Month: February 2010

Blogger Email Scam

There is a Blogger Email Scam that is circulating.  It looks real, but when you mouse over the link you can see the scammer’s domain address in your browser status bar.  This is what the email says:

Dear Blogger account owner,
To update your Blogger account please click the following link:

link

Thank you for using Blogger.

This is a post-only mailing. Replies to this message are not monitored or answered.

Save Affected Lives In Haiti Scam

The United Nations UK Office 3 Whitehall Court London SW1A 2EL. Switchboard..

MAKE YOUR DONATIONS NOW.

Dear Sir/Madam, A devastating earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale struck Haiti on 12th January 2010 sending the Haitian Capital Port-Au-Prince into Chaos, killing hundreds and affecting thousands more. Please give what you can today to help thousands of people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. Relief aid workers from United Nations have already been arrived at the Haitian capital with relief materials.

Donations have been grouped into two categories:

1:GROUP A {250 British Pounds to 1,000 British pounds}

2:Group B{ 1,000 British Pounds and above}

Donations are to be made payable immediately via Western Union Money Transfer or Money Gram International. and directly to our donations account liaison officer as Receiver`s Name: Mrs, Sandra Martins Address: UNITED KINGDOM Test Quest: SAVE Answer: HAITI Below as they appear on the Western Union or Money Gram international slip:

1. SENDER`S NAME

2. SENDER`S ADDRESS

3. EXACT AMOUNT SENT.

4.MTCN CONTROL NUMBER.

Note: At United Nations we are committed to protecting your privacy as a Standard practice. We will not share your information unless you have previously indicate that you are happy for us to do so. Please do not hesitate to send your personal details to us, so that we can be able to reach you, in other to show more appreciations to you, for the good concerns which you have showed to needed that was affected in the Haiti Earth Quake Crisis. We do nt specify to huge amount only, you can as well donate anything you can be able to afford, if it’s small denomination, you can easily send it to us through Western Union or Money Gram as we have stated earlier to you. Hope to receive your donations soon as thousands needs your help. Please send return email with donations details to: info-saveaffectedlivesinhaiti@mail.md Your Sincerely, Ban Ki-Moon Secretary-General

Money Transfer Scams

Money Transfer Scams are flooding in boxes at an alarming rate. Recently we responded to a money transfer scam to learn more about the scam. Here is the conversation

Original Email

Am in a hurry writing you this note, I hope this message didn’t came to you as a surprise? And is very urgent. I could barely think straight at this point.
You are the only person i could reach at this moment, and i hope you will come to my aid, because something very terrible is happening to me now, i need a favor from you, I had a trip here in United Kingdom.
I am presently in Sheffield and I’m having some difficulties. I misplaced my bag on my way to the hotel where other valuable things were kept along with my INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT, unfortunately for me all my money got stolen.
I feel so ashamed because i am so stranded and idle. Deeply in pains.
I will like you to help me with a loan of $2,000 to pay my hotel bills and also return back home. I will refund the money to you as soon as I get back home.
I have spoken to the Embassy here but they are not responding to the matter effectively, I’m currently having limited access to emails, I am so confused.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Franni Small

Scammer Response

I am glad you are willing to help me, I’m totally in panic as am typing this message because am not safe here in the hotel i want to get out of this place  because that my priority for now, i will explain things to you better when i get home and re-pay back your money, You can send the money throughwestern  union money transfer, I will get a temporary document in replacement of my stolen passport from the Embassy, here is the information below;

Names: Franni Small
Address: 119 Norfolk Street,
Sheffield, S1 2JE,
United Kingdom.

Write me immediately so that i know when you will have sent it, scan and send me the western union money transfer receipt or just  write out the details on the  receipt and send to me.

This mystery is enough..

Thank you

Our Response

Fran, how much do you need?  I am running low this month, but can send a couple thousand, three at most.  But you will have to pay me back when you get home.

Scammer Response

Yes, i will apy you back when i return, i need $2,000, please send it by western union money transfer with the below details asap.
Thanks.

Our Response

I sent it.  You owe me big.

Scammer Response

Thanks for your kindness and sympathy towards my predicament.

Just want to know if you have send the money by western union as i have told you.

And do get back to me with the below details you have used to made the money;

Sender full name and address:
10 Digits Money transfer control number:
Total amount sent:

Just want you to come to my aid because i feel so helpless and rejected.

I promise to pay back as soon as am back home since i know you also need money for your personal need, also keep me in prayer because that matters alot. first priority is my safety, Cos i don’t feel safe or secured.

Thanks.

Our Response

Who is this, I just saw Fran at the grocery store?

