* Identity Theft * Email Scams * Phishing Tips * Ebay Fraud * Dating Scams * Fake Websites * Bogus Job Offers * Web Scams *

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What Alibaba Says About Fraud

This week, my focus has been on fraud occurring through trade sites like Alibaba.com. I contacted Alibaba.com recently, concerning fraud that occurs through their site. This is the email I wrote to them:
I wrote an article in your forum about the dangers of paying via western union, and I also started an internet fraud help website. I know that you are only a website that offers buying & selling leads, and that you do not get involved from there. I love Alibaba, and know that it is one of the best websites in the world. However, there are so many scammers, it is ruining Alibaba's reputation at the least. I feel that there is a way to get a handle on it, and this is my idea:

Similiar to the feedback system on Ebay, there could be a feedback section added for members to leave a feedback comment for the person/company that they just did business with. I believe that this cuts down on fraud in a huge way.
The members solve most of the problems among each other through feedback, and Alibaba has less to do because the thousands of fraud emails that pour in will dramatically decrease.

Thank you for your time,

Angela Schvaneveldt

And They Responded With The Following:

"Dear Ms. Angela Schvaneveldt,

Thanks for your email.

It is Alibaba's great concern to get rid of frauds or scams on Alibaba. But it is a very difficult and long way for us to find an effective way to rip off them completely as Internet frauds and scams are existing and circulating on Internet for quite a long time.

If you are aware of any parties sending spams or engaging in possibly fraudulent activity, please notify us immediately about their email addresses or links on our website.

Meanwhile, thank you for your suggestion. We will forward it to the related department for their reference.

If you have any further question, please feel free to contact us"

I am trying everyone. I will do all that I can to make a dent in the scammer's profits, and protect the honest through information. Together we will make a difference!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Identity Theft Is A Headache That No One Wants

There is no way to describe the extreme frustration that a victim of identity theft goes through. the only words that come to mind is that is really sucks. Let me go into detail about the recent events in my life.
My significant other and I went to Circuit City to buy a new entertainment system for our living room less than a month ago. 99% of the time we pay cash for everything, but this time, since they had one of their '0% interest for 12 months' credit promotions, we decided to open a new credit account, and pay it off in a month or so. That day, the credit card was started with a $7,000 limit. We charged
$4,000, so there was $3,000 credit still available. The transaction was completed in the store, and we were informed that our new credit card should arrive in the mail within a couple of weeks.
After two weeks, we received a bill in the mail for the full $7,000. WTF? We are still waiting for the credit card to arrive.
The credit card was issued through Chase Bank, so we called them up. After explaining to them that we have not even received the card to make an additional $3,000 worth of charges, they informed us that our address was changed,
(which, according to Chase, can only be done with the account holder's social security number), and the card was sent somewhere else. (Chase refused to give us the address). How ironic is that- scammers can steal our identity, but the credit card company will not give us the information of the scammer.
Next, after obtaining a new credit report, there was 3 new accounts opened- Macy's, Citibank, and Landsafe. We then called each of these companies, explained that it was fraud, and asked for the accounts to be closed.
Of course, all of the new fraud accounts have to be 'investigated' before they take any action. Chase has a completely idiotic system. They asked that we make copies of all personal documents, (Drivers license, Social Security Card, etc.) And send it all to them. We told them that they are crazy. A credit card never made it to us, yet you want every piece of our identity sent through the same system? When we had nothing to do with the fraud? Ya, right. We told them no, and to handle it. We then contacted the police, filed a report, and gave them the lead to Circuit City. Which reminds me....

The most uncooperative was Circuit City. When we called them up,
and explained that they were the only ones in possession of all of our personal information that is now being used fraudulently, they did not want to have anything to do with us. Hmmmm.....My advice? Trust No One.
I had been procrastinating on practicing EVERYTHING that I preach. But no more. Today we signed up with Lifelock, and I encourage everyone to do the same. Do not be a fool like us and wait until a situation like this occurs to take action.
So, the police are on the case,and we will see what happens. I'll keep you updated!

P.S. Scammers, we have a message for you:

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Banks : Real Or Fake?

Banks in every country around the world are required to be licensed and registered. If a bank is not registered, it means automatically that it is fraud. criminal Running a fake bank is a felony criminal offense that equals some serious jail time. You can determine whether a bank is, in fact, real in the U.S.A. by using the ABA verification tool found here:

ABA Routing Number Verification Tool

Socialhook Bookmarkhttp://yourfavorite.com/checkwriter/verify.htm

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Domain Name Scam from ILSCORP.net (AKA Internet Listing Service Corp.)

