Red flags to look for amid tax scam season
According to the Better Business Bureau, tax scams are still a problem this year. If you haven’t filed your taxes yet this season, don’t put it off any longer! The IRS discovers cases of identity theft because personal information is stolen and a fake claim for a refund is filed. “The IRS is not going to contact you and give you those high pressure tactics,” Blankenship said. “There are unfortunately people out there that they’re banking on the fact that you’re not going to look into them any further, especially if they look professional,” Blankenship said.
Metro Detroit woman warns others after falling victim to elaborate pet purchasing scam
DETROIT – A Metro Detroit woman is bringing attention to pet purchasing scams after she was scammed out of her own money. READ: Scammers using coronavirus to prey on grandparents, prospective pet ownersWhen Cindy Riggen saw a boxer puppy online, she fell in love. She spotted the dog being offered by a breeder in North Carolina and arranged to buy the dog. AdThe Better Business Bureau has seen a huge spike in pet scams like that one. READ: Metro Detroit woman scammed out of thousands of dollars when she tries to buy puppy online
Scammers target those seeking COVID vaccinations at Ford Field
DETROIT – Many people are eager to receive the COVID vaccine at Ford Field and scammers are taking advantage of that interest. The scammers are often after personal information. The thieves are requesting personal information to schedule a fake appointment. READ: Registration for COVID-19 vaccine at Ford Field now open -- How to registerScammers remain focused on taking advantage of the ongoing pandemic to gain access to your personal information. Michigan Attorney GeneralREAD: Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phases
Experts warn of scams involving prepaid gift cards
The caller said all he had to do was buy $480 in eBay gift cards. Prepaid gift cards are being requested in several different types of scams, including government employee impersonation scams, secret shopper scams and puppy scams. The Better Business Bureau scam tracker showed that Americans lost nearly $3 million involving payments with prepaid gift cards in 2020. “Whenever you purchase a prepaid gift card, unfortunately it’s just like cash, you can’t get that money back,” Blankenship said. Click here for more information on prepaid gift card scams.
‘These guys are fake’: DEA will never call and demand personal, financial information
These are lies and scammers are just trying to get your personal information. “These extortionists call people up and pretend to be DEA agents and we just want to get the word out that these guys are fake.”Scammers claim to be with the DEA and ask for personal information such as identifying information or financial information. And they call people, and pretend to be DEA agents and try to get personal information from them. Whether it’s credit card information or social security number or even bank account information,” McNeal said. “I’ve seen upwards of $12,000 that people have fallen victim to and they will take it in any form if they can convince you to give them an Amazon gift card or Google Play gift card, or an iTunes gift card.
FBI: Don’t let scammers break your heart, or your bank
The FBI is warning about romance scams, pointing to “con artists” on most dating and social media sites who are breaking hearts and bank accounts. “Scammers may propose marriage and make plans to meet in person, but that will never happen. Scammers can use details shared on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you. Be aware if the individual seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or social media site to communicate directly. If you are the victim of a romance scam, file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center -- www.ic3.gov.
Michigan attorney general warns of law enforcement scam calls
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning residents of scammers posing as law enforcement agencies or other companies, demanding payment for warrants or services via gift cards. “Make sure to be aware that no law enforcement agency will ever contact you by phone demanding that you pay, regardless of payment method, for your warrant to disappear. Spoofing allows scammers to disguise their actual phone numbers and instead show a local phone number on the caller ID. “The framework of these scams – whether it’s a law enforcement, grandparent, or tech support scam – are always the same. AdTo report fraud or if you have a general consumer complaint, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team online or by calling 877-765-8388.
FBI: Scammers are selling fake COVID-19 vaccines online
DETROIT – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is putting out a warning to protect consumers from scammers who are preying on people’s fears during the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been reports of fake COVID-19 test kits and now there are fake vaccines being sold online. Thieves want more than just your money, they want your personal money. READ: Scammers use multiple methods to target victims -- Here’s what to watch out forWatch the video for the full report.
Selling items online: How to spot scammers
January is often a month people clear clutter from their homes, making room for new holiday gifts. A popular way to unload unwanted stuff is to sell it online on sites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. However, the Better Business Bureau warns that there is an overpayment scam targeting people selling their goods. In this scam, a buyer will ask for the extra money back. The Better Business Bureau recommends never shipping an item before being paid for it, be wary of offers that are too good to be true and watch out for counterfeit emails.
78-year-old woman in Oakland County loses more than $29K in scam, sheriff says
ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A 78-year-old Orion Township woman was scammed out of more than $29,000, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies said a scammer called the woman claiming to be an Amazon employee to verify that she purchased $8,000 worth of Apple products. Deputies said after the purchase was disputed, the caller transferred the woman to someone claiming to be a member of the Michigan State Police to make a report. The fake MSP trooper told the woman that she needed to provide all of her banking information to file the report. “Scammers continue to evolve their tactics and try to find ways to outsmart citizens,” said Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard.
