Take a look at the identity theft by state stats. These state identity stats are from 2016 but give you a good ideal of the stats that have the biggest problems with it. Regardless you should protect yourself signing up for an inexpensive Identity Shield plan here.
Top 10 States with Highest Per Capita Rates of Identity Theft*:
1. Michigan 175.6 06. Connecticut 137.9
2. Florida 166.8 07. Maryland 137.1
3. Delaware 155.9 08. Missouri 136.1
4. California 139.5 09. Nevada 135.8
5. Illinois 138.0 10. Arizona 126.2
*Complaints per 100,000 population
Metropolitan areas with highest per capita rates of identity theft:
1. Ann Arbor, Mich. 06. Tallahassee, Fla
2. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 07. San Francisco, Calif.
3. Detroit, Mich. 08. Orlando, Fla.
4. St. Louis, Mo. 09. Niles-Benton Harbor, Mich.
5. Naples, Fla. 10. Lansing-East Lansing, Mich.
Source: Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, FTC March 2017
Don’t get scammed by a real estate scammer, they are prowling around on Craigslist and have been stealing lots of potential property buyers and property renters out of their hard earned cash. How do they do it? Well there are several different versions of the scam going around but they tend to have a common strategy and that is to get you to wire them money for either a deposit or earnest money. Gloria Frazier, a well respected real estate broker in Destin Florida said “it is best to deal with a legitimate company, especially when renting a home because you never know who you are dealing with. Using a property management company can make sure both the lessor and the lessee are protected, it is not worth the risk not to use one.” Gloria is the broker for ERA American in Florida.
Today there are a lot of SEO spammers that spam you through your contact forms. Beware, think carefully before using a company that uses tactics like spam to try and get your business. They pretend they are just contacting you but in reality they are sending the same message to every form they find using an automation tool. Here is a sample unsolicited form spam, notice how the message is generic and doesn’t mention anything specific about your company:
From: kimberly smith
E-Mail Address: email@example.com
Phone Number: 0000000000
I was on your website and wanted to shoot you a quick note. I think I
can make a few changes (aesthetically and/or SEO-wise) to make your
site convert more visitors into leads and to get it placed higher in
the organic search results, for a few of the select terms.
This is NOT like one of those foreign emails you probably get in your
inbox every day. Just to be upfront I have 3 agents that work with me
for development /SEO.
I would just need to know which (if not both) services you’re open to
checking out information about, either web design or SEO. Would you be
open to seeing more brief info / quote for what I would like to
Assistant to Kimberly Smith
Online Marketing Representative
The Feds have uncovered a Puerto Rican IRS scam that has scammed the IRS out of billions using social security numbers from Puerto Rican residents. The scam involved crooked postal workers, and crooked bank tellers as well. The scammers would use Puerto Rican social security numbers because Puerto Ricans don’t have to pay tax so the US government thought they relocated to the US mainland and that they had legit refunds due, but was all part of scam using fake employer tax forms and fake claims. While the scam was in the billions, it doesn’t even show up as a blip on the radar compared to what the US government has spent during the last three years.
We are having more and more Craigslist Scams reported, everything from scammers trying to rent or sell property that don’t belong to them to scammers trying to sell automobiles and concession trailers. Here are some precautions you can take.
1. Have them show you the home before you rent it, don’t rent sight unseen, make sure they actually have access to the home. Check the tax records online to see who the owner is and if its not the same person you are dealing with make sure to check for their business license and ask to see an ID.
2. Don’t buy a car that requires that it be shipped to you. Meet the people in person, make sure they have a title that has a name that matches their ID.
3. Use common sense, if it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.
Here is a scam from Sgt Peter Klein about renting a home, here is the email message which can vary depending on the home he is supposedly trying to rent out. He does similar for vacation rentals.
Hello, It’s my great pleasure that you are interested in our lovely 4BR/3BA Single Family home for rent. I am Sgt Peter T Klein the owner of this home former US Marine Sgt. served in the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment that Patrols the Anbar province, Iraq.Before now we resided in this home and presently we have Moved out due to my transfer as a matter of my profession,where I work as a volunteer with Catholic Revival programmed at the Ermita de San Antonio (St. Anthony Hermitage)here in UKRAINE(Kiev)And my wife who is a missionary’s dealing with Bible Translation and literacy worldwide. As soon as we settle down here I had a thought of selling the house so I have to look for an agent, after getting one, we got a deal but later my wife advised against that. I reasoned with her and accepted her advise. So I contacted the agent back and requested for my keys and documents. Later we decided to have the house rent out, we would have give the same agent this job also but the truth of the matter is that the agent would want to handle it professionally and the occupant may not be able to reason along with him later. If you notice, you will discover that the price we are offering is far below standard price, this is enough for you to know that we are not after the rental fee but the absolute care for the property.We will be serving for a long term and now our home is locked up now and presently we have found a new home here which we will be staying for a very long which might last 5 years in (Ukraine) and presently our lovely home is still available for rent for (1350)as first month rent and the Security Deposit payment which is (850)including the utilities like washer,dryer,fireplace,internet access and garage. More so,Now that we on Retreat program over here.Please I want you to note that all we will want is a very honest and neat person,so i will solicit for your absolute understanding and maintenance of this home and want you to treat it as your own,i am with the keys and documents here with me which will be sent to any responsible and interested tenant through FedEx further more you have to undergo some processes before i could be willing and convince to let my home to any tenant. The money is not the main problem but i want you to keep it tidy always. I also want you to let me have trust in you as i have always stand on my word. ****RENT APPLICATION DETAILS**** Please if you are ready now to occupy the house kindly provide the information below for record purpose PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF Full
