about a scam occuring on the highways of California in which scammers park their cars on the side of a highway with the hood up pretending to be broken down.  The scammers then wave down good samaritans passing them by to get them to pull over purportedly to help them.  The scammers then claim to be without funds, but offer to sell jewelry to the good samaritans who stop to assist them.  The jewerly appears to be valuable, but it is not and people buying the jewelry get cheated by paying far in excess of what the cheap knock-off jewelry is worth.  Here is a copy of a notice posted on Facebook by the California Highway Patrol about this scam.

app-facebookCHP – South Sacramento

**Freeway Pawn is back on Sacramento Freeways.**

For those of you who are unaware of what freeway pawn is, here is a quick description. A driver of a vehicle, usually a rental SUV or van with an out of state license plate, pulls over to the shoulder of the freeway and pretends that his vehicle is disabled. That individual then attempts to wave people over to help them with their “disabled vehicle”. After a Good Samaritan pulls over to assist, the driver produces jewelry and a

See More

TIPS

Buying jewelry from someone whom you do not know is a recipe for disaster.  Only buy jewelry from retailers who you know are legitimate to avoid being cheated.  If you see this scam occuring, the police ask that you call 911 and tell them the make, model and license number of the car being used to perpetrate this scam.  While this warning is coming from the California Highway Patrol, it is occurring and will be occurring elsewhere as well.

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 – October 27, 2020 – Smishing Attacks Increasing

Although the name may not be as familiar as “phishing” which is the name for emails that lure you into clicking on malware infected links or providing personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft, “smishing” is the name given to text messages that lure you into clicking on links or providing personal information in response to a text message from what appears to be a trusted source, such as a company with which you do business.  Smishing scams are increasing in frequency over the last few months with many smishing text messages appearing to come from Amazon, USPS, Federal Express, Cash App, Netflix and others.  Recently there have been many reports of a smishing text message that starts with your name and then says, “we are trying to contact you about your gift.  Please follow the link to claim it before it expires.”   This is followed by a link that will, as I described earlier, either cause you to unwittingly download malware if you click on the link or lure you into providing personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  A Coronavirus related smishing text message presently circulating indicates that the government has begun a new stimulus payment program and that you need to click on a link to apply for your benefits.  Of course, it is a scam.

Reproduced below is a smishing text message that appears to come from Netflix and lures you into clicking on a link that takes you to a phony, but legitimate appearing Netflix page that asks for your Netflix username, password and credit card number.  If you supply this information, you will become a victim of identity theft.  Here is the smishing text message presently circulating.  DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK.

Netflix scam text message

TIPS

Among the topics of smishing text messages are free prizes, gift cards or coupons, credit card offers, student loan assistance, suspicious activity on an account of yours, or a need to update your payment information with a company with which you do business.  As I always say, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.”  You can never be truly sure when you receive a text message seeking personal information such as your credit card number whether or not the email is a scam.  The risk of clicking on a link or providing the requested information is just too high. Instead, if you think that the text message might be legitimate, you should contact the company at a telephone number that you know is legitimate and find out whether or not the text message was a scam.

In the case of the email informing you of the need to claim a gift, it is obviously a scam because although the text message includes your name, there is no information about what the gift is or why you are receiving it.  Curiosity killed the cat.  Don’t let it lead to your being scammed or becoming a victim of identity theft.

As for Netflix. it will never ask in an email or text message for any of your personal information so anytime you get an email or text message purportedly from Netflix asking for your credit card number, Social Security number or any other personal information, it is a scam.  Here is a link to Netflix’s security page for information about staying secure in regard to your Netflix account. https://help.netflix.com/en/node/13243

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 – October 26, 2020 – Phony Deputy Phone Call Scam

Impostor scams have long been among the most lucrative for scammers.  While there are many variations of this scam, the most common variations have involved scammers calling their intended victims on the telephone posing as some governmental agency such as the IRS, the Social Security Administration or your local police department  The scammer then, under a wide variety of pretenses, demands an immediate payment by gift cards, credit card or wired funds. Being asked to pay by gift cards is a definite indication that the call is a scam since no governmental agency requests or accepts payments by gift cards.   Alternatively, the scammer demands the victim supply the phony governmental agent with personal information such as your Social Security number which will then be used for identity theft purposes.

Recently scammers posing as San Bernadino County California Deputy Sheriffs scammed people out of money by telling them that there were outstanding warrants for their arrest, but that if they paid over the phone through Nike gift cards, the warrants would be quashed.  The victims believed that the callers were really law enforcement officials because the victims’ Caller ID indicated the call was coming from the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s station.

TIPS

As I have often reminded you, through the simple technique of “spoofing” it is very easy for a scammer to manipulate your Caller ID to make a call coming to you appear legitimate when it is not.  Therefore you can never truly trust your Caller ID.  Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.  Never provide personal information to anyone who calls you unless you have absolutely confirmed that it is legitimate.  In the case of this kind of impostor scam, the intended scam victim did the right thing in terminating the call and calling the real police department.

