MASS MARKETING SCAMS – FBI WARNS CITIZENS TO LOOK OUT FOR OLD FRAUDS USING NEW DELIVERY METHODS

The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a press release warning Americans about the increase in decades-old mass marketing scams which are finding fresh victims via new delivery methods.

Mass marketing fraud has been around for many years. Using mass communication techniques like bulk mailings or telemarketing phone calls, the scammers attempt to trick their victims into providing money and/or personal information with false promises of prizes, products or employment opportunities that do not exist.

Just last month, the Federal Trade Commission issued reimbursement checks to 3,500 consumers who had been defrauded by a bogus marketing company which promised sure-fire business opportunities.

The scammers had used mass mailings to swindle thousands of victims into providing upfront fees to start a work-at-home medical billing business. Fees of up to $5,000 were paid to the company to provide the first client and a solid list of future potential clients in the area.

Though assured they would be making at least $1,200 monthly, most who paid the fee quickly found there were no local clients available and the scammers provided no assistance as promised and refused to return the fee.

The scope of this type of fraud has drastically increased, according to the FBI’s statement. This type of mass marketing scam can reach a much wider audience through the internet, both with spam email and bogus websites. The scammers widen their nets, but decrease their personal risk with the ability to operate from halfway around the world.

According to an article by Tracy Russo on the DOJ website, the “Department of Justice has charged 80 defendants in 53 mass-marketing fraud prosecutions in 27 judicial districts” since October of last year. The losses represented by these cases totals almost $500 million.

An individual was charged late last month with involvement in an international Ponzi scheme by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois. The fraud allegedly milked around 40,000 investors in 120 different countries to the tune of $70 million. The final payoff and the speed with which the scammers can bank their loot are exponentially greater when the internet is used for this type of scheme. There is no way a mass mailing or telemarketing calls could achieve this level of fraud before being noticed.

New scams pop up just as quickly as old ones are busted. The National Credit Union Administration, which regulates charters and supervises federal credit unions, issued a warning on May 25th for union members to watch out for bogus emails soliciting participation in an online Member survey with the promise of a $40 payoff. The fraudulent email is believed to be a phishing attempt to gain personal and confidential member information.

The FBI’s press release highlights three current mass marketing frauds making the rounds, each of which have been written about previously on Scamraiders:

— Overpayment of fees, followed by a request for the difference to be wired back overseas. After the overpayment has been returned, the initial check bounces.

This scam has recently focused in US law firms with requests for legal services and overpayment of retainer fees.

— Online rental schemes target both buyers and sellers in the apartment rental market.

Those offering apartments should look out for overpayment scammers operating a similar con as listed above. Counterfeit checks sent to the property owner followed by requests to wire back the difference.

Potential renters are defrauded with legitimate ads are being duplicated by scammers who add their own email address. The interested renter is then asked to send money to the “out-of-town” owner in exchange for a set of keys. No keys are ever sent.

— Unsolicited emails from government agencies, particularly the FBI or IRS, requesting either money or personal information.

Here are some red flags according to the FBI:

— Requests for personal or financial information, like Social Security or bank account numbers, over the phone or on email.

— Aggressive pressure to provide personal information or purchase product immediately.

— Specific requests to pay by cash, money order or wire transfer. All of which make it difficult for the transaction to be tracked by law enforcement.

— Messages informing that you’ve won a lottery or sweepstakes you don’t remember entering.

— Requests to help transfer funds out of a country for a small fee to be paid later.

— Overpayment by check for item or product you are selling followed by a request that you wire back the difference.

The FBI’s press release was part of an international day of action taken on June 1st to increase awareness of these mass marketing frauds. Besides American participants other agencies participated from around the globe, included authorities in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. This just spotlights the worldwide scope of this problem.

As the FBI states in its June 1st press release, public awareness of these types of frauds is important since, “an educated consumer can stop these scams by not falling for them in the first place.”

LINKS:

Report Fraud to the following –

Federal Trade Commission

www.ftc.gov

(877) FTC-HELP; (877) 382-4357

Federal Bureau of Investigation

www.fbi.gov

Internet Crime Complaint Center (for internet-based frauds)

www.ic3.gov

LOTTERY SCAMS – THE GIANT OCTOPUS OF WORLDWIDE SWINDLES!

