Category Archives: Money

The FBI wants to know my preferred payment method

Image By: Ian Lamont provided by Flickr

Here’s one of the more interesting messages that my spam folder caught this week. Apparently there’s some money the Federal Bureau of Investigations just can’t wait to give me.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Anti-Terrorist And Monitory Crime Division.

Federal Bureau Of Investigation. INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUNDS

J.Edgar.Hoover Building Washington Dc

Customers Service Hours / Monday To Saturday Office Hours Monday to Saturday:

Dear Beneficiary, Series of meetings have been held over the past 7 months with the secretary general of the United Nations Organization. This ended 3 days ago. It is obvious that you have not received your fund which is to the tune of $2.3million Usd due to past corrupt Governmental Officials who almost held the fund to themselves for their selfish reason and some individuals who have taken advantage of your fund all in an attempt to swindle your fund which has led to so many losses from your end and unnecessary delay in the receipt of your fund. The National Central Bureau of Interpol enhanced by the United Nations and Federal Bureau of Investigation and the International monetary funds have successfully passed a mandate to the current president of Nigeria his Excellency President Good luck Jonathan to boost the exercise of clearing all foreign debts owed to you and other individuals and organizations who have been found not to have receive their Contract Sum, Lottery/Gambling, Inheritance and the likes.

Now how would you like to receive your payment? Because we have two method of payment which is by Check or by ATM card?

ATM Card: We will be issuing you a custom pin based ATM card which you will use to withdraw up to $3,000 per day from any ATM machine that has the Master Card Logo on it and the card have to be renewed in 4 years time which is 2015. Also with the ATM card you will be able to transfer your funds to your local bank account. The ATM card comes with a handbook or manual to enlighten you about how to use it. Even if you do not have a bank account.

Check: To be deposited in your bank for it to be cleared within three working days. Your payment would be sent to you via any of your preferred option and would be mailed to you via UPS. Because we have signed a contract with UPS which should expire in the next three weeks you will only need to pay $280 instead of $620 saving you $340 So if you pay before the three weeks you save $340 Take note that anyone asking you for some kind of money above the usual fee is definitely a fraudsters and you will have to stop any communication with every other person if you have been in contact with any. Also remember that all you will ever have to spend is $280.00 nothing more! Nothing less! And we guarantee the receipt of your fund to be successfully delivered to you within the next 24hrs after the receipt of payment has been confirmed.

Note: Everything has been taken care of by the Federal Government of Nigeria the International Monetary Funds, The United Nation and also the FBI and including taxes, custom paper and clearance duty so all you will ever need to pay is $280.

DO NOT SEND MONEY TO ANYONE UNTIL YOU READ THIS: The actual fees for shipping your ATM card is $420 but because UPS have temporarily discontinued the C.O.D which gives you the chance to pay when package is delivered for international shipping We had to sign contract with them for bulk shipping which makes the fees reduce from the actual fee of $620 to $280 nothing more and no hidden fees of any sort!To effect the release of your fund valued at $2.3million Usd you are advised to contact our correspondent in Africa the delivery officer Mr James Morgan with the information below,

Full Name:DANNY BLESSED Email: +++++++@gmail.com Telephone: (512) 240-XXXX

You are advised to contact him with the information as stated below: Your full Name : Your Address: . Home & Cell Phone: Occupation: Preferred Payment Method (ATM & Cashier Check) Upon receipt of payment the delivery officer will ensure that your package is sent within 24 working hours. Because we are so sure of everything we are giving you a 100% money back guarantee if you do not receive payment/package within the next 24hrs after you have made the payment for shipping. Yours sincerely, Miss Donna Story FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535

5 tips to help you recognize that it is a spam or phishing email:

  1. If they ask you for money it’s spam/phishing – let’s start with that.
  2. Bad grammar – there are quite a few mistakes in it – including the dropping of articles like “a” “the” look for those mistakes. I’m pretty sure the FBI has someone who proofs their emails before they send them out.
  3. If official it would have come certified mail, not in your email.
  4. If it sounds too good to be true it most likely is.
  5. It’s a plain text with no logo and uses an unusual email address, for example in this case it was +++++@163.com.

Find even more tips and frequent scams that arrive in your inbox with these tips from the real US Government.  Report spam/scam and phishing emails to the organization they are claiming to be from.  In this case it’s going to spam@uce.gov.

 

Octomom Nadya Suleman Facing Probe Into Possible Welfare Fraud

It appears that the story of Octomom Nadya Suleman has not yet run out of steam thanks to some apparent bad choices by the former porn star. Nadya Suleman is now in potential hot water with the Los Angeles County Department of Welfare Fraud Prevention and Investigation. According to several sources including The Huffington Post, Radar Online and TMZ, Suleman is being accused of welfare fraud and finds herself in even more hot water than she has seen in the past.

