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.

 

Service Scams

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 8:45 AM

Comic: It is 'Common-Wealth'. I am just taking my share.Many people are being targeted by individuals claiming to offer reduced rates or deals for various services.

These scams typically involve individuals that make offers for telecommunications, Internet, finance, medical and energy services. This category of scams may also include offers such as extended warranties, insurance, and door-to-door sales.

The two most reported service scams targeting peoples are the antivirus software scam andcredit card interest rate reduction scams.

The scammers involved in the antivirus software scam promise to repair your computer over the Internet. This can involve the installation of software or permission to have remote access to your computer. Payment for the software or repair is typically made by credit card.

Downloading software from an unknown source or allowing someone to remotely access your computer is risky. Scammers could use malicious software to capture your personal information such as user names and passwords, bank account information, identity information, etc.

Everyone likes to get a deal and scammers know this. The people behind credit card interest rate reduction scams often impersonate financial institutions and claim to negotiate with credit card companies to lower your interest rates. They guarantee they can save you thousands of dollars in interest. The caller will tell you that the lower interest rates are for a limited time only and that you need to act now. 

You might receive an automated call, prompting you to "press 1" and provide personal information, such as your date of birth and credit card number. You will also be asked to pay a fee up front for the service. The scammers will use this information to make purchases on your credit card or to access cash advances.

Protect yourself:

  • Only your service provider can offer you a better rate or price for their services.

  • Be wary of unsolicited calls from people offering a great deal "for a limited time only".

  • Don’t give out your credit card number over the phone unless you made the call and the number came from a trusted source.

  • If a caller claims to represent your bank, telephone your bank to ask whether the offer you received is genuine.

  • Ask yourself if you are putting yourself at risk if you are offering up this information

 

Small Business Scams

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 8:38 AM

Bank statementScams that target small businesses can come in a variety of forms - from bills for advertising or directory listings that were never ordered to dubious office supply offers.

Small business operators and individuals with their own Internet sites continue to be confused and caught by unsolicited letters warning them that their Internet domain name is due to expire and must be renewed, or offering them a new domain name similar to their current one.

If you have registered a domain name, be sure to carefully check any domain name renewal notices or invoices that you receive. While the notice could be genuine, it could also be from another company trying to sign you up, or it could be from a scammer.

  • Check that the renewal notice matches your current domain name exactly. Look out for small differences - for example, ".com" instead of ".ca" or missing letters in the URL address.

  • Check that the renewal notice comes from the company with which you originally registered your domain name.

  • Check your records for the actual expiry date for your existing domain name.

A directory listing or unauthorized advertising scam tries to bill a business for a listing or advertisement in a magazine, journal or business directory, or for an online directory listing.

The scam might come as a proposal for a subscription disguised as an update of an existing listing in a business directory. You might also be led to believe that you are responding to an offer for a free listing when in fact it is an order for a listing requiring later payment.

Another common approach used by scammers is to call a firm asking to confirm details of an advertisement that they claim has already been booked. The scammer might quote a genuine entry or advertisement your business has had in a different publication or directory to convince you that you really did use the scammer’s product.

Be wary of order forms offering advertising opportunities in business directories. These order forms may look like they originate from a well-known supplier of directory advertising, when they don’t. 

An office supply scam involves you receiving and being charged for goods that you did not order. These scams often involve goods or services that you regularly order - for example, paper, printing supplies, maintenance supplies or advertising.

You might receive a phone call from someone falsely claiming to be your "regular supplier", telling you that the offer is a "special" or "available for a limited time", or pretending to only confirm your address or existing order. If you agree to buy any of the supplies offered to you, they will often be overpriced and of bad quality.

Protect yourself:

  • Make sure that the people processing the invoices or answering telephone calls are aware of these scams. They will most often be the point of contact for the scammers. Always check that goods or services were both ordered and delivered before paying an invoice.

  • Never give out or update any information about your business unless you know what the information will be used for.

  • Don’t agree to a business proposal over the phone - always ask for an offer in writing. Limit the number of people in your business that have access to funds and have the authority to approve purchases.

  • Effective management procedures can go a long way towards preventing these scams from succeeding. Having clearly defined procedures for the verification, payment and management of accounts and invoices is an effective defence against these types of scams.