If you receive an email, telephone call, letter or fax telling you that you won the Canadian, Nigerian, Irish, French, or Welsh, etc. lottery—delete, hang-up the phone, rip-up the paper, throw out the supposed windfall! Listen up—First you can’t win a lottery that you didn’t buy a ticket for. So when that enticing announcement, or nice well-trained voice on the other end of the phone tells you that to claim your prize you must first wire a few thousand bucks to the lottery “sponsor”— don’t fall for it! Here are some other important facts to remember so that you won’t get ripped-off:

1. No stranger is your friend; and there ain’t no free lunches!

2. In a legitimate lottery, you never have to pay BEFORE you receive the winnings. Lotteries that are legitimate request that you pay taxes after you receive your money.

3. If you truly win a lottery, first you surely hold a ticket evidencing that you have entered into the lottery contest. If you win, your lottery number will be posted or announced, and you must present your winning ticket in order to claim your prize. Legitimate lotteries usually DO NOT send emails, or letters, or phone you. They will post or publish the winning ticket numbers on their website or in the newspaper and the winners are provided with a legitimate email or phone number, or where to appear with the winning ticket.

4. NEVER EVER give out any personal information to anyone without knowing who you are giving it to.

5. Beware of anything lottery, coming from outside the USA — they are usually all “hot spots” for scams.

6. If it’s too good to be true—it is.

You can be sure of this—once you turn your cash over to a scammer, it’s gone forever. Lottery scammers come up with new spins to the same old schemes — to get the money from us suckers. Some of the newer swindles are as follows —

a) BOGUS STATE LOTTERIES

Residents of Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee have recently been receiving emails, phone calls and letters stating that they have won Powerball or other State games. The “winners” are directed to pay up-front fees in order to claim their prize. Don’t do it! Legit State Lotteries never require any up-front money. State lottery winners must notify the State with their winning ticket in hand. You won’t be contacted by the State, you must contact them once you find your entry is posted as the winner on the respective State website or published in the newspaper.

b) UNCLE SAM SHAMS

Another scam— emails supposedly sent by the F.B.I., I.R.S., F.T.C., etc., implying that these Agencies are acting as middlemen awarding the Lottery winnings. These Agencies never act in this manner. Moreover, these scammers also are circulating a virus that can steal your computer’s personal data. So, if you receive one of these bogus messages, these thieves are ready to put their hands in your pocket—DO NOT open it! You will have just avoided a serious scam-rip off!

c) SLICK TALKING CON SCAMS

Some crooks prefer operating through personal contact. If you are approached on the street or in a shop by a stranger claiming to hold a winning State Lottery ticket that they cannot redeem themselves– such as, the ticket holder is not in the U.S. legally— say “NO THANK YOU”! In this con the scammer offers to sell you their jackpot ticket for a few thousand dollars—or split the winnings after you (the patsy) put up your cash as a “good faith” deposit. Then you are told that in exchange for your up-front-money the scammer will give you the ticket so you can redeem it and either keep the winnings or split the sums with this “generous kind person”. You will be left “holding the bag” with a worthless ticket. Or once you gather your “good-faith cash” from your bank, you may be conned into leaving your money with the scammer (in a taxi or car), and asked to go to a coffee shop to buy some donuts and coffee for you and the con artist before heading to the location to claim your jackpot. When you return, coffee in hand, the scammer is long gone on their way, with your cash. Remember what your mother always told you, —–“NEVER SPEAK TO STRANGERS”!

Although this is not a lottery scam, it’s similar and Scamraiders wants to alert you:
One of the most common scams that still hooks unsuspecting naïve people is the plea to help another person who has a problem with cashing a check. NEVER cash a check for a stranger or give them your money for their check! Usually the check is counterfeit and you will be stuck.

If you really want to play a lottery, BUY THE TICKET YOURSELF FROM A STATE-RUN LOTTERY— AND HOPE FOR THE BEST!

COURTS ARE NOT ALWAYS A HONORABLE TRIBUNAL—

MORE OFTEN THAN NOT THE JUDGE IS ONE OF THE CORRUPT ‘OLD-BOYS’ HAND PICKED BY THE POLITICOS—WE ARE GOING TO SHOW YOU WHAT TO BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR SO THAT YOU ARE NOT RIPPED OFF BY A JUDGE YOUR OPPONENT HAS BRIBED OR OTHERWISE FIXED—WHEN YOU GO INTO THE NEXT COURTROOM YOU BETTER BE ‘TRUSTING IN MORE THAN GOD’–AND DONT BE MISLED BY THE BLACK ROBES VERSUS A ‘BLACK-HEART’

HOW DOES SOMEONE BECOME A JUDGE IN NEW YORK STATE COURTS AND GET TO PUT ON THOSE BLACK ROBES? YOU BETTER LEARN!

