Happy spring! Please watch out for these scams – some are new and some are the same ones that are still taking our hard-earned money!
#1 Donations for Ukraine
There are many fake websites supposedly helping the people of Ukraine. Fake websites can lead to ID theft as well as your donations going to scammers. The BBB and FBI suggest checking with one of these websites to find legitimate charities.
- BBB https://give.org
- Charity Navigator https://www.charitynavigator.org
- Charity Watch https://www.charitywatch.org
- Guide Star https://www.guidestar.org
#2 Get your receipt
Anytime you purchase something, always get, and check your receipt for accuracy and ensure there is not a “cash-out” amount for cash you did not request. This scam has been happening in other states, but it could pop up here so please be alert.
#3 Law Enforcement impersonation
We are still seeing a lot of reports of impersonation of the Sheriff’s Office deputies asking you for money/gift cards, bitcoin, etc. to get out of a warrant for your arrest. Please remember – you will never be asked for money by any legitimate law enforcement officer.
#4 You have won!
There have been some very “persistent” (I am trying to be nice here) callers telling you a Mercedes is on its way to your home and you have won tons of money. Just pay shipping, handling, or maybe your taxes over the phone. Please do not engage these idiots (OK I am not trying to be nice anymore) since they really want to keep you talking with them in the hopes you will pay something. Just hang up – or better yet – let it go to voicemail and do not call them back. Now for some good news on what the FBI and other agencies have done to some of these bad actors.
COVID-19 Unemployment scammer hit 18 states with fraudulent unemployment claims. This scammer, from Nigeria, was arrested at JFK in 2021 and has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated ID theft for using stolen identities to claim pandemic-related unemployment benefits. He obtained the IDs of over 20,000 Americans and submitted more than $2m in claims (received more than $600,000.) He also attempted to defraud the Small Business Administration in trying to obtain the Economic Injury Disaster loans for small businesses impacted by Covid. In addition, he submitted fraudulent claims back in 2017 during the Hurricane Harvey and Irma disasters. At the time of his arrest, he was the Special Assistant to the Governor of Nigeria’s Ogun State. He is still in custody and will be sentenced in August of this year. Hooray for stopping this scammer!