Showing posts with label Fraud. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fraud. Show all posts

Sunday, April 17, 2022

What to Do if You've Been Scammed Into Paying Someone Through Venmo

Although Venmo was designed to make transferring money between friends simple and convenient, it’s not always so simple. In some situations, scammers pose as friends or family, hoping to steal money from unsuspecting users.

These scams make it even more important to be cautious and aware when using the app. The following are some steps you can take if you’ve been scammed by someone through Venmo:

Block the Scammer

If you’ve been scammed and have sent money through Venmo, first contact your bank immediately. Tell them what happened and see if they can reverse any charges that have already taken place. 

If they can’t reverse those charges, they may be able to help you get an extension on your payment plan so you can work something out with your creditor.

When speaking to a representative from the bank, they may also let you know how many days/weeks/months it might take for a refund from Venmo (if one is available). The last thing you want is for someone else to use that money before it gets returned to you.

Report it as Fraud

If you think you've been scammed, report it as fraud. There are a few things to know about reporting scams on your account: In most cases, you should be able to find options for reporting fraud in your settings. Within minutes of reporting your issue, you should receive an email stating that the app has received your request.

If your account is still active after you report an issue with a transaction as fraud, that likely means a representative from Venmo hasn’t determined that there was any fraudulent activity involved. Keep reporting the fraudulent activity until you get a response.

Tell Your Bank and Request a Chargeback

In many cases, you can request a chargeback through your bank or credit card issuer. A chargeback will remove any money taken from your account and refund it into your bank account. 

This is a hassle, though, so you’ll want to try everything else first. Keep in mind that some chargebacks can take weeks to resolve so keep checking your account until the money is returned. 

As you wait, consider reaching out to an attorney from Heidarpour Law Firm to help you recover your funds after fraud.

Change Your Password or Deactivate Your Account

If you think someone has gained access to your account, you should change your password immediately or deactivate your account. 

Changing your password will ensure that no one can make any additional transactions from your account (or transfer funds) for 14 days. To do so, go back into Settings > Security and select Deactivate Account at the bottom of that page.

Make sure your money is safe when using your Venmo account. Keep this information in mind as you take steps to safeguard your finances in the future.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

How to Safeguard Yourself Against Fraud and Identity Theft

Every year, millions of people are the victim of attempted and actual fraud or identity theft. Your personal information including your credit card account information is being transmitted over a variety of new channels, and your risk exposure for fraud is increasing dramatically. 
Many major companies with relatively secure infrastructures have experienced massive data breaches, leaving consumers’ information vulnerable to misuse. In addition, criminals have become more creative in how they target individuals for fraud. Now more than ever, it’s essential that you take steps to protect yourself. Here are a couple of the most important things that you can do to defend yourself against fraud.

Get Fraud Protection

When you’re evaluating how to fight fraud effectively, you should consider enlisting expert help with fraud and identity theft protection. A full-service fraud protection plan will monitor your credit and alert you of suspicious activity, so you don’t have to worry about checking it continuously. Should any type of fraud or identity theft occur, you can have immediate access to help in correcting it.

Beware of Phone Scams

Recently, robocalls have been an increasingly common vehicle for fraud schemes. Usually, it consists of a fraudulent message that’s sent out to thousands of people warning them that they better respond with their personal information or a payment or else they’ll be in trouble. 

In some instances, the calls actually tell people that they have been the victim of fraud and they need to take action to prevent a freeze on their social security account. In actuality, it’s an attempt to gain access to your personal social security information. A similar scheme tells people that they owe money to the IRS and must act right away to avoid criminal prosecution. 

If you get a phone call with a pre-recorded message telling you that you owe the IRS money and you better call and pay it or someone will come to arrest you, be aware that it’s definitely a fraud attempt. The IRS will never phone you to demand money or threaten you with incarceration.

Don’t Open Attachments in Suspicious Emails

If you receive an email from an unfamiliar sender, don’t open the attachment. It may contain a virus, malware, or ransomware that could be used to appropriate your financial data.
Take a proactive approach to safeguard yourself from fraud identity theft by getting expert-level protection and being conscientious about phone and email scams. You can have peace of mind knowing that you're ready to fight back against fraud.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Letters and Emails and Calls—Oh My! How to Avoid Getting Scammed

A sweepstakes prize notification comes in the mail. Some anonymous phone call promises you a free vacation. Through an ominous sounding email, you are warned of potential prosecution for tax evasion or public humiliation for visiting an inappropriate website.

