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Community Manager
Community Manager

Spotted a scam? Tell us about it.

Spotted a scam?  Tell us about it.  Our scam-tracking map gives you information about the latest scams targeting people in your state.  You’ll also find first-hand accounts from scam-spotters who are sharing their experiences so you know how to protect yourself and your family. Go to the Scam-Taking Map>>

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Contributor

I think the biggest scam of all is AARP itself. Why does AARP continue to recommend United Health Care to us? When in my opinion Braven Health is the better choice in terms of benefits. Lower doctor co-pays, dental benefits, $70 quarterly OTC card, free hearing aids, no prescription deductible. I could go on and on.

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Bronze Conversationalist

A NEW SCAM!!!

For the past two days, I have been receiving calls from someone (always with a foreign accent of course), claiming to be from Publisher's Clearing House, and telling me I have won x number of millions of dollars.  When I tell them I have never sent in a sweepstakes entry, they claim it is a 
random telephone number drawing" and my number was drawn.  

Two days ago when all this started, I received two calls, both on my house phone.  Today, I got THREE calls on my house phone, ONE on my answering machine, and ONE on my business phone...all the same guy and the same ID number, mind you!   I have refused to answer my phone, and he calls back.  I pick up my phone and tell him I know he is a scammer, and he continues to call back.  I have even told him to @#%&#$%$#&^@$, and he still calls back.  It doesn't matter if I answer the phone or not, he continues to call.  So I went to Publishers ClearHouses website, and it says they NEVER call people to tell them they have won.  They will go to their house and tell them in person.    They NEVER randomly draw phone numbers, and you MUST enter their sweepstakes in order to win.  

So PLEASE don't fall for this scam, folks.  I haven't, but am afraid someone will.  Be CAREFUL OUT THERE!!

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Periodic Contributor

I lost $99 to teloyears.com, a web site that professes to perform a lab analysis via a drop of blood to determine the length of your telemeres. Telemere length gives information about your longevity. This test is a laboratory analysis of a blood sample.

I paid the money, received the kit, supplied the blood, returned the kit (receipt acknowledged by the company) and never received the result. The company is 1 employee, no one answers either phone or email, there is no way to contact the owner.

I disputed the charge with my bank, the bank says that the kit alone is the end product and therefore the charge is legitimate even though the end product is the lab analysis and result, not the test kit. The kit alone is worthless. Buyer beware! I have filed a complaint with the BBB.

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Newbie

This is a disservice to consumers. While TrueCar claims to want to help consumers, and in some ways they do. They are making claims they know they can't fully deliver on. AARP, Costco, Sam's Club, and all the other Auto Buying Programs along with TrueCar are all making these claims. I would say they are lying to the consumers / members, but it's more like they aren't sharing the whole truth with them. And this gives the consumer a false sense of protection, because of these companies reputation, and names. They all make money from these programs, which would be fine if the consumer was getting the whole truth about what these programs can provide, and what they can't protect them from when it comes to unethical  business practices. I have provide AARP, Costco, and TrueCar a possible way to help protect their members from these type of unethical business practices, but they all have told me they can't or won't use my suggestion. When I ask why they can't or won't they don't have a cut and dry answer. To me it sounds like they just don't want to make the effort to check into it. I say that because what I'm suggesting doesn't change anything about the sales contract, what the dealers can offer for add-ons, or tell the dealer in any way how to do business. It just makes sure the deal is transparent and the consumer are aware of everything they are being charged for, and lets them know which charges are optional and can't be required for the purchase of the vehicle. AARP, Costco, TrueCar, and all the others claim "Transparency" as part of the program, so why can't they give a straight answer to why they won't use my suggestion? As I said these companies are doing a disservice to their consumers/ members, and they should be more transparent with what they are selling the public about these programs.

Social Butterfly

A Lie of Omission is still a Lie.

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Social Butterfly

This is probably not entirely new to many people, but I recently got an Email claiming to be from The United States Postal Service.  It Had a convincing looking USPS Logo at the top.  It informed me that a package for me couldn't be delivered and was being held at the local postal facility.  The Email had a tracking number and instructions to click the link in the Email to reschedule delivery.  I don't like clicking links in Emails so I called my local post office to check.  There were no packages being held for me.  The Tracking Number in the Email was fake.  The Tracking Number should have started with a 9, but it didn't.

