Did you get billed for an SBA loan you didn’t apply for? Here’s what to do
Did you get a bill for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, but you didn’t apply for one? It’s possible that an identity thief applied for the loan using your personal or business information. The SBA has new guidance about reporting the fraud, and the FTC has tips to help you clear up any credit problems it may cause. The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance has been issuing the loans under its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Keep these invoices until the SBA has finished reviewing your identity theft report.
Online scams target Americans desperate for coronavirus vaccine
Online scams target Americans desperate for coronavirus vaccine Law enforcement is warning of a growing number of online scams tied to COVID vaccinations. Scammers are now claiming to have vaccines for sale. Manuel Bojorquez takes a look.cbsnews.com
JEA warns customers of increase in utility scams
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Scammers are at it again, and JEA wants customers to be alert and aware. Never purchase a prepaid card or respond via a mobile payment app, (Cash App, PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, etc. JEA, along with approximately 100 other U.S. and Canadian member utilities and associations, participates in Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS). The organization receives recognition for its efforts to stop scams that target electric, water and natural gas company customers. To date, thousands of toll-free numbers used by scammers against utility customers have been shut down.
FTC warns crooks are wrapping up 2020 with more car wrap scams
The Federal Trade Commission just heard from more companies that scammers are using their names to trick people into a car wrap scam. This time, scammers are saying they’re Marlboro or Purell (but they’re not really). Then they’ll say to use some of that money to pay their “decal agent” to put the ads on your car. So, if you deposited a $1,500 check and sent $500 to the “decal agent,” you’re out $500 of your own money. Another thing: an FTC analysis published earlier this year showed that fake check scams hit 20- and 30-year-olds hard in the wallet.
Hey college students: Have you seen this scam?
Scammers are targeting college students again, this time with a fake check scam. So how do you avoid a fake check scam? Never use money from a check to send gift cards, money orders, or wire money to someone. And, once you send the money or put it on a gift card and give someone the gift card PIN, it’s like giving them cash. The bottom line is, if someone sends you a check and tells you to send money by wire transfer or gift card — it’s a scam.
Scammers putting COVID-19 twist on imposter scheme, state leader warns
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Scammers targeting parents and grandparents with phony calls about family member arrests are using COVID-19 concerns to strike more fear, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said. Moody warned in a Consumer Alert issued Tuesday that scammers are putting a new twist on the common scam. For years, she said, scammers have targeted parents and grandparents with phony calls claiming a family member is under arrest. Imposter phone calls are effective because spoofing technology allows scammers to change the information displayed on caller IDs to give the appearance that their calls are coming from a government entity. To avoid falling victim to an imposter scam:Do not automatically trust the number listed on the caller ID, especially with respect to unsolicited calls.
COVID-19 scams are on the rise; Heres what to watch for
As if the coronavirus pandemic hasnt hit consumers hard enough, theres a huge spike in scams related to COVID-19. Consumer Reports says to watch out for these coronavirus scams. And then there are phishing scams from fake websites that may have coronavirus or covid19 in their domain names. You should be very vigilant about sharing personal information if you didnt initiate the contact. And when it comes to credit card fraud, CR says to sign up for push notifications and check your credit reports.
State leaders warn of fake COVID-19 contact tracing calls
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – To slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, state public health professionals are calling Floridians who may have come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. These “contact tracing” calls are an extremely vital tool in the state’s effort to contain the spread of the virus, Attorney General Ashley Moody said. “If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you will be asked by an epidemiologist from your county health department about everyone you’ve come in contact with over the last two weeks,” Moody explained. An authorized contact tracer will NEVER disclose the identity of the person who tested positiveThe Florida Department of Health has prepared a fact sheet about contact tracing. To report contact tracing scams or any other COVID-19 related fraud, contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.
Scam alert: That Costco text message isn’t really from them
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Did you receive one of those text messages asking about your Costco receipt and offering a reimbursement? Don’t click the link. It’s a scam. “There is currently a text scam circulating that threatens to cancel the membership unless the user clicks on the link for a survey,” Costco says on its website. Do not click on the link as these are in no way affiliated with Costco.”Another version of the message people are receiving says that they are trying to get in touch about your Costco receipt and asks you to click a link to “claim your overcharge reimbursement.”Again, it’s a scam.
How to avoid scams while applying for small business loan
But, while you’re focused on getting a loan, scammers may be focused on you: hoping to trick you into giving them sensitive business information, like your bank account numbers, employees’ Social Security numbers, and even your money. Here are some “dos” and “don’ts” to help you stay clear of scammers as you apply for a small business loan. You don’t have to pay up front to get an SBA loan. The SBA won’t call unsolicited to find out information about you or your business, or to ask you to apply for a loan. It’s a The SBA won’t call unsolicited to find out information about you or your business, or to ask you to apply for a loan.
Don’t fall prey to the money mule scam
Scammers are using people to move stolen money without them knowing, and the victims can face up to 30 years in prison and up to a $1 million fine. It's happened with online dating, work at home jobs or even cash prizes. Don’t ever accept a job that asks you to transfer moneyNever send money to collect a prizeDon’t send money back to an online love interest who has sent you money. Criminals are good at making up reasons to get victims to move money. Some even going as far as to say their life is on the line if you don’t send the money for them.
Florida Attorney General warns of ‘one of scariest scams’
Because they could actually be a foe using an innovative phone scam that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called “one of the scariest" she’s heard about. Voice cloning technology lets users make near-perfect reproductions of real people’s voices, even from only a five-second recording of the voice. Scammers can then use the clone to call victims pretending to be the target’s family member or friend asking for money in an emergency. For business owners, ensure a culture of security among employees where more than one person signs off on vendor payments. Report scams to the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1-866-9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.
Helping you spot the red flags of phishing, other scams
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Only 5% of people were able to correctly identify all types of online security scams, according to a recent survey from Security.org. Nearly everyone -- 96% -- knew about phishing -- but just 5% could spot the various ways hackers could access their personal information. The Morning Show wants to help you spot the red flags. A scam that went out to more than a million Netflix subscribers had some red flags if you looked closely. If you think a scammer already has your information, like your Social Security number, credit card or bank account number, go to IdentityTheft.gov.
Easy ways to avoid falling prey to gift card resale scams
Moody’s office issued a Consumer Alert on Thursday to warn shoppers about common gift card scams that increase after the holidays. "Shoppers should be wary and take steps to avoid falling victim to gift card scams this holiday season.”A common gift card scam occurs when shoppers try to sell or exchange a gift card online. Simpler scams involve fake gift card exchange websites. These sites prompt users to enter gift card information in order to confirm the balance. These are just a few tips to help better protect shoppers from common gift card scams.
With tax season on the way, it’s time to protect your personal data
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With tax season just around the corner, authorities are warning people to take steps to protect their personal and financial information so they can avoid falling victim to scams. On Tuesday, representatives from several agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, met downtown as part of National Tax Security Awareness Week to share some tips to arm the public against fraud and identity theft. “Ironically, I’ve gotten them on my IRS cell phone, so they’re indiscriminate as to who they go to.”The best way to protect yourself is to safeguard your personal data. That means changing passwords often and making sure they’re strong. Also, never enter your personal details on an unsecured website, and avoid clicking on any links you don’t recognize.