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.

 

Dating and Romance Scams

by Rudolf Faix Friday, July 10, 2015 5:15 PM

Sunset on the beach

Whether you are a male or a female, you should read this as the scenario below could easily apply to either gender. Months of online dating doesn't seem to be paying off. You're flipping through hundreds of profiles a night and everyone's either shallow or not that good looking. You finally think your luck is turning around when you hear from a lonely widow from Eastern Europe. She is gorgeous in her pictures and seems really into you! Alternatively, maybe you are a female and you just connected with a man working or being a soldier overseas.

After a few emails, you start to fall in love - and are thrilled to hear she reciprocates, calling you (after four to five months) "the love of her life". When it comes time for you two to get together, she tells you she needs money. Maybe she can't afford a plane ticket. Maybe she's sick and needs medicine. Maybe she lost her wallet in a foreign city or maybe she had a flood or a fire at her home. Or, one of the latest reasons ... she needs to take an AIDS test, which is required in her country before international travel.

Whatever it is, it seems like a small price to pay for true love - and it would be, if the love were "true". But this isn't who you thought it was - she may not even be a woman, but a guy in Nigeria. Don't feel bad: tens of thousands of men have fallen victim to this and tens of thousands more will

Despite the many legitimate dating websites operating around the world, there are many dating and romance scams as well. Dating and romance scams try to lower your defences by appealing to your romantic and compassionate side.

Some dating and romance scams work by setting up a dating website where you pay for each email or message you send and receive. The scammer will try to hook you in by continuing to send you vague-sounding emails filled with talk of love or desire. The scammer might also send emails filled with details of their home country or town that do not refer to you much at all. These are attempts to keep you writing back and paying money for use of the scammer’s dating website.

Even on a legitimate dating site, you might be approached by a scammer - perhaps someone who claims to have a very sick family member or who is in the depths of despair (often these scammers claim to be from Russia, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia or another low wage country). After they have sent you a few messages, and maybe even a glamorous photo, you will be asked (directly or more subtly) to send them money to help their situation. Some scammers even arrange to meet with you, in the hope that you give them presents or money - and then they disappear.

In other cases, scammers will try to build a friendship with you, perhaps even sending you flowers or other small gifts. After building a relationship, the scammer will tell you about a large amount of money they need to transfer out of their country, or that they want to share with you. They will then ask for your banking details or money for an administrative fee or tax that they claim needs to be paid to free up the money.

Some sentiment con artists search out a specialty of different fixations where they will locate a dark interest and they will make the casualty believe that in the event that they pay for the con artist's plane ticket that they will get the chance to carry on a sexual dream of theirs by having the con artist come to them to engage in sexual relations. The con artists likewise like to lure casualties to perform sexual follows up on webcam. They then record their casualties, play back the recorded pictures or features to them and after that blackmail cash to keep them from sending the recordings to companions, family, executives, regularly found by means of online networking destinations, for example, Facebook, twitter and so forth.

The expert dater contrasts from alternate tricks in system for operation; a vis-à-vis meeting really does happen in the con artist's nation however is committed singularly into controlling the imprint into spending however much cash as could reasonably be expected in generally little time, with little or nothing consequently. The plan as a rule includes associates, for example, a mediator and a cab driver, all of which must be paid by the casualty at a swelled cost. Everything is pre-orchestrated so that the well off nonnative pays top dollar for convenience, is taken not to a standard open bistro but rather to the most exorbitant eatery (generally some off the beaten path spot evaluated far above what local people would ever be willing to pay), and is controlled into making different extravagant buys, including endowments, for example, hardware and fur garments.

The merchants are regularly some piece of the plan. The imprint allows pretty much as to sit unbothered yet poorer toward the end of the excursion. The stock is come back to the merchants, the genius dater and the different accessories stash their separate cut of the take. As the expert dater is anxious to date once more, the following date is instantly situated up with the following well off outsider.

The assumed relationship goes no further, but to immerse the hapless imprint with solicitations for more cash after they return home. Dissimilar to a gold digger, who weds for cash, an expert dater is not so much single or accessible, all things considered.

What makes this scam even worse is that most of the victims refuse to believe they have been scammed, even after they lost the first round of cash. They’ll keep putting in money, truly believing they are helping a future life-mate and ignore all advice from friends.

Protect yourself:

  • Check website addresses carefully. Scammers often set up fake websites with very similar addresses to legitimate dating websites.

  • You should never pay for somebody you have never met. Never send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.

  • If she insists on you paying for the plane ticket, buy it for her directly with no refund option. At least that way, he/she can't just take the money and run.

  • Don’t give out any personal information in an email or when you are chatting online.