The report says that Octomom got food stamps and welfare benefits of $60,000 dollars even though her income was reportedly over $200,000. That amount is way more than the cap of $119,000 that is mentioned in the report. Surely she is deserving of the help if she qualifies for it properly, but otherwise she is taking food and help from the mouths of others that truly do need it.

This accusation is only the latest dramatic episode over the past several years with Octomom. From her time as a porn star to her rehab stint in 2012, Suleman has had her share of problems in the public eye. Unfortunately, it is not the type of spotlight that most people want to be in.

According to the TMZ report, Suleman is being investigated and bank records are being seized Continue reading Octomom Nadya Suleman Facing Probe Into Possible Welfare Fraud

State Farm Charged in Hurricane Katrina Claim Fraud Case

When you think of fraud, you generally think about some scum hiding behind a keyboard somewhere in a dark basement. The last thing that would come to mind would be your insurance company. State Farm Insurance has been charged with fraud in a case out of Mississippi. In the wake of horrible Hurricane Katrina, State Farm is accused of burying, modifying and hiding damage reports to keep from having to pay.

The whole idea of insurance in a hurricane becomes difficult to sort through. The general idea is that an insurance company is often on the hook for wind damage whereas the water damage is paid out federally. In this case, the National Flood Insurance Program was to be reimbursed a quarter of a million dollars due to the accused fraud.

How tough must that be? How in the world do you separate wind and water damage in a storm the size of Katrina? Some houses were blown away while others were ripped from their foundations by rising tide waters. The insurance companies had plenty of motives to aim the destruction towards the waters. They knew they were facing huge debts regardless so a culture of deception is not really all that surprising. In a world where looters take advantage of people whose homes are devastated, nothing really surprises us anymore.

It was first brought to light in 06 when ABC News spoke with two sisters that accused the company of an entire culture of fraud around the locations in Biloxi and Gulfport. They accused Continue reading State Farm Charged in Hurricane Katrina Claim Fraud Case

Khloe Kardashian Denies Cathy’s Kids Charity Problems

Khloe Kardashian was quick to go on the offensive when accusations recently arose about husband Lamar Odom and his charity known as Cathy’s Kids. The former NBA superstar was recently mentioned in an ESPN episode of “Outside the Lines” where the charity was supposedly investigated. Odom began Cathy’s Kids as a tribute to his mom that passed away when he was a child from stomach cancer. The charity was originally intended to help with cancer research as well as underprivileged children.

The ESPN program claimed that the charity had not offered up one penny to cancer research since 2004, despite bringing in $2.2 million dollars. It also pointed out that 60 percent was allegedly used for team travel with two of the elite basketball teams.

Kardashian was adamant about Odom and his intentions being pure and this seems like a possible mix up of intentions. Odom was the primary source of the money to start with according to Khloe. When the charity first began, it seemed to be intended towards helping with cancer research. Over time, the charity began focusing on inner city children and helping them get a leg up in life.

Kardashian further went on to say that nobody in her family received one dime of the money. She mentioned that the IRS had given the foundation “a clean bill of health” and that a decision was made to focus more sharply on the youth as opposed to cancer research.

Certainly the shifted focus would Continue reading Khloe Kardashian Denies Cathy’s Kids Charity Problems

Identity Thieves Are After Your Tax Refund

It’s tax season! Filing your tax return is a less than thrilling activity, and you may be tempted to procrastinate. However, filing early can help reduce the chance that you’ll become a victim of tax-related identity theft.protect your refund!

In recent years, an emphasis on filing tax returns electronically and receiving tax returns via direct deposit has led to an increase in incidences of tax-related identity theft. Many of these cases involve thieves stealing social security numbers and using them to file fraudulent tax returns early on in the season. The thief will set up a bank account to have the money deposited in, and then close the account after receiving the victim’s tax refund. Then, when the victim files his or her real return, he or she will be notified that the IRS has received 2 filings under the same social security number.

You should be particularly concerned about Continue reading Identity Thieves Are After Your Tax Refund

ATM Safety: What You Need to Know

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) can give you easy, fast access to the money in your bank account. When you insert your card into the machine, it reads the information on the card’s magnetic strip. It then asks you for your pin number and, voila! You have the ability to withdraw money from your checking or savings account. According to statistics published in 2012 by Statistic Brain, there are 2.2 million ATM machines in service, with a new ATM machine being installed every 5 or so minutes. It’s important to note that most of these machines charge a fee for their service, but with modern-day thieves focusing on ATM technology in order to steal your cash, a fee might be the least of your worries.