Be cautious: Experts warn of potential stimulus check scams
The stimulus money would likely start making its way to you by the end of the year or early January, and scammers are already making their move for your money. “A lot of con-artists out there are going to calling, emailing, looking for your personal information. They don’t need you personal information, they don’t need your bank account numbers. “Make sure that you’re being very cautious anytime you’re receiving a text message or email as well. “Either they’re hoping to get your money, or they’re hoping that you’re going to give your personal information.”
Michigan AG warns residents to watch out for DTE Energy imposter scams
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning residents to watch out for imposter scams related to DTE Energy. DTE Energy reported that it has received complaints about calls that were made to customers by someone claiming to be a DTE Energy employee. It was an attempt to get personal information and cash. Some common scams to watch out for include IRS scams, social security scams, telephone scams, charity scams, romance scams and investment scams. Legitimate organizations won’t call, email, or text to ask you for personal information.
Scammers using excitement surrounding COVID-19 vaccine to target Michigan residents
The delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in the state of Michigan is exciting and promising news for millions, but it’s also a call for scammers to try to capitalize on the moment. Scams involving the COVID-19 vaccine have the attention of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. The first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses are rolling out to Michigan hospitals and clinics this week, and scammers know that. That’s now how distribution of the vaccine will work, medical officials said. Anyone who has questions about the vaccine or any suspicious contact about the distribution should contact a trusted medical professional.
Scammers look to take advantage of people who want COVID-19 vaccine
DETROIT – With the Pfizer vaccine potentially getting emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, scammers are already lined up ready and waiting. Scammers want to trick people to get their money and personal information. READ: A look at the small town in Michigan working on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine“A big day as the first COVID-19 vaccine administered in the UK,” Melanie Duquesnel with the Better Business Bureau said. “A big day for healthcare, and a big day for scammers who are already looking to make their move.”Some people are already receiving calls and emails telling people if they want the vaccine they’re going to need to pay up. READ: What will the COVID-19 vaccine cost?
Troy police warn of potential scams when reselling PlayStation 5
TROY, Mich. – Police are issuing a warning to anyone trying to sell one of the hottest holiday gifts on the resale market. Troy police said they’re investigating multiple cases of people being scammed while reselling the PlayStation 5 gaming system. Troy Police are noticing more scams involving the PlayStation 5. This is happening unfortunately not just in Troy but around the country,” said John Julian with Troy Police Department. Police advise that if you’re going to meet and sell items, go with a friend and have your cellphone ready in case something goes wrong.
Michigan officials warn of email scam targeting unemployment claimants
Michigan officials are warning residents of an email scam that is attempting to retrieve personal information from individuals collecting unemployment benefits. According to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, an email is being sent to claimants seeking personal information. Michigan residents are being warned of an email scam targeting individuals who collect unemployment benefits. (Michigan Department of Attorney General)Officials say the UIA would never ask a claimant to reply to an email with personal information. “Bad actors are increasingly sophisticated in their efforts to deceive people into giving away personal information,” Nessel said.
Better Business Bureau warns of texting scams offering money to participate in COVID study
Scam artists have found many ways during the coronavirus pandemic to try and con people out of their money or personal information. The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a new text message claiming to offer $1,200 for participation in a local COVID study. “We have heard from consumers that there’s a text message going around that says if you participate in the study, you’ll earn $1,200,” said Melanie Duquesnel, president and CEO of eastern Michigan Better Business Bureau. The difficulty is that you cannot, through a text message, determine if they’re a reputable company.”Click here to view the Better Business Bureau Scam TrackerWhen it comes to phishing scams, beware any unsolicited communication. Never click on links or download anything from a text message or email.
Watch out for online shopping scams as holiday shopping season kicks into high gear
DETROIT – Holiday shopping season is kicking into high gear and because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, more people will be shopping online. Melanie Duquesnel is the president of the Better Business Bureau serving Eastern Michigan. “If a deal appears to be too good to be true, it probably is,” Duquesnel said. The scammers call and when you answer you get a recorded message claiming to be from Amazon stating there is a problem with your Amazon account. Scammers also send emails or texts, asking you to verify your personal information -- all so they can steal it.
Better Business Bureau wants you to be wary of scammers pretending to be with the government
DETROIT – The Better Business Bureau is issuing a warning about scam artists who are taking advantage of people by targeting their cellphones. Scammers are pretending to be from the government, a police agency, or even COVID-19 contact tracers. They’re trying to get your information to sell, or your money. “They’re trying to bait you into being fearful,” Duquesnel said. Walk away.”If you have given away any personal information, contact your bank or credit card company immediately.
IRS scam; Volkswagen accused of deleting emissions documents: #CBSNBusiness headlines
Scammers are cold-calling citizens saying they're the IRS; a former Volkswagen employee claims the company obstructed justice; and Airbnb is accommodating angry neighbors.Those headlines and more from CBS MoneyWatch's Hena Daniels at the New York Stock Exchange.cbsnews.com