The U.S. Postal Inspection Service recently distributed thousands of checks totaling $46 million to people who lost money in scams that involved MoneyGram, a popular money transfer service.
According to law enforcement officials, from 2004 to 2009, MoneyGram turned a blind eye to scam artists and money launderers who used the company to commit fraud. During that time, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. lost money to a variety of money transfer scams, including fake lottery and prize scams, family emergency scams, and “guaranteed” loan scams.
If you’ve been following the news this holiday season, you’ve probably heard that Target shoppers may have been affected by the recent data breach. Target notified their customers of the breach via email.
Unfortunately, scammers follow the news, too. Scam artists may send out phony “Target” emails pretending to help, but they actually want to trick you into giving them your personal information. And they are skilled at making the emails look real. If you get an email that says it’s from Target, here’s what to look out for to make sure you don’t get scammed.
If you’re looking for a way to manage your debt, the last thing you need is to get ripped off by a company that promises to help. According to the Federal Trade Commission, that’s what happened to people who paid hundreds of dollars each to Southeast Trust, LLC. The company contacted people through illegal robocalls and claimed it was a non-profit group that could get them credit card interest rates as low as zero percent. The FTC recently got a $2.7 million judgment against the company and banned it from making illegal robocalls and providing debt- and mortgage-relief services.
Have you checked your mobile phone bill lately? See any charges for random text messages you get? Not reading your statement with an eye out for fraudulent charges crammed onto your bill can be a costly mistake.
If you’re a homeowner, you know there’s more to getting set for cold weather than digging out your coat, scarf, and favorite fuzzy boots; it’s time to make sure your home is winter-ready too. More than half the energy a typical home uses goes toward heating and cooling. The Federal Trade Commission has some energy saving tips to help you get the most from the energy you use and avoid a home-heating scam.
Many homeowners struggling to make mortgage payments look for practical payment alternatives: they might try to convince the lender to modify the loan terms, ask for a temporary reduction, or maybe try to refinance the loan. The Federal Trade Commission’s settlement with American Mortgage Consulting Group illustrates one alternative to stay away from: paying a company a fee to modify a mortgage before they deliver the results they promise.
Now that the holiday season is in full swing, you may be thinking about donating to your favorite charities. This time of year also brings more attention to our deployed personnel, their families living stateside and our veterans. Lots of folks wonder how they can support the troops. Many organizations tout themselves as a way to give back to those who serve. But not all charities are legitimate – some are out to make a buck for themselves. Some spend more money paying their fundraisers than supporting the military community. Here are a few things you can do to prevent shady groups from cashing in on the cachet of the military.
The scenario: You want to sell your car without any hassles for a fair price. So you place an ad on a community website hoping for a quick sale. Shortly thereafter, you get a call from what sounds like an auto company. For a fee, the company promises to put you in touch with a buyer. If your car isn’t sold, they promise to refund your money. So you go ahead and pay the fee, and wait for the company to present a buyer for your car.
Scammers pushing empty promises of wealth from business opportunities never cease to be creative. They come up with ideas that sound so detailed and timely that the deal has to be legit…at least, that's what they want you to think.