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 Community Connections @  Findley Lake
Making Life Easier

What is Scamming? 

     Around the world millions of individuals are being scammed. You may ask I been scammed? What can I do to prevent being scammed? It is important to be informed. Here is some important pointers. 


Scammers may be committing fraud by: 


  • Offering or selling counterfeit prescription drugs 
  • Funeral and cemetery fraud 
  • Health care or health insurance fraud 
  • Offering fraudulent anti- aging products 
  • Telemaketing and internet fraud 
  • Financial exploitations fraud 
  • Identity theft fraud 


   

 


New Scam Targets Your Social Security Benefit.



Letter Writen by Kristin Keckeisen
AARP Fraud Watch Network


Collect Social Security? A new scam is targeting YOU.

How It Works:
A scammer calls from a 323 area code, posing as a Social Security Administration (SSA) employee.
In some instances, the scammer tells the victim he or she is due a cost-of-living adjustment increase in their Social Security benefit.
The caller then tries to get the victim to “verify” their Social Security number, name, date of birth, parents’ name and other personal information.
If the scammer succeeds, they use the information to make changes to the victim’s direct deposit, address, and telephone information.
What You Should Know:
The SSA does call occasionally call people for customer service purposes.
Only in very limited situations, usually known by the person being called, will the SSA ask to confirm personal information.
What You Should Do:
Never provide information such as your Social Security number or bank account numbers to unknown people over the phone or internet unless you are certain who is receiving it.
If you have questions about any SSA communication – a call, letter, email or text – contact your local Social Security office or 1-800-772-1213.
Report suspicious calls to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.
When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Please share this alert with friends and family.


 

Phishing Scams

     Are you a Verizon customer? Well watch out! Verizon Online has put out a warning of a new phishing scam targeting that is targeting their customers. The scam lures customers to a fraudulent web site, and has the person put in personal information and/or download a virus infected programs. 

Verizon online states that they will never ask for personal or account information by email. 


If you receive an e-mail similar to the ones below (the content may vary slightly), you should DELETE IT IMMEDIATELY.





Phishing Scam email 1: 
Verizon Service <e-mail address removed>
Subject: Security Message - Verify Your Information
Date: February 18, 2017 at 5:35:26 AM EST
To: Undisclosed-Recipients:;
Image Removed

Dear Verizon Customer ,

Your Verizon online account preferences were changed by someone else.

We have Disabled most of the accessible features of your account.

You have to login from your device in order to reactivate your online functions again.

Security Dep,

Verizon Online

Phishing Scam email
From: Verizon Wireless <e-mail address removed>
To: e-mail address removed
Sent: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 9:12 AM
Subject: Your online bill is available. Amount due $473.48
Image Removed    Easily make an online payment. View online
                          Shop          Support           My Verizon

Your bill is ready to view online.

Account ending in #2573-00001.

  Bill Summary
Total amount due: $256.15

Due by: 04/09/17

View and pay your
bill
Visit My Verizon to view recent payments or adjustments.
Thanks for choosing Verizon Wireless.

Enroll in auto pay        >           Shop Deals     >

Images Removed

Plans  |  Phones  |  Tablets  |  Accessories  |  Locations

© 2017 Verizon Wireless


This email was sent to asharma_personal@att.net.

We respect your privacy. Please review our privacy policy for more information.

Verizon Wireless, One Verizon Way, Mail Code: 180WVB, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

-----------------------------------------------------

Phishing Scam email 2:

From: Verizon Wireless [mailto:e-mail address removed]
Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 3:02 PM
To: Undisclosed recipients:
Subject: Urgent: Payment unauthorized

Image Removed

Update Required!!

Dear user, 

Due to recent upgrade on Verizon database. We have been unable to authorize your last payment. You are required to verify your email address below

'CLICK HERE

'Verifying your email keeps your account safe and secure.
'Your Verizon Email account will be disabled failure to follow this update. The link will expire in 24 hours, so be sure to use it right away.