A telltale sign that this is a scam is the fact that no law enforcement agency (along with other governmental agencies, such as the IRS) accepts payments by gift cards.  In addition, law enforcement agencies do not accept payments for warrants and do not collect debts of other governmental agencies.

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 – October 25, 2020 – Phony Tech Support Phone Number Scam

Clever scam artists, the only criminals we refer to as artists are increasingly setting up phony websites that appear to be for customer service or tech support of many of the companies with which we do business.  They also purchase telephone numbers that are a single digit off of the legitimate phone numbers for many companies’ tech support or customer support in order to take advantage of common consumer misdials.  Compounding the problem is the fact that many companies, particularly social media companies, do not provide a customer service telephone number to call and speak to a real person about your problem.  They only provide online support.

Recently Dr. Melanye Maclin of Maryland needed help with her Facebook account and obtained what she thought was the phone number for tech support for Facebook which she got from a posting on Facebook’s Help Community Chat board.  Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t have a tech support phone number.  The phony tech support number on the chat board was posted by a scammer.  When Dr. Maclin called the phony number, she was instructed by the scammer to enable remote access to her phone which Dr. Maclin did.  Unfortunately, this led to the scammers gaining access to her CashApp account through which the scammers stole $6,332.

TIPS

The best place to look for a telephone number for customer support or tech support is right on your bill or the legitimate website of the company.     Even when you do call legitimate tech support or customer service telephone numbers take extra care to make sure that you are dialing correctly and not calling a clever scammer who may have purchased a telephone number that is a digit off of the correct phone number in an attempt to ensnare people who may misdial the number.

Among the social media services that do not provide tech support by phone are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.  Here are links to tech support for those social media services:
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/help/
Instagram: https://help.instagram.com/
Snapchat: https://support.snapchat.com/en-US
Twitter: https://support.twitter.com/

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 – October 24, 2020 – Phony Charity Fundraisers Shut Down

Phony charities are big business for scammers who prey upon generous people who think they are contributing to help those in need.  I have written many times over the years about a wide variety of phony charities and the efforts of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and others to shut them down.  However, many scammers operating phony charities don’t contact you directly, but instead hire fundraisers to do the dirty work.  Recently the FTC along with the Attorneys General of New York, Virginia, Minnesota and New Jersey settled claims it made against multiple companies owned by Mark Gelvan and three of his associates who claimed to be soliciting charitable contribuitons for a wide variety of charities that purported to help homeless veterans, retired and disabled law enforcement officers, breast cancer survivors and others in need.  Instead, the phony charities that Gelvan and his companies solicited contributions for kept 90% of the money collected with as little as 2% of the money actually going toward charitable purposes.  Under the terms of the settlement, Gelvan and his companies are permanently prohibited from charitable fundraising and pay throusands of dollars that will be donated by the FTC and the four states’ Attorneys General to legitimate chariteis.

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.  Charitynavigator.org will also let you know how to most effectively contribute to particular charities you may be interested in.

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 – October 23, 2020 – FTC Settles Major Robocall Claim

Over the years I have written numerous times about the problems presented by robocalls and with good reason.  Automated robocalls which, for commercial purposes, are illegal, are the number one consumer complaint reported by the public to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at a cost to consumers of billions of dollars each year. Robocalls are used by scammers to perpetrate a wide variety of scams.  The ease by which illegal robocalls may be made by computers using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) accounts for much of the problem. Last January the FTC sent letters to three companies that provide VoIP services warning them that routing and transmitting illegal robocalls is illegal and could lead to legal claims being made against them.  Now the FTC and the State of Ohio have settled its first claim against one of those VoIp companies, Globex, which provided services to a company called Educare Care Services, which used robocalls to illegally market its phony credit card interest rate reduction services (shades of the infamous Rachel from card services robocalls).  Under the terms of the settlement, Globex will pay 1.9 million dollars to the FTC and abide by new protocols in the marketing of their VoIP services.

Also in regard to robocalls, last year the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enacted a new rule that allows cell phone carriers to automatically drop robocalls through the use of technology that is able to identify illegal robocalls and block them. This technology is called the SHAKEN/STIR standard. SHAKEN/STIR is an acronym for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information using toKENs and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited.  SHAKEN/STIR technology verifies calls with a symbol on your phone indicating that the person calling you is legitimate and  is actually calling you from the number that appears on your screen.  While it doesn’t block robocalls, it does let you know if the call is legitimate so you can decide not to answer shady calls.  The FCC required all phone networks to implement the technology by the end of of 2019.  AT&T and T-Mobile announced that SHAKEN/STIR is available for calls between those two networks.  Previously they had only implemented its use for calls within their own networks.  This is not a cure-all, but it is definitely a big step in the battle against phone fraud.  The FCC  also enacted new rules to require phone companies to adopt new Caller ID features to their SHAKEN/STIR standard by June 30, 2021.  These new rules will go a long way toward stopping “spoofed” calls where your Caller ID is manipulated by the criminal to make the call appear as if it is coming from a legitimate source.