These are only but an example of the many types of fraudulent snail and emails and phone calls. This bombardment of scams preys a poem victims responding to high pressure and lack of information. Here are a few ways you can avoid the scams.

Do a Search

Often, scammers will have an email or phone number but no identity of the company or entity. This alone can signal a potential scam. Not surprisingly, the cheats do not want themselves revealed.

Type in the email address, regular mail address, or phone number into an online database or reverse search service. If the scammer has done this with other people, chances are people have talked about it online.

Include in your Google search a few words or phrases from the message. This may generate hits from government or consumer watchdogs, such as the Better Business Bureau, that contain warnings. If you’re suspicious, contact your local Better Business Bureau, state consumer protection office or the Federal Trade Commission.

Smell a Phish

Phishing refers to attempts to get your personal and financial information, such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and credit card account numbers. Often, these scammers will mimic a legitimate company (including one with whom you have dealings) or a government agency.

The call, mail or email may contain a warning that you will face prosecution or other dire consequences unless you hand over information and pay money. Other scammers phish by claiming that they need updated information from you or that an invoice his due.

The IRS will not call you to collect on unpaid taxes. Instead, it will send you an official notice based upon items specific to your tax return or situation, which a scammer likely would not have. Credit card and other companies with whom you deal already obtained information from you when you opened the account. Contact your companies to learn their procedures for contacting you. Ignore invoices for items you have not ordered or companies you have not contacted.

Check for grammatical and spelling errors as well as for the original source of the email.

Avoid Those Who Want You to Be “Up Front”

This is not a call for you to be dishonest. It is a warning to avoid those who want you to pay in advance for particular items.

One of these types of scams inform you that you have won a prize, but you must furnish your credit card and other financial information to pay for shipping and handling. Not surprisingly, the charge appears on your card, but no prize appears at your door or mailbox. The pay up front scams often populate themselves in work-at-home for other employment schemes, promises for debt relief and mortgage assistance. Often, these “pay in advance” scammers do not have a company name or address.

Additionally, be aware that legitimate, professional agencies will never ask for payment in the form of gift cards. Scammers often ask for forms of payment that you can’t recover or cancel if you second guess them later.

Avoiding scams through the mail, email and telephone requires that you resist. That is, don’t succumb to the pressure to respond immediately. Investigate the message or claim. Consult legitimate online resources, official agencies (local, state and federal) and your own common sense. Often, no response to the message is the best approach.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Watch Out! Scams That Come Out For the Holidays

Gift Cards
Gift Cards (Photo credit: PersonalMoneyNetwork)
The holidays are an expensive time when people spend large amounts of money on their families, friends, or themselves. It is often helpful to find deals and discounts that save money. Buyers must beware, however, for the ever-present scammers and swindlers who will try and separate consumers from their money. Some scams are always around, but some come out just for the holidays.

The Charity Scam

Over half of American adults give to some sort of charity during the holidays, and criminals know that. Most of the charity scams are accomplished over the telephone in the form of cold calls. Scammers will call your phone, and state they are representing some sort of charity. They will say all the right things, and have all the right information; however they will not be affiliated with any charity. Eventually they will ask for your personal information, to include your banking or credit card information, and take you for as much money as they can.

Special attention should be paid to charities claiming to represent emergency services workers such as police, fire, and veteran's groups. Often, scammers will claim to represent these groups in an effort to garner additional sympathy from you. Even if the name of the charity they are using is legitimate, the callers may not be. If you feel like donating, contact the charity directly instead of responding to a received phone call.


This type of scam is more high-tech, but even more dangerous. These days, consumers complete a fair portion of their shopping online. When done correctly, you can receive discounts and additional savings by shopping online. When searching for cheaper prices online, look-a-like websites are set up to fool you into buying from them instead of the legit site. Make sure the online coupons you run across have details that distinguish it from others like it that are scams.

