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Scam of the day – June 25, 2021 – McAfee Phishing Scam

Recently, law enforcement officials in Nevada warned about a scam that starts with an email that purports to be from McAfee informing you that you are being charged $300 for McAfee Total Protection anti-virus software unless you cancel the order by calling a phone number provided in the email.  If you call the number provided you will be greeted by a scammer posing as a McAfee employee who will ask for personal information including a bank account number supposedly to verify the account.  Anyone providing this information is well on their way to becoming a victim of identity theft.

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Scam of the day – June 24, 2021 – WhatsApp Account Hijacking Inreasing

A common WhatsApp scam that is happening frequently involves social engineering used to hack your account and then use your account to scam other people.  The scam starts when you receive a message through WhatsApp that appears to come from a friend of yours. The message from your trusted friend tells you that you are about to receive a text message and requests that you send that message back to your friend.  The truth is that the message you received through WhatsApp is from an account taken over by a hacker who is looking to take over your account too.

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Scam of the day – June 23, 2021 – The Danger of Criminal Identity Theft

Criminal identity theft occurs when someone steals your identity and then commits crimes using your name and Social Security number.  The problems encountered by someone whose identity has been stolen by a criminal who then commits crimes in the name of the identity theft victim are tremendous.   Victims of criminal identity theft have been arrested for crimes they never committed and often have had difficulty having the crimes, committed by someone who stole their identity, removed from their records.

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Scam of the day – June 22, 2021 – Another Wells Fargo Phishing Email

Phishing emails, by which scammers and identity thieves attempt to lure you into either clicking on links contained within the email which will download malware or providing personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft, are nothing new.  They are a staple of identity thieves and scammers and with good reason because they work.  As always, they lure you by making it appear that there is an emergency that requires your immediate attention or else dire consequences will occur. 

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Scam of the day – June 21, 2021 – Nine Romance Scammers Charged in 2.5 Million Dollar Scheme

Recently federal prosecutors charged nine people from Ghana, Nigeria and the United States with operating romance scams.  A number of these scammers posed as “Daniel Moore” who claimed to be from Michigan, but working on an oil rig in Dubai.  According to prosecutors this romance scam ring took in more than 2.5 million dollars from their victims over the last four years.  According to U.S. Attorney Lisa Johnston, “Crimes involving romance scams and other online scams are increasing at an alarming rate.  This case is a reminder that users of email, texts and social media should be aware of such scams and exercise extreme caution.”

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Scam of the day – June 19, 2021 – REAL ID Scams

The REAL ID Act established new security requirements for driver’s licenses and identification cards with which all states must comply and which will eventually be needed by you if you wish to board an airplane or enter certain federal facilities although you can still do so if you have a passport.  The original date by which you had to get a REAL ID was originally set at October 1, 2021, however due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the deadline has been postponed until May 3, 2023.  This is both good news and bad news.  It is good news because it gives you more time to get your REAL ID, but it is also bad news because it gives scammers more time to contact you posing as governmental officials seeking your personal information under the guise of helping you apply for your REAL ID when their real purpose is to harvest your personal information and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.

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Scam of the day – June 16, 2021 – Mistaken Zelle Payment Scam

A complicated scam that is happening now occurs when you receive a call telling you that the caller mistakenly used Zelle, Venmo or one of the other similar P2P services to send you money intended for someone else and asks you to return it to him or her.  When you check your account, you find that indeed money was deposited into your account.  But should you return the money?  The problem is that scammers connect stolen credit cards to a P2P account and then use it to transfer money to an unsuspecting victim whom they then contact and tell them that the money was sent mistakenly and ask for the money to be returned.  Meanwhile, the scammer deletes the stolen credit card from his or her account and replaces it with his own credit card so when you send money, you are not sending it to the credit card used to send you the money, but rather the credit card account of the criminal enabling him or her to launder the illegal funds.  When this is discovered, you will end up losing the money you sent.

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Scam of the day – June 15, 2021 – Car Wrap Scams Resurfacing

Scammers exploit legitimate advertising through car wraps by either putting an ad on the Internet or contacting you through a mass email or now text messages in which they seek people to have their cars used for advertising through this technique called shrink wrapping.  Unsuspecting victims respond to the advertisement and are sent a check for  more than the amount that the victim is to be paid for the service.  The check is counterfeit and when the victim sends money from his or her account, they lose their money.