  • Make sure you only use legitimate and reputable dating websites.

  • Ask yourself if someone which you have never met really declare their love for you after only a few letters or emails?

  • Run their name (even if they are fake) by professional companies that provide background checking of online dating users. There are just a few legitimate companies that provide this service.

 

Fraudulent "Anti-Aging" Products

by Rudolf Faix Friday, July 10, 2015 3:41 PM

woman with cream on her face - scaringAttempting to purchase the wellspring of youth is similar to tossing cash into a dry wishing admirably. The cash is run and you're left with only purge jugs of unfilled guarantees. What's more, the boomer era is the precise business that makers of against maturing items - some genuine, some not - target.

It isn't only the creams and elixirs offered nowadays. Men and ladies of all ages can be casualties of futile supplements and perilous blends, for example, implied hormone-substitution treatments being sold by dishonest and unregulated sources.

Thus, before you purchase any against maturing item making enormous guarantees, know the notice indications of a trick and know the right things to ask.

At the point when spending your well deserved money on against maturing items, verify you are purchasing an item that works and are not purchasing a vacant guarantee.

In the event that a supplement or individual consideration item makes a case, request the exploratory confirmation to back it up. Verify that an impartial lab or outsider did the supporting studies, not the producer's group or any organization put resources into benefits. Make inquiries, for example, whether the trials were done on members in your age bunch and your ethnicity.

Try not to depend on Internet surveys. While a few retailers and autonomous audit destinations offer impartial client surveys, numerous web search tool results will convey audits made by and/or paid for by those advancing the item.

Advertisements squawk about a “secret formula,” or a “breakthrough,” but never define those terms or offer evidence. Other catchphrases to beware of are “scientific breakthrough,” “exclusive product,” “secret ingredient” or “active remedy.”

Also, a big name support isn't solid confirmation. Most famous people are remunerated to embrace an item. Furthermore, be mindful of individual testimonials that are deceiving.

Any case that says it is superfluous to counsel a specialist is a warning. Before beginning any eating routine, nourishing supplement or new wellbeing administration, you ought to check with your specialist.

What's more, remember when taking supplements that there may be a genuine danger of communication with doctor prescribed meds. Notwithstanding bundling or commercial cases, items you ingest or put on your skin or generally expend can conceivably have genuine symptoms.

What's more, don't succumb to the white scientist's jacket. Ordinarily producers will attempt to pass on believability by having the representative wear a white laboratory garment and even a stethoscope, giving the appearance they are a medicinal expert, or utilizing words, for example, "institutes" or "academies" to reinforce validity.

Consistently, a significant number of us do basic and safe things to enhance our wellbeing and appearance, for example, utilization sunscreen or spread the dim with haircolor. While there are numerous protected approaches to battle the presence of maturing, specialists caution buyers against becoming tied up with the thought that its anything but difficult to turn around the maturing procedure.

Some hostile to maturing items or systems asserts that the key is as simple as controlling a solitary hormone, or that their items is an off-mark use as an "option" to conventional and FDA-endorsed employments of the medication.

Tips for Avoiding Fraudulent "Anti-Aging" Products:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for "Secret Formulas" or "Breakthroughs".

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the product. Find out exactly what it should and should not do for you.

  • Research a product thoroughly before buying it. Call the Better Business Bureau to find out if other people have complained about the product.

  • Be wary of products that claim to cure a wide variety of illnesses - particularly serious ones - that don’t appear to be related.

  • Be aware that testimonials and/or celebrity endorsements are often misleading.

  • Be very careful of products that are marketed as having no side effects.

  • Question products that are advertised as making visits to a physician unnecessary.

  • Always consult your doctor before taking any dietary or nutritional supplement.

 

Work-At-Home Scams - Job One: Don't Take the Bait

by Rudolf Faix Friday, July 10, 2015 3:13 PM

Announcement; Earn $$$$ without leaving your homeEveryone’s seen them - seductive work-at-home opportunities hyped in flyers tacked to telephone poles, in newspaper classifieds, in your e-mail, and all over the web, promising you hundreds or thousands of dollars a week for "Ads/E-mail Processing", "Craft Assembly", "Data Entry", "Envelope Stuffing", "List with Clients for Sale", "Make Profit Now", "Marketing Kit", "Medical Billing Service", "Typing at Home", etc. And it’s just a phone call or mouse click away…

Might be tempting during these uncertain economic times, but beware of any offers that promise easy money for minimum effort - many are scams that fill the coffers of criminals.