Sincerely, 
The Verizon Wireless 

Please do not reply to this email. We are unable to respond to inquiries sent to this address. For immediate answers to your questions, visit our Help Center by clicking "Help". 
Copyright 2017 . All rights reserved.

Phishing Scam email 3:

From: Verizon Webmail <e-mail address removed>
Date: Mar 16, 2017 1:51 PM
Subject: Important massage from Verizon webmail
To:
Cc:
Dear Verizon Customer ,
Your security is top priority at verizon!
Your Account Has been suspended due to suspicious Activities.
please verify Your Information to restore Your Account.
We work hard to protect your information and money.
Thank you.

                        © 2017 Verizon Seucirty, N.A


Phishing Scam email 4: 
From: Verizon
Sent: Saturday, March 11, 2017 8:48 AM
To: Undisclosed-Recipients:
Subject: Your Verizon Account Some Information Is Missing
Image Removed
Update Your Verizon Account Some Information Is Missing Please log in to your Account And update your Information
Update Now  COPYRIGHT by Verizon.net

Phishing Scam email 5: 
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2017 1:53 AM
Subject: This is important!!! Update your email

?Deαr Verizοn User,

Your accοunt has some security issues like some other accοunts.This is due to recent security incidents that affected some of our custοmers' accοunts.Your account would be blοcked from sending and receiving emails if it is not updated within 48hrs of οpening this autοmated mail. You are required to fix the issues thrοugh the 2017 Verizοn update page belοw.

hxxp://u r l _ s a n i t i z e d

Thanks for using Verizοn
The Verizon Teαm

Verizon is telling people to not:
  • Respond to the Email in any way
  • Click any links
  • Open any attachments
  • Provide any data to any web sites mentioned

For more examples of the emails visit their website at https://www.verizon.com/support/consumer/announcements/phishing-scam-announcements

The Online Love Scam 💰💔

     Are you single or recently widowed? Are your friends trying to get you out there in the dating world again? Encouraging you to try online dating sites? Although dating sites portray that you will find love, sometimes that is not always true. You must be aware. Some people on these sites may lie and pretend to be something or someone they are not.  Social media has really opened doors for scammers to start lurking. 


    Every week, hundreds of women are sending money to Africa and Afghanistan to help service members come home. They believe they are doing a good deed, but in reality IT IS A SCAM. These men portraying to be service men are not in the United States military and they are scam artists preying on women. The website that these scam artists have been lurking on is Facebook. This shows that not all scamming happens of dating websites, but it can happen anywhere.

 

 

How can you protect yourself from scamming? 


  • Sign up for identity theft protection such as the AARP Credit and Identity Theft Protection from TrustID https://www.aarpidprotection.com
  • Keep an eye on your financial activity 
  • Keep up to date about common scams.  The IRS publishes an article " Dirty Dozen" every year that details what the most common scam people have been reported in that year. https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/dirty-dozen
  • Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or emails – delete them: If unsure, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.
  • Keep your personal details secure.  -  shred your bills and other important documents before throwing them out. Keep your passwords and pin numbers in a safe place. Be very careful about how much personal information you share on social media sites.
  • Keep your mobile devices and computers secure.  - Always have a password. 
  • Choose your passwords carefully. -A strong password should include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password for every account/profile, and don’t share your passwords with anyone.
  • Review your privacy and security settings on social media. If you use social networking sites, like Facebook, be careful who you connect with. Learn how to use your privacy and security settings to ensure you stay safe.  If you recognise suspicious behaviour, clicked on spam or have been scammed online, take steps to secure your account and be sure to report the conduct.
  • Unsure as to if the person is who they say they are use the website https://www.tineye.com , upload a photo and see if others have used that same photo on other pages. You can also see if other have used your photos by uploading  a picture of yourself. 