Scammer Response

please i need your help, need you to send me the money asap to come back home.

Our Response

What is your Dentist’s name?

Scammers response

Please send me the money, stop fooling me, if you want to send the money send it asap.

Our Response

That scam is old, it is all over the news, you are now wasting your time.  But could you please answer a couple of questions for me, I am writing a report and since the scam is now pretty close to being no longer any good (In the US) I figured you could answer some questions. And asked several questions, the scammer only answered one.  Which was do you work alone?

Scammer response

Do you want to work with me, i work for myself.

Our Response

How much could I make?

Scammer Response

$3000 a week

A video From the FTC that describes the money transfer scam.

CitiBank Multiple password failures scam email

You get the CitiBank: Multiple password failures email?  Read this first!  The email has been circulating the web and it is a big fat phishing scam, so watchout.  Here is what the email looks like:

We recently have determined that different computers have logged
into your account, and multiple password failures were present
before the login. Therefore your account has been limited.

Please download the form attached to this email and open it in a web
browser.
Once opened, you will be provided with steps to restore your access.
We appreciate your understanding as we work to ensure account safety.

Citibank, N.A. Member FDIC. rights reserved

Identity Theft Explained

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is when someone without your permission fraudulently receives and uses your sensitive information.

Is identity theft a criminal offence?

Identity theft is a serious criminal offence. When someone commits an identity theft by using your name and credit record it may take you months, even years clearing up the confusion. Clearing up an identity theft may prove to be very expensive. The chances are while repairing the mess due to the identity theft, you may lose your job, or lose out on job options, your home and car loans may be turned down and even education loans may be rejected. You may also be arrested for crimes committed by someone else using your identity.

What exactly is stolen in an identity theft?

In an identity theft the thieves fraudulently obtain your name, address, phone numbers, bank and credit card account numbers, driver’s license and social security number (SSN).

How is identity theft committed?

Persons committing identity theft are very resourceful and get information from different sources. One very simple way is by stealing wallets and purses carrying identification and credit cards or by stealing personal information from your home directly. Identity theft may be carried out by persons pretending to be an employer, landlord or any other person who have legal right to your personal information. Identity theft perpetrators may steal records from employers, or bribe an employee having access to the records or even hacking into organization’s computers.

Another identity theft method is by going through your personal or business trash. This is known as “dumpster diving”. Identity theft may be carried out by someone abusing the employer’s trust and accessing credit report information.

Personal information can be obtained by stealing credit and debit card numbers by skimming through the special information storage device that processes these cards. Identity theft is committed by stealing your mail that contain your bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, tax information or new checks. Diverting your mail to another address by filling out a “change of address form” is another way of committing identity theft. Your personal information can be obtained by someone falsely posing as a business person or government official, carrying false identities or papers.

How do they use the information after an identity theft?

After an identity theft the perpetrators can use your credit and debit numbers to make large purchases like computers, televisions, etc. that can be sold later. Persons committing identity theft can make counterfeit checks and debit cards and use up your bank account or open a bank account in your name and write bad checks. The identity thieves can file for bankruptcy under your name to skip paying the debts they have incurred and also use the information to avoid eviction.

Identity theft can be utilized to open a new credit account using all your personal information like name, date of bills, SSN and any non-payment of bills is then reflected on your credit report. Identity theft can be used to get an auto loan in your name, establish phone on wireless service in your name. Identity theft perpetrators can change the mailing address on your credit card account and keep charging your account. You will not be aware of this for sometime as these bills will go to the new address. Another serious consequence of identity theft is when your name is given to the police by the identity thieves, and on release when they do not show up at the court, an arrest warrant will be issued in your name. This leads you into serious trouble.

How do you identify yourself a prey to an identity theft?

You should always be up to date with all your financial records and dealings and be careful with your personal information. Identity theft can be found out by checking on unexplained charges and withdrawals from your account. You can tell an identity theft if you receive calls from debt collectors or companies asking for payments on goods or services not purchased by you. You can tell you are a victim of identity theft when you receive credit cards you did not apply for and also when your credit application is rejected without any cause. Any mail indicating your change of address or not receiving any mail on your correct address will show a cause for identity theft.

To read more visit CreditRunner.com

Identity Theft Laws – How The Legal System Can Protect You

Not that long ago, people didn’t worry much when they lost a credit card or threw away a bill. They knew they could contact their creditors and straighten it out pretty quickly. But today, you may be a victim of identity theft and not even know it. This malicious crime is also hard to prosecute because it’s difficult to identify and track down the perpetrator.

