Archive for Fraud and Scams

Fraud At Its Finest!

Will fraud ever stop? I recently came across a few scams from the Better Business Bureau that I thought I would share.

Advance Fee Loans

This is a scam where you complete an online credit application for a loan. The scammers tell you that you’re approved, but the catch is you have to send them a fee before you get the loan. After you send them the fee, you don’t receive the loan.

TIP:

  • If you are completing an online credit application, it should be with a reputable company that you’ve heard of.
  • Do a check of the company with the Better Business Bureau before filling out an online application.
  • It is illegal for a company to ask for a fee upfront before advancing a loan.

Door To Door Sales

I don’t know many people in this day and age that actually answer their door to a sales rep or a stranger. I personally don’t answer the door unless I am expecting someone. Maybe I watch too much America’s Most Wanted. Lol! Anyway, sales people are using high pressure sales tactics to scare people into buying products and services that they don’t want or need such as air filters, vacuums, window washing, painting, repair and landscaping services. How dare someone come on your property and pressure you to buy something. What’s wrong with people! What’s really sad is, this probably often happens to the elderly.
TIP:

  • Don’t answer your door if you don’t know who it is. If a friend or family member pops by unannounced, chances are they’ll call you if you don’t answer your door.
  • If you feel threatened by a sales person on your property, ask them to leave, if they refuse call the police.
  • Don’t give in to high pressure sales.

Fraudulent Locksmiths

Fraudulent locksmiths are advertising online and using a local address and phone number. When the customer contacts the locksmith, they get someone on the line from another city and the address is fraudulent. Customers who have hired these companies have been overcharged for the products and services and received bad service and poor workmanship. When customers contact the locksmith to complain they have a difficult time getting a hold of someone.
TIP:

  • Confirm the company address and ask for the legal name of the business.
  • Check the business out with the Better Business Bureau.
  • When the locksmith arrives, ask for identification,a business card and their license.
  • A legitimate locksmith will ask for your identification to confirm you are the homeowner.

If you hear or know of any fraudulent schemes out there, please report it to your local police and to the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre (CAFC)at 1(888) 495 8501 or antifraudcentre.ca

Do You Have Title Insurance?

Title Insurance, should you get it or not? Title Insurance is a type of insurance that most home owners get when they purchase their home. It’s quite different from homeowner insurance or life insurance. Title Insurance protects the ownership of your home for as long as you own your home.

Why is Title Insurance important?

There have been many situations where individuals have lost their title due to theft. Here’s how it works. Let’s say you own your home and your identity was stolen. Identity theft is when one person pretends to be someone else by assuming that person’s identity. This is most often done to obtain credit in that person’s name. Your identity can be stolen a number of different ways. Some of the ways are a lost wallet with all your identification and your credit cards, unshredded mail, and inputting personal information on a fraudulent website.

Check out Susan’s story. What happened to Susan is very unfortunate. Her identity was stolen and her title for her home was stolen without her knowledge. This can happen to anyone. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself:

  • Check your title annually to make sure no changes have been made. A real estate lawyer can check this for you
  • Check your credit bureau annually, you can obtain one free credit report at Equifax or Transunion. Look for any inaccuracies. If you discover you are a victim of identity theft, report it to the authorities immediately and to the credit bureaus to add a fraud alert on your file. Also contact your banks and credit card companies
  • Get Title Insurance with identity theft protection

First Canadian Title is one of the more popular title insurance companies in Canada. The price varies depending on the province, value and type of home. This could cost you anywhere between $350 – $1000.

First Canadian Title’s price includes the following:

  • Fraud and forgery – protection against fraudulently registered mortgages against your title
  • Duty to defend – the legal fees associated with resolving insured title issues will be covered
  • Building permit coverage – coverage for renovations completed without a permit that result in a loss
  • Zoning coverage – protection should a property not meet municipal zoning requirements
  • Competing interests – protection in the case of someone claiming an interest in your land; for example, an easement for a driveway or a builder’s lien
  • Problem solving/facilitates closings – First Canadian Title will frequently provide coverage for known defects such as encroachments, delays in registration and zoning violations (these are directly from FCT’s website)

Title fraud can be a nightmare to deal with if you’re not protected. It really is a shame that we have to think of protecting the title to our home. Whatever happen to just buying a home legally and assuming that the home is yours. I guess those days are over.