Often, the website itself will be an exact replica of the proper site, with the only clue to the scam residing in the address bar. The website will be slightly altered in some way, and if the link has been clicked from a search results page, it is very easy to inadvertently put in your credit card information into the fake site.

Fake Gift Cards

In recent years with the explosion of gift card sales, retailers have set up in-store displays of all kinds of cards. In most cases, you can buy more types of gift cards than the average store brand. It is not uncommon to happen upon a rack in a department store with many different gift cards, from restaurants to online retailers. It turns out that scammers have targeted these cards with frightening results.

Using a handheld scanner or by simply peeling off the sticker on the back, thieves copy the gift card information and place the cards back on the rack. They simply lie in wait for the cards to be purchased, and once they discover the card has been bought and activated, they use the pilfered card information online before you even get a chance to use it. Instead, you should buy the gift cards directly from the retailer’s website or at an attended customer service counter.

Scams have always been around, and the tactics will continue to change. It’s important to remain abreast of new techniques and ways to protect yourself and your money.

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Stop Your Employees Fiddling the Paper Work

The Greater London Police were called in to investigate fraud committed by staff working for Serco in August 2013. It was discovered that employees had fiddled the paper work to claim prisoners were being made ready to be transported to court, when in fact they were not. They were working for Serco who had been awarded a contract worth £285million to transport the prisoners across London.

Serco had been aware that there were some internal problems when persistent delays were reported in the transportation of the visitors from courts to jails in the summer of 2012. As a result of the delays they created an official improvement notice but that wasn't enough to solve the problems. Instead of improving their work the employees simply fiddled the paperwork. In addition to this problem Serco has also been accused of overcharging for their contracts and as a result they must allow an outside forensic audit to find out if they have been acting and performing dishonestly.

Protecting Your Business

Fraud happens, it’s something that costs businesses in the UK millions of pounds and it can leave companies closed and individuals behind bars. As a business owner it’s very important that you try to protect your company from those who are always looking to make money off the back of others.

The Greater London police have provided a lot of advice regarding fraud for business owners. Fraudsters find all sorts of ways to target businesses, whether they are attacking you from the outside or internally. You may be targeted by a lone fraudster or a gang, either way you must be aware of some of the methods that could be used.

Transferring Money

Criminals will use telegraphic transfer requests to take money from your account. The criminals get hold of your bank details and most commonly send a transfer request from another country. A letter is produced and sent to your bank requesting the money and the bank will send the amount that’s been asked for.

An Inside Job

Employees are increasingly being involved in cases of business fraud. The individuals often work on their own to try and gain personal details in order to commit fraud through identity theft. The criminals will come to work for you with the intention of stealing from you but often they will target other employees within your company. The employees may be questioned in a relaxed or social setting and unwittingly give away some information that the criminal can use to their advantage. Alternatively they may be threatened or blackmailed into delivering financial data of the company.

Suspecting Fraud Within Your Company

If you think your company may have been targeted by fraudsters you will need to discover what’s been going on. You can use your internal audit systems and enroll the assistance of forensic accountants in London so you’re fully aware of the extent of the damage to the assets of your company. You must also make a report to the police who will be able to investigate the incident.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Auto insurance Fraud on the Rise- Watch Out!

A car crash on Jagtvej in Copenhagen, Denmark.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last month’s twister in Oklahoma left more than deadly destruction and debris in its trail. While picking up the pieces, a number of people had to deal with a disaster of a different kind: insurance fraud, especially in cases related to automobiles. Authorities have reported that out of the 20,000-odd claims registered in the week following the tornado, a big chunk of those were concerning vehicles. To stop victims of the tornado from falling prey to auto insurance scams, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has been working alongside the Oklahoma Insurance Department in identifying the people responsible in such cases.

Auto insurance scam numbers at a dizzying high

Recent surveys suggest that such incidences are neither restricted to occur in the aftermath of natural disasters nor in Oklahoma. In fact, D.C. recorded the highest rate of auto insurance fraud. At 83 questionable claims per 100,000 people, the country’s capital was leading when it came to the sheer volume of questionable claims considering its size and population. Maryland, California, Rhode Island and California rounded up the list of the top five states with a high rate of questionable claims.

