Even the best high-tech tools aren't as effective against fraudsters as citizens who are well educated and armed with the right knowledge to fight against identity theft when they are being targeted. With this in mind, we'll be posting frequent updates on our blog to include the recent scams, schemes and tricks criminals are trying to use against our members.
- Employment Scams. With the economy and job markets still struggling, unemployed members searching for work have been victimized by "work from home" scams. The members have been contacted, interviewed and hired via email. After performing a minor task like a "mystery shop" or a making a travel arrangement, they receive a check in the mail that represents an "excess payment." The boss asks them to cash the check at their financial institution, and return the overpayment via Western Union or MoneyGram. The original check ultimately returns unpaid as a counterfeit and the member incurs a loss.
TIP: Ask a Logix employee to verify the check for you before negotiating it!
- Online Sales Scam. Members selling an item on an online site such as Craigslist are sent a check for more than the amount requested. The buyer contacts the member and states to deposit or cash the item and send the difference back electronically. Additionally they may state the difference is for a moving company to pick up and transport the item. The member is instructed to send the difference via Western Union or MoneyGram to the moving company. The original check ends up returning and the member is left with a bad check and the merchandise they tried to sell.
TIP: Never accept payment for more than you agreed to sell the item for and make sure to have a Logix employee verify the check before depositing.
- Grandparent Scam. Scammers pose as grandchildren in distress and needing money wired to them immediately due to a car accident, an emergency medical situation, or to be released from jail in a foreign country.
TIP: The perpetrator will often plead with the victim not to tell anyone. Logix employees are kept aware of the current scams targeted at our membership and can help you validate the information before you send the money.
- Sweetheart Scam. Elderly members are being targeted via the internet on dating sites. The alleged suitor spends time getting to know the victim and gaining their trust and personal information. Soon the scammer asks for money claiming a tragedy has befallen them and they need it desperately. Often they create fake online profiles and prey on the sympathy and loneliness of their victims.
TIP: Never give personal information or money to someone that you have never met. Don't trust people on the internet even though they may have a dating profile that looks legitimate.
- "Car Wrapping" Scam. Member's answer an online advertisement offering money to have their cars "wrapped" with advertising from a reputable company. The offer usually includes a lucrative up-front payment and then monthly installments for just driving around in your car and displaying their ads. The scammer sends a check for more than was agreed upon and asks the victim to deposit or cash the item and send electronically the difference directly to the graphic artist that will be performing the installation on the car using Western Union or MoneyGram. The check winds up returning and no one shows up to wrap the car.
TIP: Never accept a check for deposit for more than was agreed on upfront and always let a Logix employee verify the check before depositing it.
If you'd like to keep up with the latest methods people are using to commit fraud, check out the links below:
- Check out the latest schemes reported to the FBI
- Better Business Bureau reports scams in the news
- Consumer Fraud Reporting offers great advice on the latest scams, spams, and hoaxes
- The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force posts tips to avoid Mortgage and Lending Fraud
- USA.gov offers advice on avoiding bank, insurance, education, investment and other scams