Here is a copy of the Attn: Honorable Contractor email scam:
Attn: Honorable Contractor We have this Month of August 2011 received a payment credit instruction from the Government of United Kingdom to credit your account with your full contract funds from the United Kingdom reserve account with our bank. This is to notify you that your funds has been programmed for immediate release into your nominated account but we can not transfer this funds direct to your nominated bank account, because we are having a little problem with International Monetary Fund (IMF) so our method of payment is by Diplomatic Courier Service. Be informed that every arrangement regarding your cash payment through diplomatic services has been made, note also that your funds have been packaged as a consignment. Be informed that the Diplomatic Agency has to move down to your Country in order to deliver the Consignment to your doorstep. Note that as soon as the Diplomat arrives to your Country he will give you a call immediately to enable you help them to get (Immunity Tag Certificate). You have to help the diplomats to get (Immunity Tag Certificate) so that the customs and immigration will not stop them at the Airport, for security reasons; you are advised to follow the rules and regulation of the diplomats for easy collection of the consignment, you have to welcome the diplomatic agent, to enable them deliver the Consignment to you immediately, be informed that as soon as the diplomat obtains the above name certificate he will deliver the Consignment to your door step. This consignment have been registered with FBI and there is no course for alarm because this is the best way that you can get your fund without any problem due to the numerous scam activities going on around the world. It is not always safe to send ones bank information except for a genius reason, so that is why we choose this method to effect your contract payment through a consignment and you are advice to provide all information so that there will not be any further delay in your payment. We sincerely apologize for the delays in your contract payment, please bear with us. Please re-confirm the below information, so that as soon as the diplomatic arrive in your country he will call you immediately to notify you. Your Full Name__________________ Your Complete Address (Physical Address with Zip Code : ________________________ Name of City of Residence: ________________ Country: ______________ AGE_________ Home Telephone Number: _______________ Mobile Number: ______________ Occupation: _____________ Position: _______________ A copy of your driving License/Int’l Passport or I.D Card for identification purpose. Are you a property Owner? _____ I am waiting to receive the above information and your urgent response. IMPORTANT NOTICE, FOR YOUR INFORMATION THIS IS YOUR CONTRACT SECRET CODE (AAY207) NOTE THAT ANY EMAIL OR CALL YOU RECEIVE WITHOUT YOUR CONTRACT SECRET CODE (AAY207) PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU IGNORE THE MAIL IMMEDIATELY TO AVOID MAKING ANY MISTAKE, PLEASE FOR YOUR OWN GOOD AND BENEFIT MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW UP THE INSTRUCTION GIVEN TO YOU TO ENABLE YOU RECEIVE YOUR FUNDS IMMEDIATELY WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DELAY AGAIN. YOURS SINCERELY, MR. ANTONIO LORENZO. CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICIER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ABBEY NATIONAL BANK PLC. firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is another traveler email scam titled “Sorry to disturb you with this…”. Here is how the scam goes:
How are you doing? I’m writing this to inform you that, I am presently in Spain Madrid to see my sick sister.i decided to contact you because of the urgency of her situation,She’s suffering from a critical uterine fibroid and must undergo a hysterectomy surgery to save her life because the fibroid has done a lot of damages to her abdominal area. I am deeply sorry for not writing or calling you before leaving,the news of her illness arrived to me as an emergency and that she needs family support to keep her going, I hope you understand my plight and pardon me. Hysterectomy surgery is very expensive here, So i will need your assistance, I need about $2500 to make the necessary arrangement,I traveled with little money due to the short time i had to prepare for this trip and never expected things to be the way it is right now i don’t mind whatever amount you can spare me. I’ll surely pay you back once I get back home, she is going through a lot of pain at the moment and the doctor have advised that it is necessary that the tumor is operated soon to avoid anything from going wrong. Anticipating you reply at the earliest to my request!! This one was from an individual’s email address you recognize from your contacts.
*** Update, only 50 companies of Epsilon’s 2500 clients were impacted by the breach ***
Epsilon a company that provide email data storage for over 2500 companies has been hacked. Hackers chose them because of the large scale of data they store. If you haven’t already gotten an email like the several I have gotten explaining the Epsilon hacking, you probably will. Here is a copy of the email I got from Walgreens:
On March 30th, we were informed by Epsilon, a company we use to send emails to our customers, that files containing the email addresses of some Walgreens customers were accessed without authorization.
We have been assured by Epsilon that the only information that was obtained was your email address. No other personally identifiable information was at risk because such data is not contained in Epsilon’s email system.
For your security, we encourage you to be aware of common email scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Walgreens will not send you emails asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If ever asked for this information, you can be confident it is not from Walgreens.
We regret this has taken place and any inconvenience this may have caused you. If you have any questions regarding this issue, please contact us at 1-855-814-0010. We take your privacy very seriously, and we will continue to work diligently to protect your personal information.
Walgreens Customer Service Team
The thing to remember is companies don’t ask for personal information using email. So never give out your credit card information, social security number or bank account information in reply to an email.
Here is a charity scam titled “Senora Clarisia Antonio”, and it goes like this:
I wish to make a donation to you of 4.8 Million Euros. As my doctor just confirmed to me that I have limited days to live due to the cancerous problems I am suffering from. I have decided to donate this fund to you and want you to use this gift which comes from my late husband’s effort to open a charity organization. If you can assure me of being able to handle my offer please get back to me for more details by emailing me on my private email address: email@example.com
Sincerely Yours, Senora Clarisia Antonio.