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Scammers using new technique to steal your money (0)

Posted in Scams July 14th, 2010 @ 3:32 pm by Linda 

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued an alert warning to consumers about scammers. These scammers are calling people and offering prize money from the BBB.

Of course, the BBB does not offer any type of prize money for anything. The scammer, who has been identified as James Manley calls and says that he is offering $150,000 prize money from a BBB raffle. But first, you need to give him your bank account information so he can deposit this wonderful prize money into your bank.

That is the first sign that this is a scam. Thankfully, some people have hung up on him and reported him to law enforcement.

James Manley isn’t the only one calling with this scam, Frank Carter is also using the same scam. It seems that these people are calling from a Jamaican number. Frank Carter has a different twist to his scam. He calls and says that you have won the BBB raffle but he needs $250 wired to him through Western Union so he can pay the taxes on the prize money – another scam.

If you get any type of calls like this asking for money from you or your bank account number, law enforcement suggests you get all the information from them and hang up and call the BBB, or US Postal Inspector or even your state’s Bureau of Investigation with the information.

Remember; never give out any personal information to anyone on the phone or through emails. If it sounds too good to be true – it is.

Don’t fall for this ATM phishing scam (0)

Posted in Scams June 2nd, 2010 @ 11:43 am by Linda 

Recently, in Colorado there has been an ATM phishing scam going on. Here is how it works. You receive an automated phone call telling you that your ATM card has been canceled or deactivated due to fraudulent activity. The message then tells you to enter your credit card information or other personal information so the bank can investigate and reactive the card or reverse any charges.

This should be the first indication that this phone call is a scam. A bank will never use an automated call to contact you about fraudulent activity. The normal process is that you receive a letter from the bank about fraudulent use then a follow up letter that includes new ATM card(s). If you still don’t trust this, go to your bank and personally talk to a banker.

Finally, never provide your personal or financial information to anyone over the phone unless you can verify that the person is with your bank or credit union. However, personally going to your bank or credit union to verify this situation is the best way to make sure that you are not part of a phishing scam.

Ex bank employee accused of stealing money from bank and customers (0)

Posted in Scams May 19th, 2010 @ 10:14 am by Linda 

Recently, a warrant has been issued for the arrest of a former First National Bank employee for several felony charges. Michael Talamantes age 43 is charged with theft by swindle, theft of corporate property, concealing criminal proceeds, engaging in the business of criminal proceeds and commercial bribery.

Mr. Talamantes was working as a bilingual officer servicing Hispanic customers. The bank noticed discrepancies in his account from October 2006 through February 2009. Huge amounts of cash deposits – $26,356 – were noticed. Talamantes claimed that he earned the money by detailing cars and doing snow removal for Isak’s Auto Sales in Cleveland, Minnesota and Camauta’s Import Auto in Shakopee.

However, both dealerships told investigators that they had not paid him for that type of work. Instead, they paid him for “referrals” that had not been approved by the bank with check payments and not cash

All of his deposits were in cash. In addition, investigators were told by his Hispanic customers to make payments directly to him for their loans. Instead of crediting the customer loans, it appears he may have kept the money for himself. In addition, several customers were told by him not to talk to any one else in the bank except for him.

In reality, he was scamming people who trusted him. All the time this low-life was stealing hard-earned money from vulnerable people and profiting from it.

Twenty-two year old man poises as teenager to play on basketball team (0)

Posted in Scams May 13th, 2010 @ 10:44 am by Linda 

This is a bizarre story from Odessa, Texas. A West Texas student named Jerry Joseph led his high school basketball team to the state playoffs last season. He was actually a twenty-two year old man and not a teenager. The basketball star was really Guerdwich Montimere, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Haiti. A Florida coach recognized the man who played as a basketball player in his high school a few years ago.

Not only did the man pose as a teenager but he also claimed he was homeless. The basketball coach felt sorry for him and let him live in his house for the season. Sounds like the story line from “The Blind Side” starring Sandra Bullock. However, the ending to this story was not what Montimere expected.

Montimere enrolled at the local junior high school as a 15-year-old in February 2009 and then moved on to high school. High school officials became suspicious about his identity when three Florida basketball coaches recognized him at an amateur tournament. The coaches said that he was Montimere and not Jerry Joseph. Montimere graduated their high school in Fort Lauderdale in 2007.

School officials contacted U.S. immigration officials and found that his fingerprints matched on his original immigration papers. He was Jerry Joseph and not Guerdwich Montimere.

Montimere was arrested and booked into Ector County jail on a charge of presenting false identification to a peace officer. He was released from jail after posting a $500 bond.

If convicted of the misdemeanor, Montimere could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The sad part of this scam is that the high school in Texas will have to forfeit the 2009 basketball season.

Facebook hit with advertising scams (0)

Posted in Scams May 4th, 2010 @ 10:54 am by Linda 

If you use Facebook, you may have seen this type of ad on its pages. The ad claims, that if you are the first 20,000 to sign up as a fan, Best Buy will give you $1,000 to buy electronics. When you click on the “gift card” link, it takes you to a Facebook fan page where you need to fill out personal information

This type of marketing just doesn’t make sense. Why would a company spend $20 million to get only 20,000 Facebook fans? The answer may be that this is just another scam. Once you complete your personal information it may be sold to marketing companies so they can spam your email or worse scenario someone is looking to steal your identity.

It seems that this type of bogus gift card offers have popped up on Facebook too much that federal fraud alert has been issued. The scammers are posing as big companies offering non-existent gift cards.

A Best Buy spokesperson said that the company has been fighting these scams on Facebook as well as on Twitter. Best Buy’s legal team is now trying to find the scammers.

Once again, if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably nothing but a scam. Don’t be fooled by outlandish advertising. It may result in you shelling out money or even worse, identity theft.

An elaborate phone scam takes it to the limit (0)

Posted in Scams April 28th, 2010 @ 1:27 pm by Linda 

According to the Winona Daily News, a Goodview couple was a target of an elaborate phone scam. These low-life criminals posed as representatives from Publishers Clearing House, the Internal Revenue Service and even the Goodview police chief to try to bilk the couple of $3,000.

As most phone scams go, you receive a call from a “representative” from some type of company claiming that you have won money but before you can collect the money you need to send them money upfront. This is the first sign that the call is a scam. You should tell them no and hang up.

However, these scammers took it even further. The couple also got a call from a “representative” from the IRS confirming the reward and telling the couple to go ahead and send the money. Soon after, the couple also got a phone call from someone claiming to be the police chief of Goodview. He told them that he was checking out the legitimacy of the reward claim. The phony police chief said that the story checked out and to send the $3,000 to Publishers Clearing House. Soon after they also received another call from the IRS.

At this point, the couple called the Goodview police directly. They found that this was just an elaborate scam. All the calls came from unlisted numbers. Currently the police are trying to track down the phone records to catch these criminal scammers.

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