I received an email from ILSCORP.net (A.K.A. Internet Listing Service Corp.), stating that my bill was due for my domain name, InternetFraudHelp.com.

The thing is, I do all of my domains and web hosting through Go Daddy, (who are AWESOME, by the way). At the bottom of the email, in teeny tiny writing, was the following: "This is not a bill. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amount stated above unless you accept this offer."

What A Bunch Of Jerks. So this is my message to you, ilscorp: If I wanted your stupid service, I would of let you know. Instead, since you want to be shady and try to scam people, you are now exposed here. My advice is do not ever do business with anyone that tries to use deception to gain your business.


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CUFF - Citizens United To Find Fugitives

I believe I stumbled upon what we all look for: How To Find & Arrest The Scammers!
C.U.F.F. stands for Citizens United to Find Fugitives. It is a non-profit corporation that works to obtain justice for fraud victims, and helps track fugitives so they can be arrested. CUFF is supported by donations. If their research determines that you are the victim of a fugitive or con artist, they will work with you for FREE to obtain justice and locate the fugitive. Right on, they rock!! You can visit the website HERE.

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$300,000 Refunds Issued To Scam Victims

$300,000 refunds to scam victims

More than $300,000 will be returned to victims of 37 North American-based scams after Australian Competition and Consumer Commission court intervention.

"The ACCC, with valuable assistance from the Queensland Police Service and the Competition Bureau Canada, acted to freeze the funds gathered under a mass mail-out to consumers," ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today.

"Consumers received letters which were carefully written to create a sense of excitement about a huge and unexpected win or prize, including as a result of a lottery, sweepstake, award or other unclaimed funds.

"Sometimes the scammers explain that the reader was 'specially selected'," Mr Samuel said. "Most ask for the payment of a fee before the win or prize can be paid and others offer (often misdescribed) trinkets associated with a bigger win or prize. Some resemble official or legal documents.

"Once the victim has responded, they are guaranteed of one thing: they will receive more and more letters promoting yet further wins. Scammers often work hard to create a personal relationship with their victims, enabling them to elicit ongoing fees and charges for money that never arrives.

"Some victims become so certain that they are only one more small payment away from getting a fortune that they find it impossible to accept that they have been scammed even when bank or police officers explain the scam.

"This investigation was initiated after an observant credit union employee of Adelaide based Powerstate Credit Union, became concerned that a long time customer was making many small payments to overseas 'lotteries' believing that he had already won a major prize. While many of the victims are older consumers, this is not always the case: scammers are happy to take anyone's money, they don't discriminate.

"The joint action has severely disrupted the operations of 37 scam promoters, but the battle is not yet over.

"These particular promoters used Pacific Network Services Ltd and related companies to move their money around the world. PacNet group cooperated with the investigation. It has paid $316,936 in to a trust fund that will now be handed back to some of the victims. Further it has ended its business relationships with promoters identified in the ACCC's court action.

"If all businesses providing cheque transfer services took appropriate steps to monitor their customers' activities for potential scams and then refused to provide services to the operators, the life blood of the scams would be cut off."

Niche Government Consulting and Assurance, will administer the refunds process. Consumers who can show that they paid money to one of the listed scams between 1 March 2006 and 28 February 2007 can apply to the Refunds Administrator for a refund. Details of how consumers can apply for a refund are attached or can be found on the ACCC's web site.

In the event that claims by victims are less than the available funds, the residual will be paid to a suitable consumer group for promoting consumer scams awareness.

Mr Samuel advised consumers that they can reduce the risk of losing money to scams by asking themselves:

if I have never bought a ticket or entered a competition, how could I have won?
should I really send all my personal details to a complete stranger?
if I have won all this money why do they keep asking me for more?
"If in doubt ask your bank or credit union, call your local State/Territory Office of Fair Trading or the ACCC's Infocentre on 1300 302 502 and remember …if it is too good to be true, it probably is."

Both the ACCC and the Queensland Police Service are members of the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce, a grouping of law enforcement agencies responsible for coordinating enforcement and educational activities between member agencies. Investigations by the ACCC and several overseas counterparts are continuing.

Media inquiries
Mr Graeme Samuel, Chairman, (02) 6243 1131, or 0408 335 555
Ms Lin Enright, Director, Public Relations, (02) 6243 1108, 0414 613 520
General inquiries
Infocentre 1300-302-502
Release # MR 209/07
Issued: 9th August 2007

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Counterfeit Checks: How To Verify A Bank Account

Thousand are being ripped off daily through emails and classified ads, by what is known as the Nigerian 419 scams,Nigerian Counterfeit Check Fraud, and Overpayment Fraud.

