This page covers the latest, hot scams which is still going its round. While we try our best to update this page, it is important to note that the scam you just encountered may not be included here yet. Please let us know.
NEW HOT SCAMS
This list is update periodically, please see our hot scams main page for scam news.
Chinese Tea Scam
Body Scanner Scam
eGreeting or eCard Scams (Phishing, Link to Malware/Virus)
Virus or Malware Alert and Patch Scams (Phishing, Link to Malware/Virus)
PDF Attachment Scams (Phishing, Malware/Virus on file)
Restoring Account Access (Phishing)
EVER HOT SCAMS
Inheritance Scams (many variations of 419 Scams)
Fake Check Scams
Time Sharing Scams
Domain Name Scams
Lottery Scams (many variations of 419 Scams)
Job and Employment Scams (many variations of 419 Scams)
Love Scams (many variations of 419 Scams and more…)
Moving Scams (localized, US)
Real Estate Scams (localized, some countries)
EVERGREEN HOT SPAM SCAM
OEM SOFTWARE (Warning: Piracy, Virus, Malware!)
ATTACHMENTS (e.g. pictures, word documents, etc)
BBB – Top 10 Scams Dec
Acai Supplements and Other “Free” Trial Offers – Ads offering trial offers for teeth whiteners, acai anti-aging pills and other miracle supplements blanket the Internet, including trusted Web sites of national news organizations. The marketing campaigns often falsely claimed an endorsement by Oprah, Rachel Ray and Doctor Oz. Thousands of consumers complained to BBB that the free trial actually cost them as much as hundreds of dollars, month after month.
Stimulus/Government Grant Scams – Even before President Obama announced the stimulus plan in February, scammers had already set up schemes for misleading consumers and small business owners into thinking they could get a piece of the pie. Offers for worthless assistance and advice on how to get government grants bombarded consumers online, over the phone and via mail and e-mail.
Robocalls – Owning a cell phone or having their phone number on the do-not-call list did not help thousands of people across the US put a stop to harassing automated telemarketing calls in 2009. The robocalls often claimed that their auto warranty was about to expire—which wasn’t true—or offered help in reducing their interest rate on their credit card. The prevalence of robocalls violating federal telemarketing laws prompted the FTC to increase restrictions on the practice in 2009.
Lottery/Sweepstakes Scam – The victim receives a letter in the mail pretending to be from Reader’s Digest, Publisher’s Clearing House or a phony foreign lottery claiming that he or she has won millions. The letter comes with a check that represents only a portion of the total winnings. In order to get the rest, the victim has to deposit the check and then wire hundreds of dollars back to the scammers supposedly to cover taxes or some other bogus fee. The victim wires the money, but the prize never arrives.
Job Hunter Scams – Scams targeting job hunters vary and include attempts to gain access to personal information such as bank account or social security numbers and requirements to pay a fee in order to even be considered for the job. Another common scam was reported to BBB by job hunters who were told by a prospective employer that they had to check their credit report before being considered for a job. The job offer is actually a marketing ploy for online credit monitoring that costs the victim every month until they cancel.
Google Work from Home Scam – Countless Web sites cropped up in 2009 that claimed you could learn how to make money from home using Google or Twitter and offered a free trial of learning materials. The Web sites often included the Google or Twitter moniker and logo. As a result, many people who complained to BBB thought they were getting a job with Google or Twitter when in, fact, they were being lured into another misleading free-trial offer and were billed every month for the materials and other mystery charges that added up to hundreds of dollars.
Mortgage Foreclosure Rescue/Debt Assistance – Many families are struggling in the current economy and hucksters are offering to help them save their house from foreclosure or help them get out of credit card debt. Unfortunately, victims are paying hundreds of dollars up front for the assistance they desperately need but ultimately never receive.
Mystery Shopping – Consumers across the country thought that they could make some extra money by becoming a secret shopper and evaluating the customer service of various stores. The victim is asked to evaluate their shopping experience at a few stores as well as a money wiring service such as Western Union or MoneyGram by wiring money back to the scammers. A seemingly real looking check is supposed to cover the costs, but ends up being a fake. The victim is out hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
Over-Payment Scams – Over-payment scams typically target small business owners, landlords or individuals with rooms to rent and sellers on classifieds or sites like Craigslist. Typically the scammer pretends to be a customer, possible renter or interested buyer, respectively. The victim receives a check for more than the amount requested. The scammers then ask the victim to deposit the check and wire the extra amount elsewhere, such as to a shipping company. Ultimately though, the check is fake and the victim is really wiring money back to the scammers.