What Security Measures Are In Place?

Many ATMs are monitored by surveillance cameras to prevent identity thieves from tampering with machines and also to discourage muggers from targeting people who are withdrawing cash. ATM customers are cautioned not to write their pin number down where passers-by can see it and to take precautions against allowing others to see the number that they punch into the keypad.

Unfortunately, there are ways that scammers target ATM machines that render these security measures useless.

ATM Skimming:

Incidents of ATM skimming are on the rise. Skimming occurs when identity thieves modify ATM machines. They insert a phony card reader over the legitimate card reader. This will read the magnetic strip. The information that it reads off of a debit card is either stored in the device or transmitted via wireless to another location. This is combined with either a spy cam or a device fitted over the keypad to read the users’ pin numbers. With these two bits of information, thieves will have easy access to a user’s checking account. They will either remove funds from the account, or sell the information online. The highest bidder will receive your sensitive information.

To prevent this from happening to you, it’s advised that you use only ATM machines located inside a bank, where it is less likely that scammers will have tampered with a machine unnoticed. Also, look out for keypads and card readers that look slightly off. They may be protruding oddly from the machine or a slightly different color than the rest of the ATM.

Sketchy ATM Purchases:

Did you know that used ATMs can be sold on eBay and Craigslist? If the machines are not properly wiped of data, the purchaser may be able to access users’ information electronically. Again, users are encouraged to stick to using only ATMs located at banks, rather than those at retail stores or in out-of-the-way spots, which may later be discarded or sold without being properly wiped of data.

Users should also monitor their checking account transactions closely. Some identity thieves may “test” a user account by making small transactions, sometimes for amounts less than a dollar. They assume that most users won’t notice small transactions like these.

Bank account holders can also be advised to withdraw money directly from a bank teller rather than an ATM to eliminate the risk of ATM-related identity theft and also to avoid ATM fees.

Sources:

http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/smartcompany/Banks-clients-grapple-with-card-skimmers/-/1226/1658812/-/dq6ok3z/-/index.html

Debit card safety: Think before you swipe

 

 

Digital Assets and Death

Chances are you have a will and other paper documents that have been prepared in the event of your death. What you may not have is information on how family members can access your digital assets upon your death. It’s something that many never think to disclose. However, if family members don’t have access to this information, it can be difficult to follow the instructions in your will. Not only that, but family members may also have trouble accessing important files, such as family photos. The following explains the importance of giving access to digital assets to your family upon your death and how to do it.

Many people rely on online financial institutions for a number of services. You may have your IRA account, life insurance, and at least one bank account through an online company that doesn’t have physical offices. Without passwords, it can be impossible for family members to access this information. This means that it may be impossible for them to pay for a proper funeral or carry out your final wishes. If you work online, you may also have quite a bit of money in a PayPal account and have clients that need to be notified. All of which your family will need to know about.

It’s not only financial accounts that your family will want to access. Chances are you also have a number of family photos stored digitally. These photos should be passed down and cherished by your family, not be erased because no one knew they were on the hard drive.

There are actually a number of ways you can help your family access your digital assets. When it comes to passwords, you never want to have a file in your home that contains this information. However, what you can do is create a list of accounts and log-in information and put it in a safe deposit box at the bank. The key could then be placed with your will along with instructions on where the deposit box is located. You could also have a trusted family member keep the file. When it comes to family photos, you could also make a note in your will about their location.

Digital assets are often overlooked, but this can really hurt your family. If you want to make sure your family accesses all your accounts upon your death, you need to find a way to share this information. Whether you share your passwords before your death or leave clues on where to find the information in your will, you can make it easier for your family to move forward.

Dirty Money: Is Money Making You Sick?

Do you think the interest rates on your credit card are crappy? Well, there may be even more crap lingering on your credit card. A recent study actually showed that one in seven banknotes and credit cards in Birmingham, UK had feces and e.coli bacteria on the surface. While poo-covered credit cards are certainly disgusting, credit cards are also likely to carry the rhinovirus. In fact, 78% of banknotes and 80% of credit cards contain traces of the bacteria. But, what does all this mean to the average spender?

Think about the times when you’ve been struggling with several bags and your debit card. There’s probably at least one time you’ve placed the card between your lips to free up your hands. This means you’re exposed yourself to some pretty nasty germs. Even if you’re not apt to place your card in your mouth, think about the times you’ve paid for a meal and then sat down and started eating. Yep, you’re moving that food to your mouth with hands that are possibly covered in poo. Talk about a major ick-factor.