You can read the recent FDIC alerts here for more information if you are not familiar with these scams.

Do you think you've been victimized? Do you think you may be in possession of a conterfeit check or money order ?

Verify it with theABA Routing Number Verification Tool

This tool is great- its free, and the results come directly from the Federal Reserve's database.

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Unsecured Loan Scam

Okay, here is a new one to me......a 'private investor' that has nothing better to do then send out emails, offering money to complete strangers. Yikes! This letter is so poorly written, it made me laugh when I first read it.

*****LOAN SCAM*****

Good Day,

I am a private investor i give out unsecured guarantee loans to
Business Men and women who are into Business transaction, automobile
purchase, house purchase loan and other personal loans E.T.C. we give
out long term loan for five to fifty years maximum with 4% interest
rate in this you can as well tell us the amount you need so that we
will send to you the terms and condition that is if you are really
interested in getting a loan from us, Loans are given out in Great
British Pounds and United States Dollar the maximum I give is
50,000,000 both in pounds and $USD and the minimum 5,000 pounds and


*Home Loan
*Auto Loan
*Mortgage Loan
*Business Loan
*International Loan
*Personal Loan

I also render Collateral And Non- Collateral Loans For Your Business
Startup. If you are interested you Fill out the application details
below so that we can start the processing of your loan sum.


Full Name:................................
Contact Address:..........................
Purpose of your loan......................
Amount Needed as Loan:....................
Loan Duration:............................
Annual Income:............................
Date of Birth.............................
Marital Status............................

In acknowledgement to these details, I will send you a well calculated
Terms and Condition which will include the agreement.

Furthermore be informed that you will also need a form of
Identification which can be either a Driver's Licence or your working
Identity card.

******END OF SCAM*****

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Everyone Claims To Be A Wholesaler Of Today's Hottest Electronics

Electronics are the hottest commodity online. Everyone wants to get in on a piece of the pie. Including the scammers. The hottest products are what the scammers look for. They are in high demand,and wanted by the masses. This makes it easy for scammers to convince unsuspecting buyers to buy from them. By offering low prices, victims are lured in, blinded by the dollar signs that have blinded them.
Newbies that have no idea of the electronics industry, find a website like Alibaba.com, post a buying lead for...let's say iPods, and within days there are tons of replies from 'alleged' suppliers.

Let me elaborate a little about the requirements of being a legitimate supplier:

iPods - In order to be a legitimate retailer, you must purchase $100,000 worth of inventory. If you are not an authorized retailer for them, they will not offer support, cover warranties or any guarantees.

Gaming Systems - There are licensing and retail sales territory agreements. You must be licensed directly through those companies. That kind of licensing, generally require large brick & mortar retail based operations and large order requirements. Meaning, You have to be a well established company with hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in your products.

Cellular Phones - Contracting agreements. You have to be an authorized dealer through each cell phone manufacturer for the brand that you want to sell. So you will have to contact each company to find out how to become an authorized dealer.

Brand Name Clothing - (Think Juicy Couture, Gucci, Abercrombie & Fitch, Etc. )
There is a major problem with counterfeits. The manufacturers/brands will not allow their products to be sold on the Internet, unless they give you direct permission to do so. You will need to buy the products up front in large quantities, because they don't want to handle the returns. Most of these name brand companies only work with large brick and mortar stores that also supplement selling online. Ebay has a huge issue with conterfeits. Always check where it is coming from. Overseas for something like Abercrombie & Fitch - counterfeit.

Not to be a rotton apple, but If you have been thinking about selling these types of products, I would recommend changing your direction.
I feel that you will eventually figure out though that competing in these areas is futile. You are better off finding a niche and selling "everyday" items to that niche.

Take me, for example. This whole website was created because I thought I wanted to sell Nintendo Wii's & Playstations. After almost getting scammed and wasting my valuable time with a very good scammer, I knew that my 'niche' was to help others from these scammers. To learn more about why a niche is so valuable, there is a very good article here at thebillyAblog.

If you still are convinced that electronics is your yellow brick road, these are the only suppliers that I know of that are legit and deal with smaller resellers:


So, after countless hours of research and dedication, here we are. Spread the word. And together, we can make a difference.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Example Of A Fraud Website

Thank You, Tim, for your email:


First off I would like to say "great site"! Honest people trying to make a living are being scammed every day. Many of us cannot afford the price. I recently lost $500 USD when I attempted to buy a sample from yongdatrade.com. I should have known. Never again.

