Credit Card Fraud

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 9:15 AM

Credit Cards: American Express, Visa, MasterCardMastercard misrepresentation is a boundless term for robbery and extortion conferred utilizing or including an credit card, for example, a charge card or platinum card, as a fake wellspring of stores in an exchange. The reason may be to acquire products without paying, or to get unapproved stores from a record. Charge card extortion is additionally a subordinate to data fraud. During the previous couple of years, it saw a 21 percent expansion. On the other hand, Mastercard misrepresentation, that wrongdoing which the vast majority partner with ID robbery, diminished as a rate of all ID burglary grievances for the 6th year in succession.

In spite of the fact that rate of Visa misrepresentation is constrained to around 0.1% of all card exchanges, this has brought about enormous money related misfortunes as the false exchanges have been expansive worth exchanges. Out of 12 billion exchanges made yearly, pretty nearly 10 million - or one out of each 1200 exchanges - ended up being false. Additionally, 0.04% (4 out of each 10,000) of all month to month dynamic records were fake. Indeed, even with huge volume and quality increment in charge card exchanges from that point forward, these extents have finished what had been started or have diminished because of complex extortion discovery and anticipation frameworks. Today's misrepresentation identification frameworks are intended to keep one twelfth of one percent of all exchanges prepared which still deciphers into billions of dollars in misfortunes.

Tips for Avoiding Credit Card Fraud:

  • Don’t give out your credit card number online unless the site is a secure and reputable. Sometimes a tiny icon of a padlock appears to symbolize a higher level of security to transmit data. This icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but provides some assurance.

  • Don’t trust a site just because it claims to be secure.

  • Before using the site, check out the security/encryption software it uses.

  • Make sure you are purchasing merchandise from a reputable source.

  • Do your homework on the individual or company to ensure that they are legitimate.

  • Obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working.

  • Send an e-mail to the seller to make sure the e-mail address is active, and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.

  • Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.

  • Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area.

  • Check out other websites regarding this person/company.

  • Don’t judge a person or company by their website. Flashy websites can be set up quickly.

  • Be cautious when responding to special investment offers, especially through unsolicited e-mail.

  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.

  • If possible, purchase items online using your credit card, because you can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong.

  • Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card number.

  • Keep a list of all your credit cards and account information along with the card issuer’s contact information. If anything looks suspicious or you lose your credit card(s), contact the card issuer immediately.

 

Non-Delivery of Merchandise

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 9:02 AM

FedEx (Federal Express) vanThe non-delivery scam occurs when the scammer places an item up for sale when there is actually no item at all. The item is subsequently never delivered to the buyer after they purchase the item.

Tips for Avoiding Non-Delivery of Merchandise:

  • Make sure you are purchasing merchandise from a reputable source.

  • Do your homework on the individual or company to ensure that they are legitimate.

  • Obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working.

  • Send an e-mail to the seller to make sure the e-mail address is active, and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.

  • Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.

  • Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area.

  • Check out other websites regarding this person/company.

  • Don’t judge a person or company by their website. Flashy websites can be set up quickly.

  • Be cautious when responding to special investment offers, especially through unsolicited e-mail.

  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.

  • Inquire about returns and warranties.

  • If possible, purchase items online using your credit card, because you can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong.

  • Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card numbers.

  • Consider using an escrow or alternate payment service.

 

Cancer Research Scams

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 6:13 AM

X-ray photographMost all of us have been there: a beloved wife, husband, mother, father, daughter, son, or dear friend is diagnosed with cancer. We know the treatment is painful and the cure, chancy. We hate the thought of the suffering ahead. What we want more than anything is a breakthrough - a cure that will also protect our loved ones from debilitating side effects.

And then we hear about a revolutionary cancer research project that sounds completely on the up and up...it just needs financial backing. Seductive? You bet. Understandably, people fall for it like a ton of bricks.

Take a case out of the FBI's Jacksonville office:

A woman claiming to have a master’s degree in clinical nutrition was successfully marketing a full-body "electrotherapy cancer machine" across the United States.

The wind up: She said it was a breakthrough development by a London-based team of doctors, lab technicians, and physicists from the combined research fields of electromagnetic field therapy, radio frequency therapy, crystal healing therapy, and "human energy" healing.

The pitch: The machine had been tested on local cancer patients in London who were now cured, and a European company had promised to buy the machine for millions of dollars. Money was needed to complete the project...and the return on investors’ money would be at least 50% and likely much more.

The foul: Thanks to an alert local bank investigator who was suspicious of an account suddenly receiving massive numbers of wire transfers in 2003, our Jacksonville office was contacted. We opened a case and turned two undercover agents into wannabe investors. It was just a matter of time before a joint investigation with our local Florida police partners turned up hard evidence that the full-body "electrotherapy cancer machine" was a complete fraud...to the tune of $2.5 million illegally raked in between 1997 and 2003.

Game over: In mid-2004, investigators had enough evidence for indictments on wire fraud charges. With our police partners - the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office in Florida and the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana - we arrested two subjects. Trials are coming up shortly.

Lessons learned: We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: If it sounds too good to be true, it IS too good to be true. Whether it’s a miracle cure or a miracle return on investment that interests you, please first go down our checklist on how to avoid these classic "advance fee scams".

 

Fraud Target: Senior Citizens

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 5:56 AM

two seniors drinking red wineIf you are age 60 or older- and especially if you are an older woman living alone - you may be a special target of people who sell bogus products and services by telephone. Telemarketing scams often involve offers of free prizes, low-cost vitamins and health care products, and inexpensive vacations.:

  • Senior citizens are most likely to have a "nest egg," to own their home, and/or to have excellent credit - all of which make them attractive to con artists.