Do you have title insurance?

How can Identity Fraud Lead to Bankruptcy?

This is a guest post from Andrew who is a debt management consultant at Australian Lending Center. Andrew has met a number of people who have debt issues related to identity fraud, and thought it would be a good idea to share his experiences on my blog. Thanks Andrew!

Identity theft is currently the most common type of credit fraud. Modern thieves have surely discovered a new, creative, and effective way to defraud unsuspecting preys. No one can certainly determine how dangerous such a modern crime is until he falls as one of the victims. It will be ideal to learn from other people’s experiences, especially those who have already been victimised by identity fraud.

Thieves accessing your credit and personal information will surely spell huge trouble. In general, they will use the data to get credit, which will be charged to their victims. Unsurprisingly, identity fraud is blamed not just for financial distress, ruined reputation, and an eroded credit history. Worse, it can lead to possible bankruptcy.

Loss of debit or credit cards

Loss of debit or credit cards is among the most common way identity fraud is committed. In many cases, victims lose their plastic cards and forget to immediately call their credit or debit card issuers about that loss. Who would think that in no time, fraud can be committed especially when the cards get to the hands of professional scammers.

In other cases, credit or debit card accounts are hacked when used online. This is rather easier for modern scammers as they have the technology and expertise to make it happen. If you have fallen as a victim, you will be surprised to see significant transactions in your monthly credit card statement.

It may take some time for the fraud to be recognised and corrected. You may end up having a huge credit card debt that filing for a bankruptcy can be considered an option. Yes, some people file for bankruptcy so as not to be forced to repay debts incurred through fraud. This is a path for people who do not care about the status of their credit records.

Stolen identity
The other type of identity fraud is scarier and more risky. It involves stolen identity. Your important personal information can be used by modern thieves to obtain loans, financing, or other types of credits. This is more dangerous especially when those thieves can get away with it. Imagine how much debt you may have without you knowing it.

Many victims of this type of identity fraud have fallen into bankruptcy with or without their consent. Again, bankruptcy is at times taken as an option to avoid having to repay the debts while long processes of investigations are run by authorities.

Fortunately, many governments from all over the world are launching concerted efforts to fight identity fraud. Many measures are also being established to give assistance to unsuspecting and unknowing victims, who may have the surprise of their lives upon knowing their imminent bankruptcy due to debts they did not incur. As consumers, you could help protect yourself by being more careful when carrying and using your credit, debit, or ATM cards and by not easily divulging personal information to others.

My comments: I rarely use my debit/credit card for this reason. Cash is the way to go to help avoid being a victim of fraud. It’s also not a bad idea to check all of your accounts online or over the phone often, to check for transactions that are not yours. Checking your credit bureau once or twice a year will also help to stay on top of things.

Fraud Prevention!

March is fraud prevention month! So it’s very important that we all recognize it, report it, and ultimately stop it. Did you know that offences related to fraud are approximately $10 – $30 billion per year in Canada? That’s right up there with drug related offenses. Fraud is really taking over and more and more people are becoming victims of fraud.

The top two scams of the week are the Anti-Virus Scam and the Emergency or Grandparent Scam.

Anti-Virus Scam
I am sure you’ve come across this scam. This is where you get a warning that your computer has been infected by a virus and you need to take action NOW! I actually received a phone call last week telling me the same thing. I knew it was fraud when they couldn’t even tell me what kind of computer I had. These fraudsters cold call as many people they can and tell them they have a virus on their computer and if they would like the virus to be removed. If you say yes, they will offer to install software to get rid of the virus, or they may ask for remote access to your computer to fix it. They will then ask for your credit card number for payment for the software or for repair service. Once you allow these fraudsters access to your computer, they obtain your user names, bank account information, passwords and other personal information about you. Never give remote access to your computer to anyone, and never give your credit card number to a stranger.

