Friday, June 22, 2018

Reshipping, Gift Card and Sweepstake Frauds

Who wants to be scammed?

Absolutely no one, but it keeps on happening.

The proliferation of rip-offs are the work of dishonest people all over the world.

One work-at-home scam involves agreeing to have packages or money orders sent to your home or business address first and then re-shipped by you to another address. The scammers especially like those living in rural areas.

The crooks will order products using stolen credit cards, and the items will come to you. You will be collecting them for shipment, often out of the country and often at your own expense. The destinations can be Russia, Europe, Africa or anywhere.

You will receive instructions that will require you to pay the shipping in order to receive your fee. You will probably never get a penny. And yes, it’s all illegal and you could be arrested for mail fraud, smuggling and other crimes.

Some of the reshipping scams involve contact through dating websites (. hearts). or Internet career sites. Some even claim to be shipping items for a foreign charity. Don’t help them!

Payment to scam victims often involves counterfeit money orders in large amounts. The plan is for you to deposit your share in your checking account and send the excess amount to another person. Before you know it, you’ve lost the full amount of the counterfeit MO from your hard-earned savings

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One evening, a call came to John’s home. He was being warned by Deputy Thomas that he had one hour to pay a $1000 fine for missing jury duty in the county recently.

He was to go to a local discount store, purchase a gift card, and call the “official” number back. He was then to give them the card’s account number to avoid being arrested.

John didn’t cooperate after concluding the caller didn’t have the basic information he should have if this were actually an official call, but he realized how easy it is for scammers to penetrate our daily lives.

One of the oldies somehow keeps on working: fake sweepstakes or lottery winnings, even though you don’t recall entering the contest or purchasing a ticket. Some of the worst ones in operation today are coming from Jamaica or Costa Rica.

The phony notification may come by phone, text, email or social media. You will be persuaded to send money for income taxes or a special handling fee. Those amounts are just the come-on, and you haven’t won anything other than the sad honor of being the next victim.

The most notorious sweepstakes scams have earned a lot of attention on the Internet. Search for the company name, and you will see that other victims have reported their bad experiences.

Keep your radar on for any and all frauds and scams. If you’ve been wondering whether you may have been caught in the net of a scam or have other legal concerns, call West Virginia Senior Legal Aid at 800–229–5068. This free service is for West Virginia residents, age 60 and over, and they must make the call on their own behalf.


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