Are Reimbursement Scams the New Thing?

Everyone knows scams have always been an issue, especially since the internet has grown, but now it appears a larger scam has developed.

It starts off with a phone call. An unknown individual will claim to be with a software, computer company, advising that their company is closing down and that software was purchased by you years ago. They’ll inform you that you’ll be receiving a reimbursement of $100 or more, because you didn’t get the total amount of years covered by the warranty. Free money sounds great, but are you really going to get this money? No. In fact, you’ll be paying them. How so?

Once the scammer advises you on the amount you’ll supposedly receive, they’ll ask you for financial information to send you the money. After they claim to have sent the money, they’ll say they accidently sent you too much, or they accidently added an extra zero, making it $1000 instead of $100, and you’ll need to send the difference back. Most of these scammers will ask that you send via wire transfer or by a gift card.

Unfortunately, many are falling victim to this newer scam. If you ever receive a phone call or email, stating you’ll be receiving a refund, be sure to listen to all the details and ensure a reputable company is calling you. Most of the time, companies will not attempt to refund you, even if they’re going out of business.

How to safely shop on eBay!

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With today’s internet technology, you can pretty much buy anything with the click of a mouse.. literally. Companies like eBay and amazon give sellers the ability to profit off their goods, while at the same time helping others seek whey desire. Unfortunately eBay buyers and others do not fall short of becoming the victim of countless scams and fraudulent products.

We’ve come up with a list of procedures you should check before purchasing from sellers online. We hope these will be sufficient enough to make your chances of a scam, less.

CHECK THE SELLER’S COMMENTS AND POSITIVE FEEDBACK

When you’re interested in purchasing an item, make sure you check the feedback before pressing submit & pay. A lot of sellers have a positive or negative feedback on their profile. If you need more negative than positive, it might not be a good idea to proceed.

USE CAUTION WHEN PURCHASING FROM A NEW SELLER ACCOUNT

Many scammers will create brand new seller accounts, in an effort to avoid being detected. If the account is new, there is no feedback, use caution. You might want to see if there’s a better deal from another seller.

AVOID SELLERS WHO WANT TO RECEIVE PAYMENTS IN OTHER WAYS

eBay and others have strict policies on how payments can be sent to the seller. eBay mostly prefers you use their website or PayPal to send transactions. Avoid sellers who want you to take payments off eBay’s website and request money orders or gift cards.

READ THE ITEM’S DESCRIPTION BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH PURCHASE

As much as we hate to say it, many buyers have failed to read the description of items before purchasing. Scammers will add in small bits of text, saying something to the effect of “This is a PlayStation One picture”, while the buyer misses that part, believing it is an actual PlayStation One console.

ONLY PURCHASE FROM REPUTABLE WEBSITES

Avoid buying from websites that are completely unknown to you. If you search for an item and stumble across http://www.johndoesstuff.com, you might want to avoid it, especially if it cannot be proven to be reputable.

With these mentioned, we hope it’ll better protect you and your friends, in avoiding online scams!

 

Employment Scam Targets College Students

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In a public service message from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, released the 18th of January, the FBI spoke of an employment scam, targeting college students for the ending result of identity theft. Their public service announcement said as follows:

College students across the United States continue to be targeted in a common employment scam. Scammers advertise phony job opportunities on college employment websites, and/or students receive e-mails on their school accounts recruiting them for fictitious positions. This “employment” results in a financial loss for participating students.

How the scam works:

-Scammers post online job advertisements soliciting college students for administrative positions.
-The student employee receives counterfeit checks in the mail or via e-mail and is instructed to deposit the checks into their personal checking account.
-The scammer then directs the student to withdraw the funds from their checking account and send a portion, via wire transfer, to another individual. Often, the transfer of funds is to a “vendor”, purportedly for equipment, materials, or software necessary for the job.
-Subsequently, the checks are confirmed to be fraudulent by the bank.
The following are some examples of the employment scam e-mails:

“You will need some materials/software and also a time tracker to commence your training and orientation and also you need the software to get started with work. The funds for the software will be provided for you by the company via check. Make sure you use them as instructed for the software and I will refer you to the vendor you are to purchase them from, okay.”

“I have forwarded your start-up progress report to the HR Dept. and they will be facilitating your start-up funds with which you will be getting your working equipment from vendors and getting started with training.”

“Enclosed is your first check. Please cash the check, take $300 out as your pay, and send the rest to the vendor for supplies.”

Consequences of participating in this scam:

-The student’s bank account may be closed due to fraudulent activity and a report could be filed by the bank with a credit bureau or law enforcement agency.
-The student is responsible for reimbursing the bank the amount of the counterfeit checks.
-The scamming incident could adversely affect the student’s credit record.
-The scammers often obtain personal information from the student while posing as their employer, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft.
-Scammers seeking to acquire funds through fraudulent methods could potentially utilize the money to fund illicit criminal or terrorist activity.

Tips on how to protect yourself from this scam:

-Never accept a job that requires depositing checks into your account or wiring portions to other individuals or accounts.
-Many of the scammers who send these messages are not native English speakers. Look for poor use of the English language in e-mails such as incorrect grammar, capitalization, and tenses.
-Forward suspicious e-mails to the college’s IT personnel and report to the FBI. Tell your friends to be on the lookout for the scam.
-If you have been a victim of this scam or any other Internet-related scam, you may file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.IC3.gov and notify your campus police.

Signs You’re Falling for a Scam


Scams are everywhere, it’s quite unfortunate, but as long as the Internet is free and real information can be hidden, scams aren’t going anywhere, so better protect yourself!

The first mistake isn’t falling for the scam, but failing to fully and accurately research the business or product. Sure, type in a search engine the name of a business and see positive results. Can it still be a scam? Most definitely. But how is that so? Easy!

Experienced scammers can simply write positive content about themselves. It’s quite easy and mostly free to write positive articles on. Take Google reviews for example. An individual can simply make several Google accounts and rate their own business five stars. So how can you truly identify a phony? That’s actually easy.

Check the reputation of the business on a reliable website

Most people don’t even think about it, but the Better Business Bureau can provide information upon request about a particular business. You can even search for “Rip Off Reports” and visit http://www.scamadviser.com, where many individuals have left feedback about almost every website and scam out there.

Check to see if the business has a Doing Business As (DBA) license

Most websites won’t display their DBA, but most will have a license number, especially if it deals with financial information. It’s normally posted somewhere on the website or at times available upon request. If you don’t see a license number or aren’t provided one, don’t take a chance.

View the website for contradicting information or incomplete sections

It’s not always the case, but some scammers will misspell words on their website, leave important sections incomplete, not give enough detail in the about section and won’t use emails ending in a company domain. Small businesses are of course important, email domains can be expensive, but still keep this in mind.

Observe how many employees seem to be working for the company

If you’re only talking to the same person repeatedly or are refused to be transferred to another employee, chances are there are no other employees and this can be a sign of a lone wolf working a scam. Some small businesses only function with limited employees, so not every company with limited employees is a scam.

Are you viewing pictures on their website all downloaded from Google?

A lot of companies take pride in posting real photos of their company and employees. If you’re not seeing any real photos or a limited amount, stay on alert!

We hope that more internet users can stay safe online with this information. Be sure to stay on alert and always pull out of a business deal if you feel something isn’t right. Chances are, it’s not.