In 2004, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee issued a report with some surprising statistics about identity theft. They estimated that about 27 million Americans were victims of identity theft from 1999-2004. Half of them didn’t know how the thief had gotten their personal information, although a quarter of them knew that the identity theft resulted from a lost or stolen credit card, checkbook, social security number, or personal mail. A few of the victims even reported that the identity thief had used their personal information to carry out a crime under a false identity.

In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission said that reports of identity theft were up 33% from the year before, that they were aware of over 200,000 cases of identity theft in 2003. States with the most reported cases of identity theft were Arizona, Nevada, California, Texas, and Florida. And for almost three quarters of the fraud cases reported, the use of victims’ personal information was used for credit card, phone or utility, or bank fraud. They also found that, on average, the misuse of victims’ personal information lasted from three to six months and resulted in a total loss of about $5 billion to victims, plus over 300 million hours of personal time resolving the problems once discovered.

The 2003 FTC Survey reported over $50 billion in losses to business as a result of identity theft. They also reported that, in that year, each victim spent from $500 to $1200 and from 30 to 60 personal hours to have their credit problems resolved. Unfortunately, there is little hope that this trend will decrease in the near future. Identity theft seems to be getting easier, not harder, and the criminals are learning how to hide their crimes from victims longer and to hide their person from law enforcement altogether.

Unfortunately, there is no single database in the U.S. covering identity theft cases, and the Committee suspects that the number of crimes are vastly underreported. Classifying these crimes as identity theft varies from state to state and from police department to police department. The 2003 study revealed that 60% of victims of identity theft had not reported the crime to their police department! Only one in five had even reported the problem to their credit bureau.

Identity theft crimes are investigated at the federal level by federal agencies like the Secret Service and the FBI. The Department of Justice usually prosecutes the cases through a local U.S. Attorneys’ office. In 2000, U.S. Attorneys reported that they had filed over 2000 cases of identity theft across the country (compare this to the 9 million victims per year). That year, the Secret Service made over 3000 arrests, and average actual loses to victims in cases that were closed equaled over $46,000 each. The FBI reported 1425 convictions for identity theft, over a thousand of those for bank fraud. The Postal Inspection Service made a little over 1700 arrests in 2000. Even the IRS reported actual and suspected cases of identity theft in questionable tax returns in 2000, estimating that they had received around 150 thousand fraudulent returns and fraudulent claims for more than $750 million in refunds. Today, the federal government recognizes that identity theft is the fastest-growing financial crime in America.

One reason for the apparently low proportion of prosecutions and convictions for identity theft has been the government’s inability to define the specific crimes. In 1998, Congress passed the first law addressing identity theft, the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, making identity theft a named federal crime and making it a little easier to prosecute. The Act made the Federal Trade Commission responsible for receipt of complaints and public education about identity theft.

The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act of 2004 established penalties for aggravated identity theft, including those instances where identity theft was used to commit more serious crimes. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act to address identity theft and related consumer issues, making it possible for victims to work with creditors and credit bureaus to remove negative information due to identity theft in their credit report. The Internet False Identification Act of 2000 amended the older False Identification Crime Control Act of 1982 to encompass computer-aided false identity crimes. Violators face fines and/or imprisonment for producing or transferring false identification documents.

Experts encourage people to be proactive in taking steps to prevent and discover identity theft. Clearly, keeping it from happening in the first place is far less stressful than trying to resolve issues after identity theft crimes are committed. Here are a few of the things you can do to protect your personal financial information from identity theft criminals:

– Secure your personal information at all times. Don’t leave lists of account numbers unlocked, and don’t share your user IDs or passwords with ANYone. Maintain as much control over your personal financial information as you can.

– Don’t throw mail away if in contains any personal information, including your full name and address. Shred these documents before putting them in the garbage.

– Educate yourself about the techniques and tactics used in identity theft and protect yourself accordingly.

– Don’t share personal account information with anyone, including co-workers, friends, and roommates. Unless they are also responsible for paying your bills, they have no reason to have this information. And don’t give them your passwords without a very good reason. If you do share your passwords, change them as soon as possible.

– Shred unwanted and pre-approved credit applications, and have your name removed from those mailing lists.

– Be careful when you make purchases online to use only secure servers and to carefully guard your information. Do not keep a written list of passwords, and use passwords that are difficult to figure out (rather than something simple like your phone number).

Abhishek is a Personal Security expert and he has got some great Identity Theft Prevention Secrets up his sleeves! Download his FREE 136 Pages Ebook, “Identity Theft – Don’t Be The Next Victim!” from his website http://www.Survival-Today.com/14/index.htm. Only limited Free Copies available.

Will Identity Theft Insurance Help Pay For The Credit Repair Of An Identity Theft Victim?

