The holidays are right around the corner, which means the year’s busiest shopping and traveling season is almost upon us. The holidays are a busy and exciting time for seeing friends and family, but a damper can easily be put on them if you fall prey to a fraudulent scam. Here are some helpful tips to help you avoid scams this holiday season.
Less and less people use actual cash to pay for goods and services these days as the convenience and safety offered by credit and debit cards seems to make more sense. There is also the fact that a person does not have to walk around with a great deal of money in their purse or wallet when they leave the house, which they could potentially lose or could make them the target of thieves or muggers. However there are still risks to using a credit card that you should be aware of so that you can learn how to recognize them and protect yourself.
This morning I've received an email from firstname.lastname@example.org pretending to be Pinecone Research. Email stated that they were Pinecone Research and are currently looking for participants to join their Western Union survey and the pay is $150.
Pinecone has never done a survey like this and it's a big scam so don't fall for it. I sent this scam email to Pinecone and they indeed said this is a scam and report it to local law enforcement agencies, as well as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) "econsumer.gov" reporting system (https://econsumer.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/) in the United States or the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre (http://www.phonebusters.com/) in Canada.
I received this email yesterday and thought this is important to share with you guys.
Dear Panel Member,
Our company name, logo and other information was used by an unknown entity to unlawfully send out fraudulent checks in an attempt to scam people out of their hard-earned money. These checks were not sent by HCD Research, and have nothing to do with HCD Research in any way. They were mailed by someone or some organization that used our identity for fraudulent purposes. However, they attempt to fool people into thinking the checks are from us. The checks are NOT from HCD Research, and have no monetary value.
These checks are sent from a variety of locations around the country, and are sometimes accompanied by an email that is made to look like it’s coming from us. We can assure you, they are not. They sometimes mention “mystery shopping” and “customer feedback” as part of the deception. They also ask the recipient to deposit the check into their personal account and wire money through a money transfer service such as Western Union to a random account number. However, the check is fraudulent, and will ultimately bounce even if it is accepted by a bank for deposit or for cash. You will most likely, be held responsible for any money from a fraudulent check that you spend, withdraw or receive in cash from a bank or check cashing service. Therefore, any money that you transfer by wire will be your responsibility.
HCD Research has never run mystery shopper programs, and does not perform any type of check studies in this fashion in which a check is sent prior to your providing research feedback.
This type of scam is also being run using names from other market research companies. Please be wary of any check from a market research or research panel company that comes to you unsolicited and in a very high dollar amount.
If you believe you have received a fraudulent check from HCD Research, please DO NOT attempt to cash it under any circumstances.
Finally, please be aware that we at HCD Research are doing everything in our power to stop the perpetration and furtherance of this scam. If you have cashed the check, please contact your bank and your local law enforcement.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at email@example.com.
Thank you in advance for your help and cooperation.
The Staff of HCD Research.
Stealing someone’s identity is also a form of theft known as identity theft. In this a person pretends like someone else and tries to get all the benefits of his name, like his account, credit card etc. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer from worst conditions due to this. One can call it as identity theft when one uses others information like name, PAN card number or other social security numbers without the consent of the person for committing crimes and fraud.
According to the reports of the FTC, to determine whether it is identity theft or not is very hard and challenging and the victim mostly do not know how his information went out.
Working from home is one of the best options that are available today. The sheer convenience due to the flexibility in timings, and the option to be your own boss appeals to most people. However, one needs to be wary of several online frauds. One needs to exercise caution while selecting the option and ensure that it does not lead to waste of precious time, disappointment and in most cases loss of money as well. When you visit the web, there are thousands of alluring ads posted, offering fantastic returns with hardly any effort. You need to understand that nothing comes free and there is no easy money to be made. The mere promise of easy money should alert you that it smells of frauds that are rampant on the Internet.
Unfortunately, it’s the little guy that always loses out. Companies with less than 1,000 employees lose, on average, $79,000 more than larger companies per fraud case, say the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Considering the fact that smaller businesses are less likely to have large profit margins, unlike their bigger competitors, this is a sad story for little companies.
Fraudulent behaviour is enough to sink a small business, especially in the current double-dip recession. However, all hope is not lost: you can help your business prevent fraud by following these simple tips –
About a month or two ago, I had signed up with Product-Testing.com website. I did a couple of their surveys and was told I would test a product but was never sent anything.
Well now I've received another email stating that I was invited to join a Smart Phone Panel and my reward would be a $15 gift card from either Starbucks or Amazon.
When I clicked on the link to get started, my virus protection popped up on my screen and said, "Trend Micro has confirmed that this website can transmit malicious software or has been involved in online scams or fraud."
YIKES!!! Stay far away from this company! I'm unsubscribing now!
A bad economic situation can make someone make decisions that are not right. Specially when it comes to work. This information can come in handy!