5 quarantine scams that could cost you thousands of dollars
You may have noticed that the number of robotic calls dropped when the pandemic broke out. As call centers open around the world, the number of calls from robots is increasing. But scammers come up with more and more ways to bypass protection. About 5 such methods told the publication USA Today.
Get $ 1000 in COVID-19 Relief
Many Facebook users report receiving messages offering "COVID-19 relief grants." Scammers impersonate acquaintances or relatives, offering grants worth more than $ 1000. If you swallow the bait, the scammers will require processing fees in advance to send you money.
After you send the commission, the conversation either ends up with the money you send disappears forever, or the scammer asks for an even larger commission. You can even get proposals for additional grants. Fraudsters usually use hacked or duplicate accounts created using stolen images and personal data.
If you're looking for COVID-19 related programs, go directly to the source or the official page USA.gov.
If you've been the victim of a COVID-19 scam, here's how to report it:
- Report scam and fake profile at Facebook.
- Call in Hotline of the National Anti-Fraud Center call 866-720-5721 or write to Disaster@leo.gov.
- If you have lost money, file a complaint via Internet Crime Complaints Center (IC3).
Many people want a puppy or kitten to reduce the stress of current events. Scammers impersonate individuals or breeders and post pictures of the animals on social media, Craigslist, or specialized pet websites.
You spot your new furry friend and respond to your ad. Scammers ask questions via email or chat to pre-qualify you as a great potential foster family. The real reason for the interview is that the scammers want you to emotionally bond with the animal and give out information about yourself.
On the subject: 18 popular online shopping fraud tricks: how to protect yourself
Fraudsters use photos stolen from the Internet. Search the reverse image to find counterfeits.
If you've been the victim of a pet fraud, here's how to report it:
- Petscams only investigates scams that appear on their own website.
- You can report fraudulent messages and Facebook profiles. There is also special page dedicated to puppy cheating.
- You can file a complaint at Federal Trade Commission.
- If you have lost money online due to pet fraud, please file a complaint via Internet Crime Complaints Center (IC3).
Child pornography found in your cloud
Let's say you're on a call from Apple's Special Investigations Department. A fake official investigator tells you that child pornography has been detected on your internet cloud account. He explains, in great detail, that someone is probably looking at pornography on your computer and this is being copied to the cloud. Their team needs full access to your computer to find child pornography and remove it.
Fortunately, Apple's Special Investigations department accepts Amazon gift cards. Just send them gift card numbers and activation details.
One man fell for this scam and sent over $ 90 to scammers. This scam is very easy to figure out. Apple (or any other technology company) will not call if child pornography is found on your computer. Law enforcement and the feds will knock on your door with warrants in hand.
In addition, no tech company will accept retail gift cards. When you receive an unwanted phone call from a large technology company that needs full remote access to your computer, hang up.
If you've been the victim of a phone scam, here's how to report it:
- File a complaint with Federal Trade Commission.
- You may have fallen for this scam due to caller ID spoofing. Report it online at Federal Communications Commission.
- Every state has consumer protection departmentwhich can help too.
I don't remember ordering this
Did you receive a mysterious package in the mail with decorations, cooking utensils, or small toys? If so, then you are the victim of a bizarre scam involving parcels from China. Online sellers are trying to increase the number of positive reviews on Amazon and other marketplaces.
This is actually a lot of work. Online sellers in China find addresses in the United States where they can send low-cost packages. They then create a fake account on the shopping site using the address they sent the item to. This address is only used to create fake reviews.
Over the past few months, parcels of seeds have been sent to Americans from China. Since then, Amazon has banned the sale of all foreign plants and seeds on its website.
If you are a victim of this scam, you need to do the following:
- Submit a complaint to Amazon about a security item.
- For greater security, change your password on the shopping site.
By the way, according to the FTC, you are allowed to keep any goods that you received as part of such a scam.
The CEO wrote to me
With so much information available online on sites from Crunchbase to LinkedIn, as well as government corporate records, it's pretty easy to find out who's who in a company. These searches open the door to a form of hidden phishing emails called BEC - Business Email Compromise.
You receive an email from your manager, colleague, department head, or even CEO. The return address looks correct and says it is from @yourcompanyname.
The stories are different. Perhaps you need to pay a bill, check a budget, or fill out a form. But to do it right now is urgent.
A file is attached to the letter. When you open a file, a virus or something else is downloaded to you that scammers can use for their own purposes.
If you've opened the BEC app, you need to do the following:
- Notify your IT department and manager.
- Perform a full system scan for viruses and malware.
- Change your passwords for everything.
If you or your company lost money as a result of BEC, you need to do the following:
- Notify your company's IT department and your manager.
- Someone needs to notify your financial institution and ask them to contact the financial institution to which the money was sent.
- Report a crime to your local FBI office.
These are just five of the many types of scams circulating on the Internet. And by the time you finish reading this, there will be more. Remember, there is always someone trying to get the money out of you.
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