Gold Conversationalist

I'm sure that's what I received this morning at 0645. I've never gotten a scam call this early before. The lady said I qualified for a gift card from my choice of Target, Walmart or other store all I have to do is pay Two dollars for shipping and handling. I hung up. My caller ID showed Moore George 655-2124.

 

To pay the two dollars over the phone means giving a credit/debit card number plus security number on the card. 

Contributor

Remind everyone to always hover over, do not click on sender line to verify real or fake addresses!

Received an email From "Medicare Plan" Subject Line: "2021 Medicare Open Enrollment"

Actually a Phishing sender: random letters, no reply and invalid HTML after the @ 

These guys are "good" at faking out even the most savvy user. THANKS!

Contributor

Several weeks ago, I received a white paper booklet about arthritis from Remedy Health Media on behalf of University of California--Berkeley. I did not order this booklet and did not want it, so I mailed it back to Remedy Health Media at their return address in Palm Coast, Florida. Since then, I have received two invoices attempting to bill me for the booklet. I am ignoring these invoices as the USPS informs me that unsolicited materials received in the mail can be considered "gifts." Has anyone else had a similar experience of being billed for unsolicited, unwanted material received via US mail, and does anyone have any advice for me? I am concerned that Remedy Health Media may turn this billl over to a collection agency.

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Bronze Conversationalist

Well first of all, unsolicited materials received in the mail are still unsolicited materials you received in the mail.  You did not order them, and therefore you owe NOTHING for them!

It's just like when a charity sends you a notepad and return address labels along with asking you for a donation.  You never asked for that notepad or those address labels, so therefore you owe that charity NOTHING for them.  No worries.   : )

 

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Contributor

If they send you a collections letter send them a "drop dead letter".

It is a letter telling them you do not owe them what they are asking

and that according to the fair credit law they are not to contact you

again about it. 

 

Somthing like this:

 

Date:Name of Collection Agency
Mailing Address of Collection AgencyRe: Account Number

 

To whom it may concern:

 

I have been contacted by you regarding a debt I allegedly owe.  I dispute the account number referenced above and deny any liability.  Please cancel the account immediately.

Please cease any and all further communication with me regarding this debt immediately.

Under the regulations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act you may not contact me further once I have notified you not to do so.

 

Sincerely,

Your signature
Your printed name

 

Send it certified mail. You should not hear from them again.

However if they believe it is a real bill they can file suite and

will have to present you with evidence that you owe the money.

If you get served such a letter indicating they have filed suite

do not ignore it. You must challenge their complaint for which you

should seek legal advice. 

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Contributor

Thank you so much for the great advice!

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Contributor

I got an email the other day telling me my Kohls account was blocked looked suspicious so just deleted. It was an obvious phish attempt. 

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Contributor

Walmart shopper they send you text then a check which bounces after you do the shop. I will never trust a secret shopper ad again! 

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Newbie

I received a  voice mail from a 917 area code that I  was wanted for crimes that I was involved in.  Deletedcit.

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Contributor

Grandpa has been the victim of many scams and unnecessary purchases costing him big $$$. A Big Funeral company where grandpa had purchased a burial plot (paid over time) convinced him to buy insurance for the purpose of ensuring his burial plot gets paid off in the event he dies b4 the account is settled. And the beneficiary of the insurance policy was the Big Funeral company. This insurance "product" has the effect of making it harder to pay off the original account, thus increasing the likelihood the insurance policy will pay off...to Big Funeral! Warn your older family members of this Big Funeral practice.

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Contributor

Here is the scam:  https://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/info-2014/can-this-be-used-reused-quiz.html?cmp=EMC-DSO-...

 

It just doesn't work.  Pleassew add this to your list of scams.

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Contributor

WELLS FARGO BANK ATM MALFUNCTION STEALS WELFARE AND DISABILITY MONEY ON 12/2/17! RENT IS NOW OVERDUE, FOOD CANNOT BE PURCHASED, WELLS FARGO HAS NOT RETURNED THE MONEY, NOR WILL THEY EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR ATM'S ERROR! Here are the details of Wells Fargo's responses: https://tcom10.wixsite.com/wfargonightmare https://twitter.com/Tcom08740 Please help by retweeeting so that others are made aware and are able to avoid this bank.
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Regular Contributor

You know, some of us are here trying to protect our loved ones from being hurt. You know perfectly well that complaining about an AARP article is not a scam. YOU are getting in the way of us trying to figure out how to help our families on this scam related page, but instead you are whining and complaining instead of reporting a link that doesn't work. Does that make YOU a scammer? No, it makes you mean or lazy. But it doesn't make you a scammer.

