Archive for the ‘Fraud’ Category


Thursday, July 20th, 2017

In a new version of tech support fraud, scammers will freeze your computer. A message will come on telling you your computer has been infected with malware. Then it will instruct you to call the number on the screen immediately. Sometimes it will be accompanied by a loud voice telling you to call the number.
If you call the number, a technician will claim he is from Microsoft, Apple or some other company, and that they will diagnose the problem for free. Next they will inform you there is a problem, but that they can fix it on their end for a fee. The fees vary and can cost up to $250. They may even offer a protection service for about $25 to $100.00 a month.

What should you do if the message comes on your computer?

NEVER call the toll free number provided. DO NOT click on any of the pop up windows. Close the browser, or turn off your computer to get rid of the message.

Clever Credit Card Scam

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Thief uses credit card info gained during delivery of flowers and wine to empty mark’s bank account?

Be very careful out there!  Beware of people bearing gifts. The following is a recounting of the incident from a victim.

“Last Wednesday I had a phone call late morning from Express Couriers to ask if I was going to be home as he had a delivery for me. He said he would there in roughly an hour. He turned up with a beautiful basket of flowers and wine. I expressed my surprise as I wasn’t expecting anything like this and said I was intrigued to know who was sending me such a lovely gift. He said he was only delivering the gift and the card was being sent separately (the card has never arrived).

There was a consignment note with the gift.

He went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol he has to charge the recipient $3.50 as proof that he has actually delivered to an adult, and not left it on a door step if the recipient is out, to be stolen or taken by children.

This seemed logical and I offered to get the cash. He then said that the company required the payment to be by Eftpos (short for Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) so he’s not handling cash and everything is properly accounted for.

Frank was there and got his credit card and ‘John’ swiped the card on this small mobile machine that also had a small screen upon which Frank entered in his pin number. A receipt was printed out and given to us.

Between last Thursday and Monday $4,000 was withdrawn from our credit account at ATM machines in the north shore area. It appears a dummy credit card was made using the details in the machine and of course, they had Frank’s pin number.

The Bank has stopped our cards and I’ve been to the Police this morning, where they confirmed that it is a definite scam and many households were hit during the first 3 days of October.

So PLEASE be wary of accepting a gift you’re not expecting especially if the card is not with it. We’ve all received gifts like this and would never dream that it could be such a despicable act.”

WARNING: Be wary of accepting any “surprise gift or package”, which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package. Also, never accept anything if you do not personally know and/or there is no proper identification of who the sender is.

Credit Card Skimming

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Credit card skimming is a type of credit card theft where thieves use a small device to steal your credit card information. When a credit or debit card is swiped through a skimmer, the device captures and stores all the details in the cards magnetic strip.

Most common locations skimmers are used:

- ATM Machines
- Gas pumps
- Retail stores
- Restaurants

Read the Full Article Here

Catfishing – Online Dating Scams

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Catfishing is setting up a false personal profile on a dating site or online social media for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.

Motives for Catfishing:

- Lonely and dupe others into having online relationships they would never have in real life.
- Attention and sensation seekers who feed off the attention they receive from others and care little about who they hurt in the process.

Read the full Article Here

Telephone Collection Scam Related to Delinquent Payday Loans

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

12/01/2010—The IC3 receives a high volume of complaints from victims of payday loan telephone collection scams. In these scams, a caller claims that the victim is delinquent in a payday loan and must repay the loan to avoid legal consequences. The callers purport to be representatives of the FBI, Federal Legislative Department, various law firms, or other legitimate-sounding agencies. They claim to be collecting debts for companies such as United Cash Advance, U.S. Cash Advance, U.S. Cash Net, and other Internet check cashing services.

One of the most insidious aspects of this scam is that the callers have accurate information about the victims, including Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, employer information, bank account numbers, and names and telephone numbers of relatives and friends. The method by which the fraudsters obtained the personal information is unclear, but victims often relay that they had completed online applications for other loans or credit cards before the calls began.

The fraudsters relentlessly call the victim’s home, cell phone, and place of employment. They refuse to provide to the victims any details of the alleged payday loans and become abusive when questioned. The callers threaten victims with legal actions, arrests, and in some cases physical violence if they refuse to pay. In many cases, the callers even resort to harassment of the victim’s relatives, friends, and employers.

Some fraudsters instruct victims to fax a statement agreeing to pay a certain dollar amount, on a specific date, via prepaid visa card. The statement further declares that the victim would never dispute the debt.

These telephone calls are an attempt to obtain payment by instilling fear in the victims. Do not follow the instructions of the caller.

If you receive telephone calls such as these, you should:

  • Contact your banking institutions;

  • Contact the three major credit bureaus and request an alert be put on your file;

  • Contact your local law enforcement agencies if you feel you are in immediate danger;

File a complaint at

Rental and Real Estate Scams

Monday, August 19th, 2013

—Individuals need to be cautious when posting rental properties and real estate on-line. The IC3 continues to receive numerous complaints from individuals who have fallen victim to scams involving rentals of apartments and houses, as well as postings of real estate online.

Rental scams occur when the victim has rental property advertised and is contacted by an interested party. Once the rental price is agreed-upon, the scammer forwards a check for the deposit on the rental property to the victim. The check is to cover housing expenses and is, either written in excess of the amount required, with the scammer asking for the remainder to be remitted back, or the check is written for the correct amount, but the scammer backs out of the rental agreement and asks for a refund. Since the banks do not usually place a hold on the funds, the victim has immediate access to them and believes the check has cleared. In the end, the check is found to be counterfeit and the victim is held responsible by the bank for all losses.