Those persons in “black robes” in this powerful role can and will, with a flick of a pen, or with their words from their “bench” in the courtroom, control your money, family life, home and even your liberty. Many are also well-trained masters of illusion. It’s a good idea, BEFORE you get there, to learn who they are, and how they got there, “in that formidable room with the big desk.” More >>

How to hijack justice? Buy a set of ‘black-robes’ but make sure they fit first !!! Scamraiders has scoured the unified courthouse files and find that the dispensing of justice and decisions by the family of judges bear no relation to the law, case law or the facts. More >>

PUBLIC DEFENDERS AND CRIMINAL COURTS If you or your kid gets caught up in any criminal matter— get a GOOD lawyer– fast. There are lots of so-called criminal lawyers out there, but many are incompetent and just plain lousy. Typically, when police and prosecutors are involved, you’ll find yourself tethered in a web. Sadly, many lawyers are ready to take advantage of your plight and bleed you dry. Be careful. Try to select a lawyer who you have carefully spoken to, and have confidence in— not out of the yellow pages. MORE>>

OUR CHILDREN AND OUR COURTS – – – “FOOLS WALK IN WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD” The Court System in this Country involving children in particular is a mess. Judges are overwhelmed; most are not properly trained, the system is archaic, and sadly many judges are being ‘compromised’ by unscrupulous lawyers and others who have a financial or custodial interest in the cases. Scamraiders will, in the upcoming weeks, feature articles and ‘guides’ about what and how to avoid the “pitfalls” in Family, Criminal and other Courts involving our kids. MORE>>

Does the Supreme Court decision set the foundation for a in depth review of the entire judicial process? Well,well, well take a look at New York. the crew in black robes are put there by the ‘old boys club’ the ‘Boss Tweed’ political machines and if they are ever on a ballot they are unopposed and the ‘election’ is a charade.   More > >

Do New York Courts and its Judges “Gang Up”  Against and Target Certain CitizensOut of Retaliation, or Other Pre-Determined Motives? Those persons in “black robes” in this powerful role can and will, with a flick of a pen, or with their words from their “bench” in the courtroom, control your money, family life, home and even your liberty. Many are also well-trained masters of illusion. More >>

The FBI issues a comprehensive report on the most common scams and swindles

The FBI has issued a report on some of the most common scams and swindles and provides ‘tips’ to help and alert from falling victim to the ‘badguys’ and scammers.

Please see this report and the FBI crimes report with additional FBI reports related to healthcare and other scams on Scamraiders homepage along with this article on Jan. 28, 2011.

According to the FBI some of the most frequent scams we citizens are confronted with include identity theft, telemarketing, internet frauds, Ponzi schemes, pump and dump stock schemes, and more significantly insurance, medicare and healthcare scams, swindles and frauds.

Corrupt doctors, healthcare providers, hospitals and others who engage in and/or turn their back on healthcare swindles cost citizens, medicare and insurance companies billions of dollars a year because of intentional fraud and false filings submitted to healthcare insurers as a result of the fraudulent and forged filings and other medicare and insurance scams insurers and medicare are rooked for billions of dollars annually.

If you know of these corrupt acts engaged in by hospitals, doctors or others please contact the FBI as outlined on the FBI fact sheets and reports exhibited.

FBI – Common Fraud Schemes

FBI – Healthcare Fraud

FBI – Financial Crimes Report

FBI – Case of the Drug Dealing Doctor

FBI – Detroit Medicare Strike Force

Five Medicare Prescription Scams to Watch Out For

The Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit has created yet another opportunity for con artists. Consumer protection officials around the country say they regularly receive complaints from seniors and other consumers who say they were contacted by fake companies claiming that they were “authorized” or “funded” by Medicare to make telephone or door-to-door contact with beneficiaries. Protect yourself by learning the following five scams to watch out for.


1. Membership Required
» This benefit is voluntary and supplements your other Medicare benefits. To participate, you will not be required to pay a membership or join anything.
2. Off-Hours Calling
» Those marketing Medicare drug plans must obey telemarketing laws. This means they can’t call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.; when you’re phone number is registered on the “do not call” registry; or after you’ve requested not to be contacted again.
3. Phone & Spam Trolling
» The Social Security Administration doesn’t initiate contact by phone or email, much less request your bank account, credit card or life insurance policy numbers.
4. Door-To-Door Sales
» It’s illegal for companies or organizations marketing Medicare drug plans to come to your door uninvited or to send you unsolicited emails. Companies and organizations can call to promote their drug plans, but it’s illegal for them to sign people up during those calls.
5. Surprise! No Prize
» It’s illegal to require anyone to join a drug plan in order to receive a prize or gift.