Here are some additional indicators from the anti-fraud center site that you should be aware of:
• Unsolicited calls representing a computer repair‐company
• Urgent solicitation indicating there is a threat to your computer
• Credit card charges in amounts ranging from $35.00 to $469.00
• Credit card charges from foreign banks

Emergency or Grandparent Scam
I remember hearing about this scam many years ago. Unfortunately it is still happening. A grandparent receives a call from a fraudster pretending to be their grandchild. The fraudster tells the grandparent a sob story indicating that he needs help. They use a variety of different stories, from needing bail money, to being in a car accident and needing taxi money to get home, to being in a foreign country and needing money to get home. Whatever story they tell the grandparent revolves around the grandparent sending the fraudster money immediately. The fraudster always asks the grandparent not to tell any family members because they are embarrassed. The grandparent sends the money, because what grandparent do you know wants to see their grandchild suffer. None! Of course the grandparent doesn’t verify the truth until it’s too late. They’ve already been scammed.

Please pass this information on to your loved ones. Especially your grandparents and your parents that have grandchildren.

The Better Business Bureau Released Its Top Scams For 2011

I don’t know why some people can’t just find a job or create a job like the rest of us. Instead, some find joy in ripping people off and stealing their hard earned dollars. It just sickens me that people stoop to such a low to get what doesn’t belong to them.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently released their top scams for 2011. You know I just had to share some of them with you. Knowledge is power when it’s implemented so here goes:

Job Scam
Online job application scams have been out there for a number of years. You see an add online for a job and you submit your resume. The recruiter then emails you to schedule a phone interview. Maybe a few days or so later you receive a job offer. To start the job, you are asked to provide your banking information for direct deposit of your paycheck. They may even ask for your Social Insurance Number. All this information is just to obtain your personal data, so they can steal your identity.

Lottery Scam
I am sure you received a lottery scam call. This is where you’re at home enjoying your favorite TV show when your phone rings and the person on the other end of the phone is so excited because you just won  A LOT of money. But the catch is in order to claim the money you have to send them some money first. Really! This has scam written all over it! But it’s amazing how many people fall for this.

Sweepstakes Scam
I don’t know if you remember this one, but there was an email that went around claiming that Mark Zukerberg (Facebook founder) was giving away $1 million. If you got the email, you were the winner, apparently the email was said to be from Mark himself. These types of scams typically will use famous names to make the offer seem more real. Remember if it sounds to good to be true, IT IS!

Identity Theft Scam
So you’re on vacation in your nice hotel, you decide to call it a night when at 3:00am the phone rings. You answer the phone with your eyes still closed wondering who the heck is waking you up at 3:00am. It’s someone claiming to be the front desk clerk. She apologizes profusely for waking you up and then proceeds to explain that the hotel computer has crashed, and they need your credit card number again or to make it sound more believable, they’ll tell you the number they have must be wrong because it won’t go through. By this time you just want to get off the phone and go back to bed. You give them your credit card number and go back to sleep. By the time you wake up in the morning, the crook has probably charged a trip to Australia on your dime.

Cheque Cashing Scam
This one is stooping pretty low, but then again all these scams take a certain type of loser to follow through. You post an ad on Craig’s list because you’re trying to get rid of your grandmothers old treasure chest. Someone actually sees it and wants to buy it. They send you a bad cheque for more than the chest is worth, and ask you to Western Union them the difference. When you deposit a cheque it takes a few days to clear, unlike wired money which is done right away. So now you’ve sent a stranger your hard earned money and you’re still stuck with your grandmothers chest.

I hope you have never been a victim of any of these scams. If you haven’t please be aware. If you would like more information on other scams, please visit The Better Business Bureau Scam Source

© 2012-2017 All Rights Reserved