Another type of scam involves real estate that is posted via classified advertisement websites. The scammer duplicates postings from legitimate real estate websites and reposts these ads, after altering them. Often, the scammers use the broker’s real name to create a fake e-mail, which gives the fraud more legitimacy. When the victim sends an e-mail through the classified advertisement website inquiring about the home, they receive a response from someone claiming to be the owner. The “owner” claims he and his wife are currently on missionary work in a foreign country. Therefore, he needs someone to rent their home while they are away. If the victim is interested in renting the home, they are asked to send money to the owner in the foreign country.

If you have been a victim of Internet crime, please file a complaint at

Fraudulent Notification Deceives Consumers Out of Thousands of Dollars

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

—The IC3 continues to receive reports of letters and e-mails being distributed pursuant to prize sweepstakes or lottery schemes. These schemes use counterfeit checks that bear legitimate-looking logos of various financial institutions to fool victims into sending money to the fraudsters.

Fraudsters tell victims they won a sweepstakes or lottery, but to receive a lump sum payout, they must pay the taxes and processing fees upfront. Fraudsters direct individuals to call a telephone number to initiate a letter of instructions. The letter alleges that the victim may elect to take an advance on the winnings to make the required upfront payment. The letter includes a check in the amount of the alleged taxes and fees, along with processing instructions. Ultimately, victims believe they are using the advance to make the required upfront payment, but in reality they are falling prey to the scheme.

The victim deposits the check into their own bank, which credits the account for the amount of the check before the check clears. The victim immediately withdraws the money and wires it to the fraudsters. Afterwards, the check proves to be counterfeit and the bank pulls the respective funds from the victim’s account, leaving the victim liable for the amount of the counterfeit check plus any additional fees the bank may charge.

Persons may fall victim to this scheme due to the allure of easy money and the apparent legitimacy of the check the fraudsters include in the letter of instruction. The alleged cash prizes and locations of the financial institutions vary.

Tips to avoid being scammed:

  • A federal statute prohibits mailing lottery tickets, advertisements, or payments to purchase tickets in a foreign lottery.

  • Be leery if you do not remember entering a lottery or sweepstakes.

  • Beware of lotteries or sweepstakes that charge a fee prior to delivering your prize.

  • Be wary of demands to send additional money as a requirement to be eligible for future winnings.

If you have been a victim of this type of scam or any other cyber crime, you can report it to the IC3 at The IC3 complaint database links complaints for potential referral to law enforcement for case consideration. Complaint information is also used to identify emerging trends and patterns to alert the public to new criminal schemes.

How To Avoid Becoming a Victim of Fraud

Monday, March 21st, 2011

In this day and age, it is to easy to become a victim of fraud. With that said, you can have a much greater peace of mind armed  the knowledge of what to look for.


Many warning signs of fraud are becoming more and more well known. We must constantly be alert of what to look for in our daily lives, particularly when browsing the internet.

  • Sounds too good to be true.
    No, there isn’t really a wealthy man looking for you to cash his check, and keep a large portion for yourself… but we can dream.
  • Pressures to act “right away”.
    But wait if you act now!” (We’ll only scam your for 80% of your worth!)
  • Guarantees success.
    We’ve all seen them, and all been tempted by one an offer that relates to our own needs and wants. There is no guaranteed money making, weight loss, or sex appeal increasing pill, book, or recipe. All of the above either come natural or  take hard work.
  • Doesn’t have the look or sound of a real business.
    Yes, there are new start ups every day. However, (most Internet) start ups invest the capital to make sure they look legitimate.
  • Something just doesn’t seem or feel right.
    Back away while you’re still OK. Your gut is often right, even when you don’t want it to be. Online fraud offers are strategically designed to make you overlook the fact that they don’t look legitimate, and make you feel emotionally connected instead of doubting them.


  • Never clink on a link inside an e-mail to visit a website. Rather type in the address in your browser instead.
    Just because it says, doesn’t mean it is headed in that direction. Instead, type the actual address in your browser window. Also, watch for fraudulent links that come in the form of – if anything comes between the known websites name “yourbank” and the “.com” then odds are you need to stay far away.
  • Only 2% of Identity theft occurs through the mail. Report online fraud to the Federal Trade Commission at
    Which is why we’re here to educate you.
  • Always retain receipts , statements and review monthly for accuracy.
    While it may take an extra hour or two at the end of the month, it is well worth it for the peace of mind and security.
  • Shred confidential documents instead of simply discarding them in the trash, there are trash seekers out there.
    Believe it or not, this is more common than you think. Business Owners: Pay special attention to this, dumpster diving thieves know that businesses deal with multiple people’s information all day long.

Internet Phising – This happens when you are directed to a page that looks like a website you know and trust, however, it is only a mask. After entering your information you are directed to the real website page (the one you already thought you were on). Letting the scammers scrape the info you just entered without you even realizing it, because you still wind up logged into the correct site.

Tip: Always look at the address bar in your browser to make sure it says “”” etc. To be truly safe, do NOT click links in emails, even if you think it is from the company you know. Instead type in the address to the site that you know is correct.


  • Your bank will never e-mail or call you asking for you account numbers or pass codes.
    This also includes other sites such as “PayPal” that deal with sensitive or financial information.
  • Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus once a year from
  • Check your bank statements monthly for unrecognized charges.
  • Foreign lotteries are illegal in the U.S. you can’t win no matter what they say.

If you suspect you might be a victim of fraud call GOLD SHIELD ELITE for a free in depth consultation and analysis.