In a nutshell, you find an ad, which tells you that you could turn your computer into a moneymaking machine (giving you the example of someone who already quit their 9-5 job - More details on this can be found in the "Mom Makes $.../ Day Scam"). They lure victims in by using phrases such as "Make an extra buck", "extra holiday money", "Make money online", or "Make money on the Internet", etc.

Here are a few of the most common work-at-home scams

  • Advance-fee
    Starting a home-based business is easy! Just invest a few hundred dollars in inventory, set-up, and training materials, they say. Of course, if and when the materials do come, they are totally worthless…and you’re stuck with the bill.

  • Making a couple of additional bucks doesn't sound any simpler than this:
    Simply pay an in advance, one-time charge (a couple of thousand dollars, maybe) to have somebody fabricate and host a working site highlighting different family unit products available to be purchased, from toothpaste to tissue; every time somebody purchases a thing, you gather a cut of the exchange. You should do nothing more than urge individuals to shop there - the rest (stocking stock, transporting the item) is taken care of for you. On the other hand, more probable, nothing is taken care of, and the criminal offering you the open door is a distant memory with your sincere cash before you've sold one tube of Crest.

  • Driver needed
    This trick, as of late promoted on Craigslist, has numerous varieties. For one situation, a man asks you to chauffer his wife, who is going to your territory. Sufficiently simple, however the installment terms are slightly convoluted. You are informed that you will get a check (or "cash gram") for, say, $2,500 via the post office. You will store the check, then instantly haul out the money - $700 to cover your charge and any subordinate costs, and the rest to be sent back to the trickster. Your bank most likely won't know for a day or two that you have saved a fake check.

  • Counterfeit check-facilitated "mystery shopper"
    You’re sent a hefty check and asked to deposit it into your bank account, then withdraw funds to shop and check out the service of local stores and wire transfer companies. You keep a small amount of the money for your "work", but then, as instructed, mail or wire the rest to your "employer". Sounds good? One problem: the initial check was phony and by the time your bank notifies you, your money is long gone and you’re on the hook for the counterfeit check.

  • The greater part of these telecommute plans guarantee up to a great many dollars for each week for preparing protection claims for specialists who are excessively occupied with, making it impossible to manage the printed material themselves. You'll get startup showcasing materials, programming, an instructional meeting and a "lead" rundown of neighborhood doctors - all for a charge, obviously. Too awful that product costs a considerable measure less, best case scenario Buy, your instructional meetings are put off uncertainly, your leads are vapor and nobody needs your service.

  • This may be the worst one of all
    Customers pay a charge to enroll with the business to get to a pre-screened rundown of "genuine" work-at-home employment postings. The con artist's promotions appear over the span of a "trick free employments at home" online inquiry, and they guarantee a discount to the individuals who neglect to get a vocation. In the wake of sending in installment, casualties are summarily bolted out of their records and never see a solitary opening for work.

  • Pyramid schemes
    You’re hired as a "distributor" and shell out big bucks for promotional materials and product inventories with little value (like get-rich quick pamphlets). You’re promised money for recruiting more distributors, so you talk friends and family into participating. The scheme grows exponentially but then falls apart - the only ones who make a profit are the criminals who started it.

  • Unknowing involvement in criminal activity
    Criminals - often located overseas - sometimes use unwitting victims to advance their operations, steal and launder money, and maintain anonymity. For example, they may "hire" you as a U.S.-based agent to receive and re-ship checks, merchandise, and solicitations to other potential victims…without you realizing it’s all a ruse that leaves no trail back to the crooks.

Add identity theft to the mix. As if these schemes aren’t bad enough, many also lead to identity theft. During the application process, you’re often asked to provide personal information that can be used to steal from your bank account or establish new credit cards in your name.

On the job. A host of law enforcement and regulatory agencies investigate these schemes and track down those responsible. But the most effective weapon against these fraudsters is you not falling for the scams in the first place.

A few tips:

  • Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.

  • Be suspicious when money is required up front for instructions or products.

  • Don’t provide personal information when first interacting with your prospective employer.

  • Do your own research into legitimate work-at-home opportunities, using the "Work-at-Home Sourcebook" and other resources that may be available at your local library.

  • Ask lots of questions of potential employers - legitimate companies will have answers for you!

  • Keep in mind that every successful business is successful because it has happy customers. Try to find those who worked with the company before, but do not use the "company's" own testimonials. That's where everybody falls, as they believe everything without doing research. There are over 1,000 forums on this topic on the Internet.

And if you think you’ve been the victim of a work-at-home scam, file a complaint at your local authorities.

 

Follow me

Tag cloud

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.

Disclaimer

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. By browsing or using content from this site you accept the full legal disclaimer of this website.


web page counter code