Did you know Craigslist is a virtual Mecca for thieves?

Founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark in the San Francisco Bay area as a way to post local ads amongst friends and family, the online repository has exploded in growth. It’s now utilized by an astounding 570+ cities in more than 50 countries. That’s a lot of potential sucker targets for thieves—don’t become one of them!

Popular for the ease with which users can post classifieds, resumes, ads selling just about everything, personals, and more, Craigslist (CL) is also laden with all the latest scam attempts. Just by taking a few moments to familiarize yourself with the usual shenanigans, you may avoid becoming scammed yourself.

One heavily trafficked area of CL is the job classifieds and resumes section. But be warned, responding to job adverts just may direct you to Continue reading Did you know Craigslist is a virtual Mecca for thieves?

Avoiding online car buying scams: True life story and tips

This is one of those tales of caveat emptor: buyer beware. Buying cars online, like purchasing so many other items over the Internet, has exploded in popularity. The ease and convenience of shopping online makes for an attractive shopping venue. But be warned, it makes for an attractive con target as well!

“Joan” (not her real name) thought she’d won an online auction for a 2001 Chrysler Town & Country minivan. She had bid $6000 in a legitimate auction for the vehicle, and was ecstatic when notified she had been the highest bidder. Had she examined the auction site more closely, however, she would have noticed that, curiously, she was not listed as the highest bidder—someone else was.

Imagine her chagrin when her family found out three weeks later that the $6000 they’d put toward the purchase of the vehicle had Continue reading Avoiding online car buying scams: True life story and tips

Extreme Weather means Extreme Bills: Home Energy Assistance May Be Available

Whether it’s the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter high energy bills may be causing you financial difficulties. Babies, children and seniors are especially susceptible to the illness, injury and death that can occur as a result of being exposed to extreme weather conditions.  Unfortunately extreme weather also means extreme energy bills, sometimes bills that you or someone you know can’t afford to pay. However this is help available for some families.  The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is available in all 50 states.  Continue reading Extreme Weather means Extreme Bills: Home Energy Assistance May Be Available

Is the Forex Program I’m Looking At A Scam?

How Do I Know If the Forex Program I’m Looking At Is A Scam?
Written by Vincenzo Desroches of Forex Traders

The unregulated nature of the Foreign-Exchange (FX) Market has made it a big draw for con artists and scammers. The internet is littered with outrageous claims that one can be a millionaire by trading the FX Market with a simple investment of $99. The reason con artists are able to operate is because, unfortunately, people fall for their scams. In this short article, we will identify several of the major red flags that are often present in the sales materials of bad products.

Continue reading Is the Forex Program I’m Looking At A Scam?

What is the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 and How Will It Affect Consumers?

“Resolved, That the bill from the House of Representatives (H.R. 4173) entitled ‘An Act to provide for financial regulatory reform, to protect consumers and investors, to enhance Federal understanding of insurance issues, to regulate the over-the-counter derivatives markets, and for other purposes,’ do pass with the following …”

That is how the bill known as H.R. 4173 begins. It was introduced into—and passed—the House last year as the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 and, in its latest incarnation in the Senate, is known as the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010.

Designed to end predatory lending, close regulatory gaps, and overhaul questionable financial practices that ultimately led to a worldwide financial meltdown, the bill introduces sweeping new changes for both consumers and financial institutions. Passed in the House, and expected to pass in the Senate, what will it all mean to you, the consumer? Continue reading What is the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 and How Will It Affect Consumers?

Have you ever heard of the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)?

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and theBureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) dedicated to receiving, developing, and referring criminal cyber complaints.

IC3 researches the criminal cyber complaints it receives, and refers them to federal, state, local, or even international authorities if warranted.

Since its inception, the IC3 has received complaints regarding all Continue reading Have you ever heard of the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)?

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Where is your money going?

President Obama began his February 2009 televised address with promises to “rebuild” and “recover.”  Early in his address to Congress television audiences began typing he when President Obama announced announce the website Recovery.gov.  The idea behind Recovery.gov, the creation of which President Obama mandated as part of legislation, was to make the spending of the $787 billion from the 2009 Stimulus Package transparent to tax payers.

From the recovery.gov web site:

“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be carried out with full transparency and accountability — and Recovery.gov is the centerpiece of that effort.” Continue reading American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Where is your money going?

4 Year Credit Card Scam Finally Comes to Light

Over and over in articles here at Identity Theft Secrets we’ve advised consumers to carefully check their credit card statements for discrepancies.  In decades past, most of use would have only pulled out a credit card for larger purchases.  With so many credit card rewards programs going on, some of use credit cards much more often.  On top of that, we now can and do use credit cards for tiny purchases like a meal or café mocha at McDonald’s or even a $1.00 Red Box movie rental. Are we really paying attention to those small numbers on our credit card statements? As a whole, apparently we are not and scammers knew it all along.

The 4-year credit card scam story:

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed charges in March is the U.S. District Court in Illinois on what is believed to a four-year credit card scam with very patient scammers.

The scam worked by making very small charges on stolen credit cards but making just one charge per card.

Steve Wernikoff, a staff attorney at the FTC who is prosecuting the case says, Continue reading 4 Year Credit Card Scam Finally Comes to Light