  • People who grew up in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were generally raised to be polite and trusting. Con artists exploit these traits, knowing that it is difficult or impossible for these individuals to say "no" or just hang up the telephone.

  • Older people are less likely to report a fraud because they don’t know who to report it to, are too ashamed at having been scammed, or don’t know they have been scammed. Elderly victims may not report crimes, for example, because they are concerned that relatives may think the victims no longer have the mental capacity to take care of their own financial affairs.

  • When an elderly victim does report the crime, they often make poor witnesses. Con artists know the effects of age on memory, and they are counting on elderly victims not being able to supply enough detailed information to investigators. In addition, the victims’ realization that they have been swindled may take weeks - or more likely, months - after contact with the fraudster. This extended time frame makes it even more difficult to remember details from the events.

  • Senior citizens are more interested in and susceptible to products promising increased cognitive function, virility, physical conditioning, anti-cancer properties, and so on. In a country where new cures and vaccinations for old diseases have given hope for a long and fruitful life, it is not so unbelievable that the con artists’ products can do what they claim.

There are warning signs to these scams. If you hear these - or similar - "lines" from a telephone salesperson, just say "no thank you," and hang up the telephone:

  • "You must act now, or the offer won’t be good."

  • "You’ve won a free gift, vacation, or prize." But you have to pay for "postage and handling" or other charges.

  • "You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier." You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully.

  • "You don’t need to check out the company with anyone." The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone, including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.

  • "You don’t need any written information about the company or its references."

  • "You can’t afford to miss this high-profit, no-risk offer."

 

It’s very difficult to get your money back if you’ve been cheated over the telephone. Before you buy anything by telephone, remember:

  • Don’t buy from an unfamiliar company. Legitimate businesses understand that you want more information about their company and are happy to comply.

  • Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any offer or charity. If you get brochures about costly investments, ask someone whose financial advice you trust to review them. But, unfortunately, beware-not everything written down is true.

  • Always check out unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, state attorney general, the National Fraud Information Center, or other watchdog groups. Unfortunately, not all bad businesses can be identified through these organizations.

  • Obtain a salesperson’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address, mailing address, and business license number before you transact business. Some con artists give out false names, telephone numbers, addresses, and business license numbers. Verify the accuracy of these items.

  • Before you give money to a charity or make an investment, find out what percentage of the money is paid in commissions and what percentage actually goes to the charity or investment.

  • Before you send money, ask yourself a simple question. "What guarantee do I really have that this solicitor will use my money in the manner we agreed upon?"

  • Don’t pay in advance for services. Pay services only after they are delivered.

  • Be wary of companies that want to send a messenger to your home to pick up money, claiming it is part of their service to you. In reality, they are taking your money without leaving any trace of who they are or where they can be reached.

  • Always take your time making a decision. Legitimate companies won’t pressure you to make a snap decision.

  • Don’t pay for a "free prize." If a caller tells you the payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.

  • Before you receive your next sales pitch, decide what your limits are-the kinds of financial information you will and won’t give out on the telephone.

  • Be sure to talk over big investments offered by telephone salespeople with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor. It’s never rude to wait and think about an offer.

  • Never respond to an offer you don’t understand thoroughly.

  • Never send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.

  • Be aware that your personal information is often brokered to telemarketers through third parties.

  • If you have been victimized once, be wary of persons who call offering to help you recover your losses for a fee paid in advance.

  • If you have information about a fraud, report it to state, local, or federal law enforcement agencies.

 

Reverse Mortgage Scams

by Rudolf Faix Friday, July 10, 2015 5:44 PM

drawing house on the moveThe FBI and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG) urge consumers, especially senior citizens, to be vigilant when seeking reverse mortgage products. Reverse mortgages, also known as home equity conversion mortgages (HECM), have increased more than 1,300 percent between 1999 and 2008, creating significant opportunities for fraud perpetrators.

Reverse mortgage scams are engineered by unscrupulous professionals in a multitude of real estate, financial services, and related companies to steal the equity from the property of unsuspecting senior citizens or to use these seniors to unwittingly aid the fraudsters in stealing equity from a flipped property.

In many of the reported scams, victim seniors are offered free homes, investment opportunities, and foreclosure or refinance assistance. They are also used as straw buyers in property flipping scams. Seniors are frequently targeted through local churches and investment seminars, as well as television, radio, billboard, and mailer advertisements.

A legitimate HECM loan product is insured by the Federal Housing Authority. It enables eligible homeowners to access the equity in their homes by providing funds without incurring a monthly payment. Eligible borrowers must be 62 years or older who occupy their property as their primary residence and who own their property or have a small mortgage balance. See the FBI/HUD Intelligence Bulletin for specific details on HECMs as well as other foreclosure rescue and investment schemes.

Tips for Avoiding Reverse Mortgage Scams:

  • Do not respond to unsolicited advertisements.
  • Be suspicious of anyone claiming that you can own a home with no down payment.
  • Do not sign anything that you do not fully understand.
  • Do not accept payment from individuals for a home you did not purchase.
  • Seek out your own reverse mortgage counselor.

If you are a victim of this type of fraud and want to file a complaint, please submit information through our electronic tip line or through your local FBI office. You may also file a complaint with HUD-OIG at www.hud.gov/complaints/fraud_waste.cfm or by calling HUD’s hotline at 1-800-347-3735.

Source FBI: http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/seniors/seniors#rms

 

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AboutMe

I'm since more then 35 years in the computer business (programming and technical support) and using the Internet since it has started. Since 2002 I'm programming solutions for Asterisk and since 2004 I'm in the call center industry.

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