Across the country, incidences of auto insurance fraud are on the rise and if numbers are anything to go by, there is no stopping fraudsters from making a quick buck. In a report published by the NICB, the percentage of questionable claims that were filed in 2012 jumped 13 percent from the previous year, with the number of questionable personal automobile claims increasing to 78,024 claims in 2012 from 69,219 claims filed the year before. In all, there were 209,724 questionable claims filed with the bureau when it came to all types of automobile insurance, many of them due to the growth in the number of staged accidents in the country.

These are startling numbers, given that you can never know what hit you, literally.
The NICB analysis also pointed out that at one-fifth of all questionable claims, those related to bodily injury were right on top. This is a cover through which other people’s injuries can be paid for if they were caused by the one insured. Closely following was the cover in case of collision, making up 16 percent of personal automobile claims, in which the one holding the insurance policy is paid, for the damages to his own car, incase no one else is involved.

Keeping insurance scams at bay

Cases of fraud can strike without much warning, no matter how experienced you may be as a driver. While the numbers keep rising by the day, you as the one insured, can keep track of how and where these scams strike.

A few pointers to protect yourself against fraudulent claims:
  • The auto insurance company or agent through which you access coverage should have a valid license.
  • Do not leave the site of the accident without first noting down details of the other driver. Information like phone numbers, license numbers, license plate numbers and insurance information should be noted down.  
  • Legal documentation of the accident is vital.
  • Be alert about all referrals at the time of the accident, be it auto repair shops or health and legal experts.
  • Avoid signing forms that you haven’t filled that may be related to health care or treatment for injuries caused by the accident.
  • Review your auto insurance policies and make sure you understand them well.
  • Always insist on bills for auto repairs and medical costs connected to the accident.
Older people are especially to be on guard against auto insurance frauds as they are more gullible because of their trusting nature. Seniors may want to take the help of AARP not only to get great discounts on car insurance but also to help them find coverage from an auto insurance carrier who can smell a rat when they see one!

Author Bio: Elvis Donnelly is a father of two who works from home and lives with his wife. He is voracious reader and always looks out for happening topics related to personal finance. He specializes on subjects related to insurance and uses his spare time to write on topics related to auto insurance, car insurance quotes etc.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Top Five Ways of Avoiding Financial Scams And Abuse In 2013

Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)
All of us, irrespective of gender or age, are vulnerable to financial scams and abuse. And interestingly most of the time we are not even aware that we are being victimized by an imposter. However, all of us must take some stern steps to avoid such mistreatment. Let us start our discussion with a brief discussion on what is financial abuse.

What Is Financial Abuse and Scams?

Financial abuse is subtle form of fraudulent activity that is mainly perpetrated by someone on whom you trust blindly. It can be your financial advisor, tax consultant or even a near relative who has access to your earning as well as bank account details. They might access your account and steal or invest a negligible amount of money without your permission. When such actions are taken by a person on whom you have full trust, it is called financial abuse and scams. However, it is extremely difficult for the victim to understand that he or she is being exploited as the perpetrators always chose such victims who would not realize that is being mistreated or will not be able to protest.

The Target Group

It is generally seen that swindlers target the older persons for falling prey to their scam. Research conducted in this regard show that the old people are generally much more confident and optimistic when it comes to taking financial and other decisions. Moreover, it is also seen that their ability to analyze things quickly also declines to quite an extent. Thus, they are the target audience of the cheats. Therefore, all of us and specially the older people need to take certain solid steps to protect themselves.

Here are top five ways whereby financial scams and abuse can be avoided:

Share Your Bank Statements

According to Burton Copeland, While sharing the accounts details with one person is not a good idea, sharing it with many close associates and professionals can be beneficial. Make an effort to forward the e-statements to your old friends, grandchildren and your advisors as they will be able to detect the frauds or misappropriation, odd transactions or latest investments from your account which you might have overlooked. However, make sure you are circulating it among your close knit circle only as these documents are really important.

Acquaintance Is Important

Most of us seek the aid of many specialists to look after our finance. Therefore, you have a team of tax consultants, investment advisors and real estate advisors working for you. It will be a good idea to introduce them with each other as this decrease the chance of any fraudulent activity in your account. Since all of them would want to maintain a cordial relation with you for their future business, you will be hinted about any financial abuse by any one of them. However, if too many advisors are trying to convince you for a particular financial product, then you should make extra effort to review the product before buying it.