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world today and, with increasing technology, it is getting more and more common. Identity theft victims spend hours, as well as a great deal of money, trying to recover their financial identity. Most financial institutions, including your bank and credit card holders, will reimburse you for any fraudulent charges that are a result of identity theft, but they do not offer any other assistance. Most identity theft victims are forced to spend time away from work, making phone calls and preparing and sending various documents, to repair their marred credit report. This adds to the expenses of recovering from identity fraud and is usually the sole responsibility of the identity theft victim.

Identity theft insurance is one way to protect yourself against identity thefts unexpected expenses. Identity theft insurance services are becoming more and more popular as identity theft crimes continue to increase. This insurance is very affordable and can be found as a self-sufficient policy or you can add identity theft insurance to your regular home insurance policy. Identity fraud insurance will reimburse an identity theft victim for all those expenses relating to your credit repair that are not covered by the institutions holding the accounts. With an identity theft insurance policy, you can recover the wages you lost taking time away from work to deal with repairing your credit. You can also recover the costs of mailing certified documents, long distance charges associated with the crime, and professional fees like money paid to a lawyer or to have documents notarized.

Finding an Identity Theft Insurance Policy

There are millions of new identity theft victims each year and it becomes more and more difficult for these individuals to repair their credit and restore their own financial identity. Many victims are not even aware that their identity was stolen for months and once they discover the crime, they have no idea how it happened. Most major credit card issuers have policies in place to protect their clients from these crimes. Review your credit institution’s terms and policies on fraud and ask about possible identity theft insurance services they may offer. There are also a large number of credit monitoring services available. These services watch purchase activity on your credit card and alert you to anything that may be suspicious.

If you feel the charges may be the result of credit card identity theft, you can cancel the accounts at once and investigate the causes, avoiding the possibility of further damage to your credit. You should become familiar with the procedures of each of your credit card and bank accounts in the case of a lost or stolen card. If you do become an identity theft victim, it is important to know how and when the crime occurred. Keeping an active role in your credit activity is the best way to stay informed and will make it much easier to notice identity theft early if it does happen to you. Identity theft insurance is available to give you peace of mind in this event. While fraud insurance may not restore your identity or repair your credit, you know with this protection your expenses will be covered, giving you one less thing to worry about in an already stressful time. There are a few things you should consider when you are looking for the best identity theft insurance coverage for your self.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing Identity Theft Insurance

· Look for a reputable company that offers identity theft insurance.

· Research a business you are unsure of before making a final decision. The Better Business Bureau or online business review sites may provide more information.

· Check for companies that may offer a credit restoration service as part of their fraud insurance package. These services can work with you to restore and repair your credit quickly.

· Review the limits and the restrictions of the policy before signing. Some identity theft insurance policies may not cover certain costs, like legal fees, and some may have limits on expenses, like lost salaries. Also check for age restrictions and deductible amounts.

The company who provides your homeowners or renters insurance may offer identity theft insurance coverage as well. Some auto insurance providers may also offer the service. Combining your policies can save money over separate policies.
Be sure you are completely informed of the features of each identity theft insurance policy you are considering and take the time to compare each company before making a decision.

Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft

The biggest concern for identity theft victims is the devastation this crime causes to their credit history, damage that is sometimes irreversible. Identity theft insurance can’t prevent identity theft from happening, but it can give you a better opportunity to repair the damage that is done. Your awareness, involvement, and identity theft prevention techniques are actually the best identity fraud insurance you can find. Remember to keep your personal information private. Be careful who you give your credit card or bank account numbers to and never give anyone your pin number. If you use a debit card to make purchases, be alert to skimming devices and guard yourself against shoulder surfers who may watch as you enter your pin. Use a shredder to destroy all your sensitive papers and monitor your credit card and banking activity for any suspicious charges.

Daryl Plaza is a regular contributor to IdentityTheftFraudProtection.com an informational based website on identity theft. Our goal is to inform consumers about the risks involved in becoming a victim and learn how to prevent and protect yourself

Urgent Request Email From England

Here is another version of the friend in need email scam titled “Urgent Request”.  Here is what the email says:

Hello, How are you doing? Hope all is well with you and family, I know this might be a surprise to you but I am sorry I didn’t inform you about my traveling to England for a Seminar. I need a favor from you because I misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel, my money and other valuables are gone including my credit cards. I will like you to assist me with an urgent loan of 2300 british pounds which is about $3700 U.S dollars to sort-out my hotel bills and get myself back home. This is one favor I will always show gratitude to throughout my lifetime. I will appreciate whatever you can afford to help me with and I promise to refund the money as soon as I return home. Please do this for me and I will be grateful. Best Regards, Charin