TIPS

While SHAKEN/STIR is important, it is not the only weapon against robocalls.  As I reported to you two years ago, Verizon has implemented new services to help its customers avoid illegal robocalls.  The new Call Filter service offers spam alerts and new protections from robocalls for its wireless customers.  Customers will receive alerts when a call is most likely a scam.  The new Call Filter service will also automatically block robocalls based of the customer’s preferred risk level.  The Call Filter service is offered in a free version and an enhanced version that among other things will enable customers to create a personal robocall block list.  For more information about the Call Filter Services and how to sign up go to https://www.verizonwireless.com/solutions-and-services/call-filter/

There are a number of other options for preventing robocalls including a number of apps that for free or a small fee will  reduce and in some instances prevent robocalls.
Samsung’s SmartCall informs you if the call you are receiving is from a known robocaller. This feature is available with newer Samsung Galaxy phones. Here is a link to information about SmartCall and instructions as to how to activate this app.
http://www.samsung.com/levant/apps/smart-call/

Google also has a spam blocker that will warn you when you are receiving a robocall and your screen will turn red. Here is a link to information about the app and how to install it.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.dialer&hl=en

AT&T also offers free apps to block robocalls on iPhones and Android phones. Here is a link to information about these apps.
https://www.att.com/features/security-apps.html?partner=LinkShare&siteId=TnL5HPStwNw-yrUS1uDw9WGvN._xt67yew&source=ECay0000000CEL00O

Verizon’s CallerName ID is a free service for iPhones and Android phones that will alert you to suspected robocallers. Here is a link to Verizon’s app.
https://www.verizonwireless.com/solutions-and-services/caller-name-id/

T-Mobile offers a free scam blocker of known robocallers for Android phones which you can activate by merely dialing #662#

Sprint offers a paid service to protect your iPhone or Android phone from robocalls. For more information, use this link
http://explore.t-mobile.com/callprotection

For landlines as well as smartphones there are a number of apps such as Nomorobo, Truecaller, Hiya, RoboKiller and YouMail that offer robocall blocking for free or for small monthly charges. Here is a link to those apps. I have used Nomorobo for years and find it to be tremendously useful

https://www.nomorobo.com/
https://www.truecaller.com/
https://hiya.com/
https://www.robokiller.com/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.youmail.android.vvm&hl=en_US                                                                                                                                                                        https://www.youmail.com/home/apps

Finally, you can just choose to ignore any calls that come from numbers you do not recognize.   This is a good option.  If they are legitimate calls, they will leave a message and you can call them back.

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 – October 22, 2020 – FTC Refunding Victims of Get Rich Quick Scam

I have been reporting to you about this particular scam since December of 2017 when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) first filed a complaint in Federal Court against Ronnie Montano, Hyong Su Kim, Martin Schranz and their companies, eMobile Code, Easy Cash Code, Full Money System and Secret Money System that the FTC alleged they used to scam consumers out of millions of dollars through sales of phony get-rich-quick schemes through which the defendants promised their victims that they could earns thousands of dollars a day using the defendants’ secret code. The defendants’ “secret code” was nothing more than generic software applications used to make mobile-friendly websites and the promised riches were non-existent. The defendants sold their products through their websites which had names such as mobilemoneycode.com, automobilecode.com and secretmoneysystem.com which featured phony testimonial videos with actors falsely claiming they made thousands of dollars a day using the defendants’ products and systems. Victims of the scam who tried to exercise their “60 day hassle-free money back guarantee” found it all but impossible to get a refund. In July of 2018 the FTC settled the claims with the defendants. Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants paid $698,500 to the FTC to be refunded to their victims. In 2019 the FTC sent a first round of checks to victims of the scam.  If you were a victim of the scam, you may have already received your check in the mail.   Now the FTC is mailing a second round of checks to the victims of the scam who received an earlier partial payment from the FTC.   There are no fees nor are you required to provide account information to cash one of these refund checks.  Scammers often contact the people who are to receive such refunds and ask for personal information used to make them victims of identity theft.  They also ask for cash payments although no payment is required to receive your refund.  For more information about this refund go to the “FTC Scam Refunds” section in the middle of the first page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on “Mobile Money Code.”

TIPS

As with any investment, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. You also should never invest in anything that you do not fully understand. In addition, you should never invest in anything unless you have investigated fully both the investment itself and the people offering the investment. Anyone investigating what was being offered by these alleged scammers would have found that there was no secret system and that the investment was bogus.

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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