Tag Archives: scammers

FTC Warns About Cryptocurrency Investment Scams

The Federal Trade Commission posted a warning about cryptocurrency investment scams. The information includes descriptions of how crypto scammers work – and how to avoid being scammed.

According to the FTC, “scammers are taking advantage of people’s understanding (or not) of cryptocurrency investments, and how they work. And younger people are losing big.”

The FTC’s new data spotlight shows that since October 2020, nearly 7,000 people reported losses to bogus cryptocurrency investments, adding up to more than $80 million. People ages 20-49 were more than five times more likely than other age groups to report losing money on those scams.

Cryptocurrency investment scams can happen in many ways, but they’re all full of fake promises and false guarantees. Scammers might post investment sites that look real, but you’ll find you can’t withdraw the money you’ve “invested”. Other pretend to be celebrities – like a would-be Elon Musk – doing giveaways with claims of multiplying any cryptocurrency you send. Scammers also use online dating sites to sweet-talk people into bogus crypto investments in the name of love.

The FTC stated that people in their 20s and 30s have lost more money on investment scams than on any other type of fraud. And more than half have reported investment scam losses – $35 million – were in cryptocurrency.

Personally, I think these scammers are disgusting people who intentionally take advantage of those who aren’t very knowledgable about cryptocurrency. It is even worse when they go on dating websites for the purpose of scamming a lonely person out of their money. The FTC points out that if you need to report a cryptocurrency scam you can visit Reportfraud.ftc.gov.

Apple App Store being Used to Steal money!

If you have a credit card on file with the Apple App store, I would consider removing it immediately. Apple has a very serious problem on their hands as numerous iPhone and iPad users are having charges made against their credit cards in some sort of scam being run. Some are saying some scammer developers are running “App Farms” more like scam apps. One poor user got hit with $1600.00 in charges and Apple basically told him to change his password and remove his credit card from being on file.

Pay attention to your purchases folks until Apple get this under control.

Ten Computer Scams To Avoid

[This is a summary of a ComputerActive article which appeared in the 1st-14th April edition but isn’t yet online.]

There are lots of nefarious characters on the internet trying to extort money from unsuspecting victims.  Here are the top ten con tricks and how to not get caught.  Most Geek News Central readers will be wise to most of these but pass them on to your less technically-savvy friends, colleagues and relatives.

No. 1 Cold-Call Cons

This is where you get an unsolicited phone call from a tech support company offering to fix your computer.  The caller will say that they’ve remotely identified a problem which they can fix and get you to login to a remote control session.  They then have full control over your computer to “fix” the problem or install more nasty software.  Yeah, right.  You may be asked to pay a one time fee or else an annual subscription. Solution – hang up the phone.

No. 2 Error! Click to Scan Disk

While browsing the internet a fake error message pops up telling you that there’s a problem with your hard drive or you’ve got a virus, and to “Click here” to resolve the problem.  This then installs malicious software either for free or a fee. Solution – install a firewall, antivirus software and use common sense.

No. 3 Phishing

Phishing (fishing) are those unsolicited emails that you get claiming to be from your bank asking you to confirm your account details because of suspicious activity on your account or IT upgrades.  Clicking on the link will take you to a fake (but convincing) website which will let you put in your banking details for later use by the scammers. Solution – never, ever click through from an email.  Always open your bank’s page by typing it directly into the address bar.

No. 4 – Congratulations, You Are A Winner!
No. 5 – Vast Inheritance
No. 6 – Money Transfer

These are basically the same advance fee fraud.  You get email purporting that you have won the lottery, you’ve been left millions in a will or someone wants to transfer money out of a dubious country and will pay you a percentage if you help.  Once you get into the scam, you’ll be asked to pay for administration fees, custom fees, solicitors charges and other sundry costs.  Of course, none of your winnings / inheritance / commission ever appear.  Solution – If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.  Delete the emails.

No. 7 – Overseas Auction Cheques

This is where you sell a high-value item on an auction site to an overseas bidder who accidentally overpays you by cheque.  You are then asked to repay the excess electronically while sending the goods on.  Of course, the cheque turns out to be a dud, you’ve lost the money, you’ve lost your auction item and you’re out the money you sent back.  Nice one.  Solution – make sure that the cheque “clears for fate” and not just “for value” – this can take sometime for overseas banks.   Only use auction-approved payment methods for overseas sales.

No. 8 – Friends In Trouble

While you may be smart enough to keep your social networking accounts safe, some of your friends may fall victim to phishing scams and give up their account details to the scammers.  Consequently if you get an email from a friend asking for money, be very wary. Solution – Pick up the phone and call them to confirm that they need the cash.

No. 9 – Cashing In On Disasters

Within hours after the Haiti earthquake, scammers were sending out emails directing people to fake disaster relief websites where your donation either went straight into the scammers pockets or your credit card details were then used for fraud elsewhere. Solution – only use recognised charity websites to make online donations.

No. 10 – Make Money Fast

You get an email offering you the opportunity to make good money from home.  You then have to pay up front for materials which must be processed in some way in order to earn money.  Of course, the goods are never worth the money you spent or the company rejects your processing for being faulty in some way and doesn’t pay the money.  Solution – use Google or other search engine to see if the company is genuine and use your common sense.  Anything that offers big rewards for little effort is suspect.

As with may things in life, common sense goes a long way and if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.  Being alert to these ten scams should help you avoid the worst of them.  Pass them on too.

Gmail Scam Used by Phishers to Gather Personal Data

Internet e-mail scammers are using the popularity and allure of Google’s Gmail service to phish for personal data, including e-mail addresses and passwords. Gmail e-mail accounts are one of the most coveted holdings for hip and techie Internet users. A quick eBay search proves the popularity of invitations to join Google’s upcoming e-mail service that offers 1GB of mail storage.

The current Gmail phish reads “The Gmail Team is proud to announce that we are offering Gmail free invitation packages to the existing Gmail account holders. By now you probably know the key ways in which Gmail differs from traditional webmail services. Searching instead of filing. A free gigabyte of storage. Messages displayed in context as conversations. Just fill in the form below to claim your free invitation package.”

Dave’s Opinion
Phishing, commonly used via e-mail and the web involve conning unwary users into releasing private data. The cons are best known for their attempts to garner AOL, Citibank, and eBay login usernames and passwords; however, there seems to be no end to how the cons can be applied.

Call for Comments
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