 

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Name: Heather Johsonwall from Humanity of Empowerment, supposedly home office in VA.

Asked for name, date of birth, email, next of kin, place of employment...said she would help get me a Grant from Government, once she had all this information, she started asking for $1000.00 & up for FREE GRANTS. I couldn't find any legit information through BBB, & now I don't know what to do.

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Regular Contributor

did you give her the info? If so, first thing to do - contact your credit bureaus (all 3) and your banks. Get a freeze on your credit. Yes, it will cost a little, but save you many thousands.
Contact your bank.
Contact your credit card company.
Above all, contact the FTC with any info you have about them, and contact the IRS asking for a fraud letter.
I would also spring for an Identity protection service. (My info got hacked 5 different times through no fault of mine, so I monitor it like a hawk.)

If you didn't give any info, good for you, that makes it better. Be aware that if you did give them anything you may start getting more scam calls. I'm so sorry, but that's true. (It happened to my mom.)

 

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Periodic Contributor

If you did not send them money, do not do anything. Block the call so they cannot contact you and change your e-mail account. If you sent them money, note the day amd time they called and try finding the phone number in your call history. You can ask your phone provider to help. Then, together with the address/way you sent them money, take the information to the police and file a complaint. The police department will guide you to how this complaint is handled.

Thanks for sharing.

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Newbie

Received a text message from "Chase Bank" telling me my debit card has been frozen due to suspicious activity and I should call a number listed to verify.

Called the number and got a response identical to the legit number.  When the electronic system asked for my SSN I hung up and called the number I had listed for Chase.

Got the same introduction and pressed 0 to get a human.

Explained what had just happened and discovered my Debit Card was not frozen and there had been no activity since the last transaction several days before.

At the suggestion of the Chase Rep I deleted the text message, did not record the requested phone number.

These scammers have duplicated the legitimate Chase phone protocol and are obviously phishing for SSN's.

DO NOT give your SSN to anyone that calls you.  Hang up and call a trusted number to verify who you are speaking to.

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Periodic Contributor

Watch out for fraudulent donation scams. You will hear or read about a tear jearking story on an online site to try to get you to donate. Sometimes it is via phone call. These scams run amuck after a disaster (like in Florida and Texas, and the recent California wildfires.)

 

Only donate to well established organizations like the Red Cross. OK, organizations have an administration expense, buy at least you know the donation will go to your cause and it is tax deductable.

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Regular Contributor

Red Cross has hundreds and hundreds of volunteers. The administrative costs include storage of emergency supplies and training. I see folks ding larger organizations all the time. Now a cancer organization that only spends 4% of the take on research is suspect. (There is one, but you can double check any legitimate charity on Charity Navigator). Most take a reasonable percent to make things happen. Red Cross is reputable, that's why I volunteered there to help with the fire emergency shelter and the fire prevention activities in my town.

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Contributor

My grandfather worked for the Red Cross back in the 50's as their advertising rep. Thought u might enjoy this ad!

1487715_10152454971536110_1736645399_o.jpg

 

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Honored Social Butterfly

@abmicro839

 

Although the deductions are NOT tax deductible usually, sometimes news cast or local newspapers might run a story about a person or family who need a "hand up" and they or some other entity have established a GoFundMe account.

After checking out the story, people can make donations to these specific GoFundMe account.

 

This is just another way of helping a person or family - remember banks use to set up accounts for them where donations could be made.  This is just the 21st century way.

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Bronze Conversationalist

There are "Go Fund Me" accounts that are fake, also.  If I am going to donate to someone's worthy cause, I will mail them a check myself after verifying that their

story is indeed true.   

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Periodic Contributor

No end to the robocalls from the "IRS". Answering one of these robocalls will pass you to somebody with a foreign accent, usually from India, saying taxes are overdue and you owe money that must be paid immediately via western union, money order, or iTunes cards.

 

I sometimes call back and give them fake answers to waste the fraudsters time. They always hang up and dont call me for a long time after that.

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