Good luck!

Using your tip, I researched yongdatrade.com, and this is a perfect example of a fraudulent website. Let's disect this website. Go to http://yongdatrade.com.
The front page looks decent - to someone who has never built a website. They even stole a legit company's image on the top of the page. Let me point out the red flags:

- Red Flag #1: The email address is a hotmail account. Legitimate Companies doing International business with customers do not have free email accounts.

- Red Flag #2: The physical address does not match up. On the fraud website, the adress is 152# chengxin road, Yongchun. Zip code 51000. I looked up Zip Code 51000 and it is Guangzhou, China. Area Code is 20.

- Red Flag #3: Phone number. The phone number on the website is 86-159-89055780. 86 is China's country code. 159 is the area code- which happens to be a mobile number. A mobile phone number is the only listed phone number. Oh yeah, the fax number is the same mobile number. Again, businesses selling these kinds of products will have a landline phone number and seperate fax number. I found the area code info HERE.

- Red Flag #4: The grammar looks like a 5 year old wrote it. Go to the 'About Us' page for a good example. Also, under the 'Shipment' page, the last line says, "we do assure you can get your goods after you pay!!"
Have you ever seen a statement like this on site like Amazon.com? Like, I was thinking that there is a chance I 'can't' get what I pay for?

- Red Flag #5: There are no security seals. No verisign, No BBB - nothing to verify that the site is legit. When buying products, always look for these seals.

- Red Flag #6: Payment Method. Western Union, Moneygram, or Wire Transfer. The 3 ways to never pay for merchandise over the internet. THIS IS THE BIGGEST RED FLAG AND GUARANTEED TO BE SCAM EVERY TIME.

There is a legitimate company by the name of Yongda International trade Co, Ltd, and they sell Industrial supplies. You can see the real Dun & Bradstreet company profile Here from Manta.com. (Manta offers free company research and pay-as-you-go business information enhanced by user generated content--empowering all business professionals to compete on an equal platform through the open web.

Manta gives Web users access to data and analysis from the most trusted business publishers in the world, including D&B, Newstex, Snapdata, Datamonitor, and ICON. Millions of customers around the world use Manta to research competitors, prospects, suppliers, markets and more. It's an invaluable resource for unbiased and trustworthy on-demand information.

With a simple search of the Manta site, you can access a wealth of free and premium business listings, profiles, and reports that can give you a competitive advantage.)

Gone are the days when you could leave your door unlocked, your keys in your car, and everyone told the truth. Trust No One. Always research things for yourself, and follow your instincts.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Send Me Money Or A Hit Man Will Kill You

It looks like the scammers are becoming desperate. All of the magazine articles, tv reports, websites, forums, etc. are getting people informed about all of the email scams being circulated by the millions, and we are becoming aware of their sick games. So, they have resorted to death threats. The newest email con states that there is a hit man out to kill you, but a deal can be worked out if you wire money immediately. Don't be scared. Do not even blink an eye over this type of stupidity. And if you have received an email like this, why are you opening it? I can spot a scam email without even opening it, simply by sender and subject line, and so should you. Matter of fact, I would tell the emailer to shove it. Here is an example of the types of emails I am referring to:


Subject: Merry xmas and read carefully

Good Afternoon,

I Want you to read this message very carefully, and keep the secret with you till further notice, You have no need of knowing who i am, where am from,till i make out a space for us to see, i have being paid $50, 000.00 in advance to terminate you with some reasons listed to me by my employer,its one i believe you call a friend,i have followed you closely for one week and three days now and have seen that you are innocent of the accusation,Do not contact the police or try to send a copy of this to them, because if you do i will know, and might be pushed to do what i have being paid to do,beside this is the first time i turned out to be a betrayer in my job.

Now listen,i will arrange for us to see face to face but before that i need the amount of $80,000.00, you have nothing to be afraid of.I will be coming to see you in your office or home determine where you wish we meet,do not set any camera to cover us or set up any tape to record our conversation,my employer is in my control now,You will need to pay $20, 000.00 to the account i will provide for you,before we will set our first meeting,after you have make the first advance payment to the account,i will give you the tape that contains his request for me to terminate you, which will be enough evidence for you to take him to court(if you wish to), then the balance will be paid later.

You don't need my phone contact for now till am assured you are ready to comply good.

Lucky You.

*****END OF SCAM*****

Report any type of email like this to the FBI INTERNET COMPLAINT CENTER.

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