Beware of Promise of High Return

If an investor is promising you unbelievable return from a particular investment, then you definitely smell danger. Always remember that if the investment is genuine, then the return from it will be less but steady. So do not fall prey to such lucrative offers made by the investors or any other persons.

Avoid ‘Pocket Littering’

We always carry with ourselves some valuable and sensitive information so that we can access them easily. For example, the passwords or the ping numbers are stored in our cell phone or computers or wallets. Crooks can use this sensitive information to access your accounts and perform some illegal activities. Therefore, if you are using computer or mobile phone for accessing your accounts, then make sure to log out of the account and not let any other person know your password. Moreover, it is best to keep these vital numbers at your home only.

Do Not Take Decision in Haste

Another important measure that can safeguard you from financial fraud is not taking decision in haste. If an investor is pressurizing you to sign a deal quickly, then it indicates that he is actually trying to stop you from reviewing all the aspects of the investments. So be very conscious to avoid such problems. Moreover, all lawful financial products come with a detailed brochure stating all the terms and conditions. If there isn’t sufficient disclosure, then it is not a good idea to make such investment.

By taking these steps, you can avoid financial scams and abuse. It is a matter of being a bit more careful and cautious and does not involve any excess expenditure. So do not let any other person fool you with your hard earned money.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Assessing the Damage After Your Identity Has Been Stolen

The Traveler’s Guide to Preventing Identity Theft offered by Guest Door is a wonderful resource with many hints that can help you prevent identity theft. If you travel frequently, or you’re concerned about protecting your identity while you’re out and about, you should read over this info. But what do you do if your identity is stolen?

You get that dreaded phone call: there’s been suspicious activity on your credit card and your bank wants to know if you've been engaging in a spending spree. You’re shocked and appalled. Your identity has been stolen and you've got to act quickly if you want to protect yourself from additional theft and damage.

You’re understandably overwhelmed. What do you do? You want to figure out how this has happened. There are a few steps you’re going to have to take to protect your wallet and your credit:

Contact Equifax, Experian, or Transunion Immediately

You’re going to have to place a fraud alert on your credit report. You won’t have to call all three. Once you contact one agency, they’ll inform the others. They’ll also be sending you a copy of your credit report for you to review. Fraud alerts are extremely important because it requires companies to verify your identity before issuing a line of credit in your name. This will prevent thieves from opening any more new accounts in your name.

Contact Creditors Right Away

If the perpetrators have opened new accounts, contact those creditors and notify them of fraudulent activity. The accounts will be closed and you’ll have to fill out a fraud affidavit. If accounts that you opened have been compromised contact those creditors and let them know your identity has been stolen. The accounts will be closed and you’ll be able to review any charges to determine what activity has been taking place.

Contact Local Authorities

The next step is to contact local authorities and alert them to fraud. A detective will be assigned to your case and you can ask for any details about the charges. You’ll want to let them know what was spent and how your identity was stolen. When you finish providing information to the police, be sure to write down the case number and detective’s name. You’ll have to include this information on any fraud affidavits.

File a Complaint with the FTC

You’ll also need to notify the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1877-IDTHEFT.
Change all Online Passwords

You’ll want to change all your online passwords. The thieves may have acquired information from one of your accounts. Additionally, this may be inconvenient, but you should never store passwords online or on your computer.

Always Keep Records

You’ll want to keep updated records throughout the process. You should keep up with details of your dealings with any creditors, companies, and detectives. You should always write down the name of anyone you speak with, their title, the company they work for, the date, and time as well as a short summary of the discussion you had.

You’ll need to keep all this information in one location that is safe. It’s evidence that you will need later. You might find yourself being diligent initially, but important information may surface later. You need to track everything until all of your disputes are resolved.

Identity theft shouldn't ruin your life or your credit if you can manage to stay calm, be organized and take those first crucial steps involved in resolving any issues. You can bounce back from this stressful situation and you can stop those identity thieves right in their tracks. It might be tough initially, but it’s not an impossible situation.

Author Bio:

If you are still curious on what more steps to take in preventing identity theft, you can visit GuestDoor. You can also visit Traveler's Guide to Preventing Identity Theft.  

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