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Scam of the day – June 14, 2021 – AOL Phishing Scam

Scammers and identity thieves often send out phishing emails that appear to come from AOL, such as the one reproduced below that was sent to me by a Scamicide reader. If you click on the links that appear throughout the email one of two things can occur and both are bad.  Either you will end up providing personal information to an identity thief or you will, merely by clicking on the link, download dangerous malware such as ransomware on to your phone, computer or other device.

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Scam of the day – June 13, 2021 – Is it You in the Video Scam

The scam starts when you receive a Facebook message with a link to what appears to be a video, which many people would be tempted to click on out of a concern that the video may be significant, however, when you click on the link, you are taken to a phony Facebook login page.  If you fall for the scam and type in your username and password, you will have turned over control of your Facebook account to a criminal.

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Scam of the day – June 12, 2021 – New Chase Phishing Email

Phishing emails, by which scammers and identity thieves attempt to lure you into either clicking on links contained within the email which download malware or providing personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft, are nothing new.   They are a staple of identity thieves and scammers and with good reason because they work. Chase is a popular target for this type of phishing email because it is one of the largest banks in the United States.  Like so many phishing emails, this one attempts to lure you into responding by making you think there is an emergency to which you must respond.

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Scam of the day – June 11, 2021 – Mavis Wanczyk Scam Strikes Again

Mavis Wanczyk was the lucky winner of a 758 million dollar Powerball drawing in 2017. Not long after she claimed her prize, a scam started appearing in which many people received emails with the message line referring to the Mavis  Wanczyk Cash Grant. The email indicated that you were chosen to receive a large cash grant from Mavis  Wanczyk. All the lucky strangers receiving the emails had to do was provide personal information in order to qualify for the grant.

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Scam of the day – June 10, 2021 – Advance Child Tax Credit Payment Scams Will be Coming Soon

However, beginning on July 15th and continuing monthly until December of 2021,  ARPA provides for monthly payments to eligible families.  These payments will be an advance on the families’ child tax credit.  Eligible people will get up to half of their child tax credit in these monthly payments and the other half when they file their 2021 federal income tax returns. But scammers will be contacting people posing as government officials using this as a hook for purposes of identity theft.

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Scam of the day – June 9, 2021 – More to Worry About When You Rent a Car

When you connect your smartphone to a rental car in order to access the car’s infotainment system and other connected features the car may store personal information of yours, such as your mobile phone number, message logs, contact lists and even the content of text messages you received while connected to the car.  If you don’t delete this information when you return the car, this information can be accessed by future renters of the car, employees of the rental car company or knowledgeable hackers.

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Scam of the day – June 8, 2021 – Summer Car Rental Scams

They are setting up phony car rental company websites and websites that appear to be those of legitimate car rental companies such as Avis or Hertz.  Often these phony websites appear high on a Google or other search engine search because the more sophisticated scammers are able to manipulate the algorithms used by search engines to position a website in a search result.  Already, many victims of this scam are finding themselves without a car and losing the money they paid for the non-existent car rental.

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Scam of the day – June 7, 2021 – Congress Considering the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act

Recently 47 state Attorneys General sent a letter to Congress urging the passage of H.R. 1215, the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act. This bill has two sections.  The first is the Stop Senior Scam Act and the second is the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act of 2021.  According to the FBI elder fraud and scams cost American seniors almost 3 billion dollars each year and the instances of elder fraud exploitation has quadrupled in recent years according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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Scam of the day – June 5, 2021 – Facebook Copyright Violation Scam

Scammers love to take over Facebook accounts because people generally trust the posts put up by their friends that appear on their Facebook page.  These people forget my motto of “trust me, you can’t trust anyone” and often click on links in these posts or provide information in response to these posts which generally don’t present a problem, but when the post that you think is that of your friend is really from a scammer who has taken over your friend’s Facebook account, the link you click on may download dangerous malware and the information you provide may enable the criminal to make you a victim of identity theft.

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Scam of the day – June 2, 2021 – Go Fund Me Scam in Wake of San Jose Mass Shooting

Recently there have been a surge in mass shootings around the country including one at a rail yard in San Jose, California in which nine men were killed.  Soon after the shooting a phony GoFundMe page was set up for Michael Rudornetkin one of the men killed people in the shooting.  It has since been taken down, but two more phony GoFundMe pages for victims were soon posted.

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