                        Military Scammer Tools
            ( Borrowed from an article on Military.com )

  • Gives an imaginary name - Anyone with Photoshop can manufacture phony ID. If they ask for money, IT IS A SCAM.
  • Cannot access his or her bank account - Military members can access their money from overseas. 
  • Claim to be Special Forces - Liars love to claim they are in Delta Force, Army Rangers, Navy Seals or Special Ops. 
  • Your family and friends think you are crazy - If your family and friends think this is a scam, it is. These people know you and they are not blinded by love. They know if someone asks you for money, ITS IS A SCAM. 

 
Virtual Kidnapping Scam on the Rise in New York City

   

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation and New York City Police Department are alerting the public to a new, frightening scam that is targeting New York City residents. In the scheme, individuals call claiming to have kidnapped a family member. While no actual kidnapping has taken place, the callers often use co-conspirators to convince their victims of the legitimacy of the threat. For example, a caller might attempt to convince a victim that her husband or son had gotten into a car accident with a member of a gang. The individual calling pretends to be a friend or relative of the gang member and tells the victim that their family member is seriously injured and needs to go to the hospital but that their friend will not allow them to go the hospital until he gets paid for the damages done to his vehicle. In another example, a caller might attempt to convince a victim that his daughter was kidnapped by having a young female scream for help in the background during the call. Often the reason they are holding the alleged victim varies, but some of the most prominent scams involve car accidents, drug debts, gang assaults, or persons being smuggled across the border. Victim telephone numbers appear to be dialed at random.


    Callers will typically provide the victim with specific instructions to ensure safe return of the allegedly kidnapped individual. In some cases, these instructions involve demands of a ransom payment. Callers are ordered to stay on the phone until the money is wired, often to a third party in Puerto Rico. Most schemes use various techniques to instill a sense of fear, panic, and urgency in an effort to rush the victim into making a very hasty decision. Instructions usually require the ransom payment be made immediately and typically by wire transfer using companies such as Western Union. The requested ransom payments are for varied amounts, usually between $600 to $1,900. In addition, once a payment is made, the alleged kidnappers often claim the money was not received and tells the victims that they need to wire additional money. The perpetrators of this scam appear to be Hispanic males and often speak with a Spanish accent.


     “This is a scheme that takes advantage of some of the most vulnerable people in New York City,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos. “We need the public to be aware of this scam and call us if they have been a victim.”


     “The New York City Police Department, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, continually seeks preventive measures to ensure the public is both safe and well informed,” said NYPD Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. “We encourage the community to immediately contact the police if they encounter any calls that require a ransom for kidnapping.”



To avoid becoming a victim of this extortion scheme, look for the following possible indicators:


  • Incoming calls come from an outside area code, sometimes from Puerto Rico with area codes (787), (939) and (856)
  • Calls do not come from the kidnapped victim’s phone
  • Callers go to great lengths to keep you on the phone
  • Callers prevent you from calling or locating the “kidnapped” victim
  • Ransom money is only accepted via wire transfer service

If you receive a phone call from someone who demands payment of a ransom for a kidnapped victim, the following should be considered:

  • Try to slow the situation down. Request to speak to the victim directly. Ask, “How do I know my loved one is okay?”
  • If they don’t let you speak to the victim, ask them to describe the victim or describe the vehicle they drive, if applicable.
  • Listen carefully to the voice of the kidnapped victim if they speak.
  • Attempt to call, text, or contact the victim via social media. Request that the victim call back from his or her cell phone.
  • While staying on the line with alleged kidnappers, try to call the alleged kidnap victim from another phone.
  • To buy time, repeat the caller’s request and tell them you are writing down the demand, or tell the caller you need time to get things moving.
  • Don’t directly challenge or argue with the caller. Keep your voice low and steady.
  • Request the kidnapped victim call back from his/her cell phone.

We are asking anyone with information about the virtual kidnappings to call the FBI at 212-384-1000 or the NYPD at 800-577-TIPS. If you believe you are the victim of a real kidnapping, please call 911 or your local FBI office. Tipsters may remain anonymous.