Category: Scams

Scam Alert: Monster Energy Email

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Crooks are always trying to find new ways to find unsuspecting victims and offering free money
is usually a successful way for them to lure victims in. The latest scam involves an offer to pay
people to “wrap” their car in advertising for a particular company. The latest one showing up in
e-mail boxes (shown below) is luring a lot of victims.

People are well aware and leery of the Nigerian scams where someone says they inherited
millions of dollars and need someone in the U.S. to cash the checks (although some people still
fall for it), so crooks have come up with a more believable and tempting way to find victims.

This is actually a believable offer that a lot of people are falling for. They offer $300-$600 a
week to have your car “wrapped” in advertisement just like the buses and cars you see wrapped
in advertising on the roads nowadays. All they ask for is your name, address and phone number.
People see they don’t have to provide any bank info so they feel less threatened by the offer.

The Scam:
The email seems harmless enough, in which the user is told they will receive $300-$600
per week to simply drive around with advertising on their cars. At first, only your contact
information is requested. The scammer will then offer to send you a check for a large amount,
such as $1800. They’ll tell you to deposit the check, take out your first week of pay, and wire the
rest to a graphic house which will customize the wrap for your car.

And they’ll pressure you to wire that money quickly… because the check is fake. Unsuspecting
victims will deposit this bogus check and wire money out of their account to the scammer before
the check has cleared. When the check finally bounces, the victim has lost whatever money they
wired.

So follow the old saying; If it seems too good to be true……..

I received this particular Monster Energy Wrap offer (shown below) in my work e-mail. Being
that I race motocross and Monster Energy is a sponsor of motocross, I thought it might be cool to
wrap my truck during race season and earn $1200 a month for basically nothing. But being a cop,
I know there’s no such thing as “free money”. A simple Google check of the offer showed what I
suspected, it was a scam.

But a lot of people are falling for this so I thought I’d forward it on with my warning. As you can
see there are misspellings, typos and there is no contact info for the company (all red flags). If
you ever get an offer that may tempt you, make sure you do some research on it first and find a
legitimate phone number for the company so you can call them directly to see if the offer is valid
or not.

Here’s the scam offer I got in my work e-mail.

Hello,

Here’s the basic premise of the "paid to drive" concept:
Monster Energy Drink. seeks people — regular citizens,
licensed drivers to go about their normal routine as they
usually do, only with a big advert for "Monster Energy

Drink." plastered on your car. The ads are typically vinyl
decals, also known as "auto wraps,"that almost seem to be
painted on the vehicle, and which will cover any portion of
your car’s exterior surface.

This program will last for 3 months and the minimum you can
participate is a month.

You will be compensated with $300 per week which is
essentially a "rental"payment for letting our company use
the space no fee is required from you. Monster Energy
Drink. shall provide experts that would handle the advert
placing on your car. You will receive an up front payment of
$300 inform of check via courier service for accepting to
carry this advert on your car once your reply has been received
at lucaseconomou@yahoo.com.

It is very easy and simple no application fees required. If
interested, please reply with the following details below to the
following email address lucaseconomou@yahoo.com

Applicant information:
Name :
Full Street Address(not PO BOX) :
APT #:
City,State,Zip Code:
Cell Phone Number:
Home Phone Number:

We shall be contacting you as soon as we receive this
information.

Best Regards,
Lucas Economou,
lucaseconomou@yahoo.com,
Monster Energy Drink. CAR WRAP ADVERTS

Don’t Fall for Jury Duty Scam

The Verdict: Hang Up
Don’t Fall for Jury Duty Scam

06/02/06

gavel.jpg

The phone rings, you pick it up, and the caller identifies himself as an officer of the court. He says you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant is out for your arrest. You say you never received a notice. To clear it up, the caller says he’ll need some information for "verification purposes"-your birth date, social security number, maybe even a credit card number.

This is when you should hang up the phone. It’s a scam.

Jury scams have been around for years, but have seen a resurgence in recent months. Communities in more than a dozen states have issued public warnings about cold calls from people claiming to be court officials seeking personal information. As a rule, court officers never ask for confidential information over the phone; they generally correspond with prospective jurors via mail.

The scam’s bold simplicity may be what makes it so effective. Facing the unexpected threat of arrest, victims are caught off guard and may be quick to part with some information to defuse the situation.

