US Postal Inspection Service warns of bogus e-mails that contain virus
According to the US Postal Inspection Service, some customers are receiving bogus e-mails about a package delivery or online postage charges. The e-mails contain a link or attachment that, when opened, installs a malicious virus
that can steal personal information from your PC.
The e-mails claim to be from the U.S. Postal Service and contain fraudulent information about
an attempted or intercepted package delivery or online postage charges. You are instructed to
click on a link or open an attachment. But Postal Inspectors warn: DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK OR OPEN THE ATTACHMENT! Like most viruses sent by e-mail, clicking on the link or opening the attachment will activate a
virus that can steal information—such as your user name, password, and financial account
information. What to do? Simply DELETE THE MESSAGE without taking any further action. Postal Inspectors advise that if you have questions about a delivery or wish to report spam, call 1-800-ASK-USPS or
FTC Warns Drivers about Traffic Ticket Scams
The Federal Trade Commission is warning drivers about a scam involving fake traffic tickets. Official looking emails prompt recpients to complete a linked form. Once the link was clicked, malware installed itself and infected the consumers's computer. More information about the scam and how to protect yourself can be obtained by visiting the National Consumer Protection Week website.
Beware of emails that start with “Nice opportunity” or classified ads or fancy websites that claim you can make thousand of dollars a month working from home. These may be a ploy to get you to buy into a work-at-home scheme—where instead of you making money—you end up paying money. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as part of its Scam Watch has compiled Facts for Consumers on work-at-home schemes. Check them out. In addition, the FTC enforces the Business Opportunity Rule. This Rule puts safeguards in place to make sure you have the information you need to evaluate whether a business opportunity is risky business. It’s outlined on the Bureau of Consumer Protection Business Center website and can help you avoid bogus business opportunity offers.
Attorney General Coakley warns of "robo-calling" scam
Attorney General Martha Coakley has issued a warning about a "robo-calling" scam. Scammers attempt to get personal information and social security numbers from consumers. Do not give out personal information over the phone. For more on this scam, read our News article or check out the Attorney General's press release.
Mystery shopper counterfeit check scam
In this scam, victims are "hired" to work as mystery or secret shoppers. Their assignment is to evaluate a store's money wiring service. A cashier's check send with instructions to deposit it into the mystery shopper's checking account. Once deposited, instructions are given to withdraw a lesser amount in cash and to wire it to the scammer, usually someone outside the US--often in Canada or the United Kingdom. The victim is told that after the transaction is complete, he or she will be required to fill out an evaluation of the store's transfer service and will be allowed to keep the difference between the cashiers check and the amount wired. The problem is that the cashier's check is counterfeit. The shopper is out the money wired to the scammer and any other monies that he or she has spent. To learn more about check scams, visit the FakeChecks.org website.
Debt collection scams
With the downturn in the economy, scammers have devised a new scheme to prey on unsuspecting consumers. The scammer, posing as a debt collector, calls and informs you that you owe a bill from perhaps ten years ago that has never been paid. The amount isn't large, but the scammer is very persistent and threatens that your credit will be severely affected. He or she insists that you must pay now and demands your credit card or bank account information. Since the debt is usually around $50, the scammer is betting that you will comply, just to get rid of him.
Requests for money for relatives in trouble
In this scam, you receive a call that your grandson, nephew or other relative is in great difficulty and desperately needs money for a particular reason. Examples may include an accident, arrest or an unexpected hospitalization. The scammer tells you that he is calling on behalf of the relative because the relative is in distress and unable to call. You may be tricked into giving information such as a name or the exact relationship. You are then requested to send money to the scammer or give credit card or bank account information which they claim to need in order to help your distressed relative. Some social network subscribers have also been affected. Scammers have gotten access to their accounts, and emailed requests for money to their friends.