  • Ask yourself if a caller claims that I have ordered or authorized something and I do not think it sounds right, shouldn’t I ask for proof?

 

Emergency Scams

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 8:25 AM

Emergency help centerEmergency scams targets family members and play upon their emotions to rob them of their money. Scammers have no shame, and scams that target the elderly are the lowest of the low. The "Emergency Scam" (sometimes called the "Grandparent Scam") is not new, but it is increasing in occurrences.

Compromised contact lists from hijacked email accounts have been used to send potential victims an "urgent" email request for money, from a friend or relative with whom they have a correspondence. Common themes continue to be hospitalization or imprisonment while away from home. The friend or relative is unaware that their account has been used to send out these requests to everyone on their contact list.

In the typical scenario of an emergency scam, a family member receives a phone call from a scammer claiming to be one of his or her far relatives. Callers go on to say that they are in some kind of trouble and need money immediately. They claim to have been in a car accident, are having trouble returning from a foreign country or they need bail money.

You may get a call from two people, one pretending to be your family member and the other pretending to be either a police officer or a lawyer. Your "family member" asks you questions during the call, getting you to volunteer personal information.

Callers say that they don’t want other family members to find out what has happened. You will be asked to wire some money through a money transfer company. Often, victims don’t verify the story until after the money has been sent.

In some cases, scammers pretend to be your old neighbour or a friend of the family, but for the most part, the emergency scam is directed at grandparents.

Protect yourself:

  • Scammers are counting on the fact that you will want to act quickly to help your loved ones in an emergency

  • Never send money to anyone you don’t know and trust. Verify the person’s identity before you take any steps to help.

  • Don’t give out any personal information to the caller.

  • Ask the person questions that only your loved one would be able to answer. Call the other family members or friends to verify the story.

  • Ask yourself if the caller’s story make sense?

 

Mobile Phone Scams

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 7:57 AM

mobile phonesMobile phone scams can be difficult to recognize. Be wary of somebody who talks as if they know you or of redialling a missed call from an unknown number - there may be hidden charges.

Ringtone scams might attract you with an offer of a free or low-cost ringtone. What you may not realize is that by accepting the offer, you may actually be subscribing to a service that will keep sending you ringtones - and charging you a premium rate for them. There are many legitimate companies selling ringtones, but there are also scammers who will try to hide the true cost of taking up the offer.

Scammers either don’t tell you that your request for the first ringtone is actually a subscription to a ringtone service, or it may be obscured in fine print related to the offer. They also make it difficult for you to stop the service. You have to actively "opt out" of the service to stop the ringtones and the associated charges.

Missed call scams start by scammers calling your phone and hanging up so quickly that you can’t answer the call in time. Your phone registers a missed call and you probably won’t recognize the number. You may be tempted to call the number to find out who called you. If it is a scam, you will be paying premium rates for the call without knowing.

Text message scams work in a similar way, but through a Short Message Service (SMS). Scammers send you a text message from a number you may not recognize, but it sounds like it is from a friend - for instance: "Hi, it’s John. I’m back! When are you free to catch up?" If you reply out of curiosity, you might be charged at premium rate for SMS messages (sometimes as much as $4 for each message sent and/or received).

An SMS contest or SMS trivia scam usually arrives as a text message or in an advertisement and encourages you to take part in a trivia contest for a great prize. All you need to do is answer a certain number of questions correctly. The scammers make money by charging extremely high rates for the messages you send and any further messages they send to you. With trivia scams, the first set of questions will be very easy. This is meant to encourage you to keep playing. However, the last one or two questions that you need to answer to claim your "prize" could be very difficult or impossible to answer correctly.

Protect yourself:

  • Text "STOP" to end unwanted text messages or to end unwanted subscriptions.

  • Never reply to text messages offering you free ringtones or missed calls from numbers that you do not recognize.

  • Don’t call or text phone numbers with are beginning with the well-known digits of premium phone numbers unless you are aware of the cost involved and carefully read any terms and conditions when texting short codes.

  • Read all the terms and conditions of an offer very carefully. Services offering free or very cheap products often have hidden costs.

  • Ask yourself if you know how to stop any subscription service I want to sign up to?

 

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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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