"They get you scared first," says a special agent in the Minneapolis field office who has heard the complaints. "They get people saying, ‘Oh my gosh! I’m not a criminal. What’s going on?’" That’s when the scammer dangles a solution-a fine, payable by credit card, that will clear up the problem.

With enough information, scammers can assume your identity and empty your bank accounts.

"It seems like a very simple scam," the agent adds. The trick is putting people on the defensive, then reeling them back in with the promise of a clean slate. "It’s kind of ingenious. It’s social engineering."

More Information

Want to learn more about new and common scams like this one? Then sign up for our e-mail alerts.

In recent months, communities in Florida, New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, Oregon, California, Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Hampshire reported scams or posted warnings or press releases on their local websites. In August, the federal court system issued a warning on the scam and urged people to call their local District Court office if they receive suspicious calls. In September, the FBI issued a press release about jury scams and suggested victims also contact their local FBI field office.

In March, USA.gov, the federal government’s information website, posted details about jury scams in their Frequently Asked Questions area. The site reported scores of queries on the subject from website visitors and callers seeking information.

The jury scam is a simple variation of the identity-theft ploys that have proliferated in recent years as personal information and good credit have become thieves’ preferred prey, particularly on the Internet. Scammers might tap your information to make a purchase on your credit card, but could just as easily sell your information to the highest bidder on the Internet’s black market.

Protecting yourself is the key: Never give out personal information when you receive an unsolicited phone call.

http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2006/june/jury_scam060206

http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp

Scam Alert: It’s Not the IRS Asking for W-2 Info

By Comcast Finance

Tue, 25 Jan 2011 16:42:17 GMT


Editor’s Note: This post by Dawn Fallik originally appeared on January 24 on WalletPop.com.

If you get an email claiming to be from the IRS telling you that you need to submit information for your W-2, it is a scam intended to trick people into sending their personal information to identity thieves.

The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about this new scam.

Consumers receive an email supposedly from the IRS warning them that they have not submitted their W-2 form and giving them a link to click to input the information.
The IRS will not email you. They will send a letter if they need more information. And W-2 forms are submitted by employers, not taxpayers.

"This is a new identity theft scam that the BBB has not seen before," Janet C. Hart, a spokeswoman for the BBB in Charlotte, N.C., said in a statement "However, it is very timely and relevant information because employers have until Jan. 31, 2011, to get your W-2 form to you. So consumers could easily think it’s real and wind up as victims of identity theft."

There have been several IRS scams before. Sometimes the email comes from the "Treasury Department" stating that a refund or tax inheritance is waiting and the consumer needs to provide personal information. A link or an attachment is often included, sometimes leading to an official-looking form.

Here are some tips to help you recognize a scam:

– If the IRS needs information, they will send a letter. You will NOT be asked to send information through email.

– Do not click on any links in unknown emails. It could infect your computer with viruses and spyware.

– Do not give out personal information, including SSN, home address and birth date to anyone who emails or calls you.

– If the email has a lot of punctuation and spelling errors, that’s a heads up that it’s probably not an official letter.

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Hotel / Motel Scam that is going around… just be aware…

Here is a possible scam that could occur:

Hotel/Motel Scam (This one is so simple it is shocking)

You arrive at your hotel and check in at the front desk. When checking in, you give the front desk your credit card (for all the charges for your room). You get to your room and settle in.

Someone calls the front desk and asked for (example) Room 620 (which happens to be your room). Your phone rings in your room. You answer and the person on the other end says the following,
‘This is the front desk. When checking in, we came cross a problem with your charge card information. Please re-read me your credit card number and verify the last 3 digits numbers at the reverse side of your charge card.’

Not thinking anything you might give this person your information, since the call seems to come from the front desk. But actually, it is a scam of someone calling from outside the hotel/front desk.
They ask for a random room number. Then, ask you for credit card information and address information. Sounding so professional that you do think you are talking to the front desk.

If you ever encounter this problem on your vacation, tell the caller that you will be down at the front desk to clear up any problems… Then, go to the front desk and ask if there was a problem. If there was none, inform the manager of the hotel that someone called to scam you of your credit card information acting like a front desk employee.

Moral of the story: Do not hand out the keys to the kingdom…. be smarter and you will be safer.