Phishing e-mails/H1N1 spam – A perennial problem, phishing e-mails pop up in inboxes and can take various forms such as appearing to be from a business, a government agency or official or even a friend. Whatever the setup, the goal of any phishing e-mail is the same: to trick victims into divulging sensitive financial information or to infect the victim’s computer with viruses and malware. In addition to phishing e-mails, spam e-mail selling wares to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus were particularly rampant in 2009.’
BBB – Top 10 Scams Jan
Louisville’s Better Business Bureau, ever on the alert for consumer fraud, has listed its “Hot Topics” list of the top 10 scams affecting Louisville area residents.
Cash4Gold has a D rating with the BBB. Consumers complain that the company is not offering a fair value for their jewelry, and that they’ve had a hard time getting their materials returned. Cash4Gold’s policy is that if you don’t like the offer you’re given, you have to ask for your stuff back within 10 days.
Debtor Solution provides debt negotiation and consulting services. The company is displaying the BBB logo and using the BBB name on its website without permission. BBB feels that this may constitute false and deceptive advertising and may violate state or federal statutes due to its falsely implying BBB membership or affiliation. The company had a California address and an F rating with that BBB. The company has since changed to a Louisville, KY address.
Bailout Scam – This “low interest credit card offer” uses the government “bailout” to trick consumers. In the scheme, the consumer receives an automated call from Rose at the United States Better Business Bureau. The United States Better Business Bureau does not exist. The consumer is told President Obama signed a “credit card release” bill that allows the USBBB to cut the consumer’s credit card debt in half. The representative asks for the consumer’s personal information, including their credit card numbers.
Affordable Limo out of Louisville, KY has an F rating with the BBB. Consumers complain they are not getting what they paid for. Some say they paid for four hours up front, and they only received service for two hours, and others allege they were left stranded with no way to get home. Before you hire a company, check them out first with the BBB at http://louisville.bbb.org/.
Mortgage Rescue Plan Scam – Spam email encouraging vulnerable consumers to contact unscrupulous would-be lenders through toll-free numbers have been making their rounds since President Obama announced this plan that aims to help some honeowners avoid foreclosure. Delete these emails! If you’re looking to refinance your mortgage, talk to local banks and mortgage companies. Don’t fall for an “800-number trap.”
Puppy Scam – A scammer poses as a breeder and places an ad for inexpensive or free puppies in the newspaper. Communicating only through emails, the scammer may claim that he is affiliated with a religious organization and is being relocated to a foreign country and needs to find a home for the puppies. He asks the buyer to wire money for shipping. The offer is a fake, the buyer is out the money, and never receives the puppy.
Rerun Media does business as DVDPawn.com and GamePawn.com. The websites operate like online pawnshops where consumers can sell their used DVDs and video games. Potential sellers register an account and submit their list of game and movie titles for a quote. They then have 20 days to ship their items to the company. Consumers say they’re not getting paid what they are promised, or not getting paid at all. The company has an F rating with the BBB.
Craigslist Scam – Be careful selling items on Craigslist. While the website is legitimate, scammers take advantage of sellers by sending a check for the item, for more than the seller is asking. The scammer asks the seller to wire the remaining money back. Days later, the bank calls saying the check was fake, and the seller owes the bank the money. Don’t EVER wire money to someone you don’t know and trust!
Economic Stimulus Bill Scam – Scammers are rushing in to take advantage of the stimulus package. Don’t fall for an offer that offers “free money” from the government to help pay bills. It doesn’t work like this. The federal spending under the new bill will mostly enter the economy through state and local government spending and through existing government programs that require an application process. Organizations don’t usually give out grants for debt consolidation, or to pay for other personal needs.
Spring Break Travel Scams – High school and college students seem to be attractive targets for dishonest travel operators. Be wary of offers that promise “the moon” for a very low price, or ones that require immediate purchase to lock in the announced rate. Before paying anything, request all details of the trip in writing, including total cost, restrictions where applicable, cancellation penalties, and exact names of the airlines and hotels included in the packet. For more tips, go to http://louisville.bbb.org/.
Question-How does a "grant" scam work?
I got an email w/subject: Grant Donation. The body says this: "Money Amount of $850,000 has been donated to you. Contact me for info." with an email address ending in @gazi.edu.tr. How would I be scammed if I do not reply with personal identifying information--other than they know they've reached a real working email address? Thanks.