The Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana (BBB) is alerting folks to a
number of scams, both old and emerging ones.
•The emergency e-mail from abroad. From an actual e-mai: “I'm very
sorry to bother you with this, I had to make a sudden trip out of the
country to (Cyprus Euro), unfortunately for me i got mugged and they got
away with all i had with me including my cell phone and my bank card. Am in
a terrible situation right now and I don't have access to calls only via
email and i also can't access my bank account from here. I need a loan of
$2,600. i will refund the money to you once i get back home, I will really
appreciate whatever amount you can come up with, if not all because i need
to get back home. Please do locate the nearest western union outlet. Please
keep this between us.” This scam is often directed at seniors by tricksters
who pose as grandchildren, with information acquired from social networking
•Online digital photos could potentially lead criminals to your door.
Be aware that digital photos have embedded “geo-tags,” which is a fancy way
of saying that your digital photos carry your latitude /longitude
whereabouts and the time and date that pictures were taken. There are apps
that can remove this information, before you upload. For the iPhone, there
is deGeo. The Android has Geo-Eraser, and JPEG and PNG Stripper can be used
on any phone that has GPS. For more information on these apps, consult with
your wireless carrier.
•Telemarketing calls. What to do about unwanted, repetitive phone
calls, such as calls from Card Member Services? (1) Screen your calls.
Either let an answering service answer for you or invest in a caller ID
service. (2) If you choose not to screen your calls, don't give out personal
information. If they ask to confirm your name, ask them who they are, why
they’re calling, and who they’re with. (3) If you're on the Do Not Call
List, they should not be calling you, unless you previously have done
business with them. If you are, tell them they should not be calling you.
(4) Ask to be added to their business's No Call List and any business
affiliates, if they are calling on behalf of another party. (5) If they keep
disregarding the No Call Rule, then file a complaint with the Federal Trade
•Craigslist Scam. A woman posted a rug for sale on Craigslist. The
buyer put a down payment of $100 to hold the rug. The selling price was
$2,900 and the buyer sent a check for $3,900 to pay for it, with the extra
$1,000 to be wired by the seller to a “pickup agent.” The seller did
recognize it as a scam. Had she not, deposited the check, and wired the
$1,000, she would have been on the hook for it, as the check would have been
•Debt collectors are threatening jail time. Individuals applying for
cash advance loans online are receiving harassing calls from debt
collectors, although debts are paid. The debt collector has the individual's
bank account, routing number, address, and Social Security number, which was
provided online, when signing up for cash advance services. One particular
threat: $250 had to be paid by 3:30 p.m. that day or the woman would be
arrested. Then, the remainder of the $499 had to be paid by Saturday. The
caller had a thick Middle Eastern accent and supposedly worked for Cash
•Are lotteries too good to be true? You bet! For a $10 fee, you'll
receive $20,000 from CPS Payments, located in the Netherlands. From Madrid,
Spain, a woman was awarded millions of dollars for an international
sweepstakes that has random drawings, if she provides her bank account
information. Of course, she is told by giving that information, the winnings
can be direct deposited into her account. In addition, foreign lotteries are
illegal in the United States.
•Hiring a contractor. Persons not checking the reliability of a
contractor run the risk of being ripped off. It's important that the
contractor you work with is licensed and bonded, or you could be paying even
more out of pocket expense in event of an injury on your property.
•Mystery Shopping. Checks sent to folks who want to work as mystery
shoppers are often drawn on stolen bank accounts. Cashing these checks will
only get them in trouble because they will be held accountable for money
they don’t have from depositing that fraudulent check.