Not only is dirty money gross, it can make your horribly ill. E.coli can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and  nausea. The symptoms can last up to two weeks, but usually subside after one week. However, there are those that don’t experience any symptoms, but may pass the bacteria on to others. As for the rhinovirus, this is what’s know as the common cold. You’ll experience sneezing, runny nose, headaches, a sore throat, and other typical cold symptoms. With the average adult having 2-4 colds per year, you have to wonder how many of those colds were the result of dirty money.

The good news is there are a number of ways to protect yourself from dirty money. First of all, always wash your hands before eating. You should also avoid touching your face when handling money. This means that if you work in a job where you handle money throughout the day, you will want to keep hand sanitizer nearby and use it frequently.

Put simply, dirty money isn’t just obtained through criminal acts. There’s actually a good chance that most of the money you come in contact with is dirty. With up to 17% of money and credit cards carrying traces of feces and 78-80% carrying the rhinovirus, you need to practice good hygiene and wash your hands whenever handling money.

California Man with Previous Fraud Conviction Linked to Anti-Islam Movie Questioned

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, a Coptic Christian, was interviewed by federal probation officers voluntarily at a sheriff’s station in the LA suburb of Cerritos. The interview lasted about 30 minutes and allegedly revolved around his link to an anti-Islam movie.

The 13-minute English-language movie filmed in California and circulated on the Internet under several titles including “Innocence of Muslims,” mocks the Prophet Mohammad and portrays him as a buffoon.

Nakoula was picked up for his believed involvement in the film as a possible probation violation for a bank fraud conviction. It is said that the filmmaker went by the name, Sam Bacile, which is now believed to be Nakoula.  In 2010, he pleaded guilty to bank fraud and was sentenced to 21 months in prison and five years of supervised probation. He was also was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was accused of fraudulently opening bank and credit card accounts using Social Security numbers that did not match the names on the applications. Continue reading California Man with Previous Fraud Conviction Linked to Anti-Islam Movie Questioned

Selling stuff online? Read those offers carefully before you are sold out

You are all done with the treadmill, bike, crib or toys and wonder “How can I sell this?”  Many people turn every day to Craigslist to help them sell their used (or even new) goods so it’s no surprise that someone would test out their skills there in a cross between a Paypal/Credit card hoax and the “I have money for you from a lottery/unknown inheritance/or just because I’m dying and I wanted to pick some random email address to give money too.

In today’s particular Craigslist scam a group of exercise equipment items were up for sale.   The seller receives a request for more information which is provided.   Next she receives the following message . . .

Thanks for the mail..Due to the nature of my work,phone calls making and visiting of website are restricted but i squeezed out time to check this advert and send you an email regarding it.I am offering you  additional $300.i will be paying you with my credit card via my PayPal account,If my offer is accepted send me your:

1.PaypalAccount Name:
2. Paypal email address:
3. Mobile Phone Number:
4. Address:
I can pay in right away.I am a sailor and do not have much time around the Internet.Make sure you get back to me so that we can arrange for pick up as i will like the item to be picked,so no shipping.I insisted on paypal because i dont have access to my bank account online as i dont have internet banking, but i can pay from my paypal account, as i have my bank a/c attached to it, i will need you to give me your paypal email address so i can make the payments as soon as possible and pls if you dont have paypal account yet, it is very easy to set up, go towww.paypal.com ( a link was built in on the word paypal that I removed before posting) and get it set up , after you have set it up.

She forwards it to me and my response is . . . “Run, run as fast as you can! You can’t catch me I’m an educated woman!”  Okay so it doesn’t rhyme quite as well as it should but you get the idea.   This consumer took one look at this email and knew it was a fake offer, and asked someone else for a second opinion just to be sure.   Here’s just a few reasons why:

  • Who offers $300 more than your asking price?  If it looks too good to be true it probably is.
  • See all the writing errors?  Lower case letters when they should be upper,  missing articles like the and an, and poor grammar and spelling are also usually an indication of a fraudulant offer.
  • Don’t touch that link!  Don’t have a paypal account? That’s okay, I’ll help you by providing this handy dandy little link here.   So, not only are you setting up a fake paypal account and giving them all your information to do so, you are also taking a chance on picking up a virus, malware or keylogger program when you open the browser window.

Selling used goods online can be a great idea.  It gets rid of things you don’t want anymore, it’s good for the environment because it is not being dropped into the trash and it may even make you a little money.   But as you place your ads make sure that your goods are the only thing up for sale, and that your identity, personal and credit card information is not taken away by the highest bidder.