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SCAMS, SCHEMES and EXPLOITATION“Just Give It Away” 2013 Presented by : Det Jack Carter 7 FEB 2013
“Just Give It Away” • Orientation: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” We will cover: • Types of scams • Protecting Yourself • Reporting Scams
WHAT IS IDENTITY THEFT? • It occurs when someone steals your personal information – e.g., credit card or Social Security number – and uses it fraudulently • It can cost you time and money • It can destroy your credit and ruin your good name
HOW DOES IDENTITY THEFT HAPPEN? • Identity thieves may: • Go through your trash or “dumpster dive” • Steal your wallet or purse • Steal your mail or submit a change of address form for your mail • Use “phishing” or fake emails to get you to provide personal information • Steal personnel records from their employers, medical offices, hospitals, dental offices or assisted living facilities.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? • DETER • Deter identity thieves by safeguarding your information • DETECT • Detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial • accounts and billing statements • DEFEND • Defend against identity theft as soon as you suspect a problem
DETER identity thieves by safeguarding your information. • Shred financial documents before discarding them • Protect your Social Security number • Don’t give out personal information unless you’re sure who • you’re dealing with • Don’t use obvious passwords • Keep your information secure
DETECT suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial accounts and billing statements. • Be alert • Mail or bills that don’t arrive • Denials of credit for no reason • Inspect your credit report • Law entitles you to one free report a year from each nationwide credit reporting agencies if you ask for it • Online: www.AnnualCreditReport.com; by phone: 1-877-322-8228; or by mail: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281 • Inspect your financial statements • Look for charges you didn’t make
DEFEND against identity theft as soon as you suspect a problem. DEFEND against identity theft as soon as you suspect a problem. • Place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports by calling any one of the three nationwide credit reporting companies: • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 • Experian: 1-888-397-3742 • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 • Review reports carefully, looking for fraudulent activity • Close accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently • File a police report • Contact the Federal Trade Commission
Nigerian Scams or 419 Scams • Email or letter • Usually identifies you as being a relative or beneficiary • Asks you to call a specific person or phone number for more information • Requires sending a western union wire or money gram as payment for taxes or associated fees • Asks you to provide the Money Transaction Control Number (MTCN)
Pigeon Drop Theft / Found Money Switch Fraud of Elderly Senior Victims • Pigeon Drop or "Found Money" Scam • Often occurring in a mall or shopping complex parking lot, a well-dressed young woman approaches the selected victim, usually an older woman. The younger woman will claim she has just found a bag, briefcase or envelope and inquire about ownership. • Or she will casually start talking to the prospective victim, attempting to befriend her by chatting about children or grandchildren, when a third woman comes by looking for the owner of a just-found bag, or asking "Did you drop this envelope full of money?" • When the three look inside the bag for identification they find what appears to be a large amount of cash with some indication that it comes from an illegal activity, such as gambling or drug money. • There is no label or ID present and the stated likelihood is that whoever lost the money probably came by it dishonestly and can not claim it, so your returning the money is ruled out as impossible. • A very sophisticated scheme unfolds for victims who believe that the two women, who work as a team, have really found a bag of money and want to share it. • First they will talk excitedly about how much money is in the bag and what each could do with the money if it was hers, skillfully drawing you greedily into the benefits of the scheme. • One of the two younger women will probably claim that she works for someone, perhaps a lawyer, who will know what to do with the lost money. They try to draw you further into the discussion and decision-making. • A call is made on the spot, and you are then told by one of the con artists that she has consulted with a lawyer, who stated that if they want to share the money they will have to show proof that they have sufficient funds to support themselves during the time the lawyer supposedly complies with the law by seeking the true owner. • He gives the recommendation that each person deposit a certain amount of money:
SWEEPSTAKES • Question Official Appearing Documents • Legitimate sweepstakes companies do not attempt to mislead you about who they are. • Be suspicious of offers that appear to be from a government agency or government sponsored or approved. • If mail or telephone solicitations suggest you must respond immediately without taking time to investigate the offering, you are probably being deceived. • Don’t Pay to Win – • Legitimate sweepstakes do not require you to pay anything - not fees, shipping, or pre-paid taxes - to receive the prize you “won”. • If it sounds “too good to be true”, it probably is.
Turbo Tax Refund Fraud • Thieves steal or buy your personal information or the personal information of parents/grandparents/ or children. • File income tax return using fictitious data usually Earned Income Credit and have check/debit card sent to fictitious address with a maximum return of $9,999. • Once the cards are picked up the crooks can go to any ATM and withdraw the money without detection.
Lost Relative Scam • You receive a phone call from a nephew or other relative asking for funds to be wired to them to pay bond money or insurance deductibles in order to keep them from being arrested. • It will require you to wire the funds by money gram to a location in another State or Country. • There are usually multiple individuals involved in the call.
Fraudulent FBI/Federal Law Enforcement Fraud • Usually done by phone or internet. • Caller identifies themselves as an agent and states that unless you provide personal information that a warrant will be issued for your arrest. • Use intimidation and the threat of arrest to break down your guard. • Review the text, sentence structure and vocabulary… there will be indications that it is fraudulent.
Microsoft/Computer Service • Caller informs you that they have detected a virus on your computer and you need to take action. • They will advise you to log onto your computer and go to a link where you will input your information in order for them to rid the computer of the virus.
Credit Card Fraud • Credit card fraud scams are generally perpetrated through the internet via “phishing” scams or by phone. • Numerous ploys from asking you to provide your card number so they can verify your account to non secure websites where your account is compromised. • Don’t write your PIN on the card. • Don’t give your PIN to anyone.
Foreign Lottery Scams • “Congratulations! You may receive a certified check for up to $400,000,000 U.S. CASH! One Lump sum! Tax free! Your odds to WIN are 1 in 6.” “Hundreds of U.S. citizens win every week using our secret system! You can win as much as you want!” • The FTC has these words of caution for consumers who are thinking about responding to a foreign lottery: • If you play a foreign lottery — through the mail or over the telephone — you’re violating federal law.
Home Repair Fraud • Beware of individuals going door to door offering to conduct a “free” home inspection or free estimate on a particular part of your house. • There is always more than one person. • They gain entrance into your residence and use high pressure tactics to gain your business. • The license they have indicated on the job sheet is probably stolen or copied. • They ask for money up front up to 50% or more. • They will try and get you to take out a second mortgage or other loan to complete the job.
Red Flagging • Term used to indicate stealing mail from street side mailboxes. • Perpetrators canvass neighborhoods on foot, on bikes and even in vehicles looking for mailboxes that have the “red flag” up.
Remember • Protect your social security number • File your income taxes as early as possible • Review your credit reports and all statements • Don’t send mail from the street • Don’t talk to telemarketers • Don’t give out your personal information unless you’re sure who you’re talking to • Shred all documents