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Found 4 results

  1. The “can you hear me” con is actually a variation on earlier scams aimed at getting the victim to say the word “yes” in a phone conversation. That affirmative response is recorded by the fraudster and used to authorize unwanted charges on a phone or utility bill or on a purloined credit card. In addition, the criminal may have already collected some of your personal information -- a credit card number or cable bill, perhaps -- as the result of a data breach. When the victim disputes the charge, the crook can then counter that he or she has your assent on a recorded line. If you have not yet been victimized, the best way to avoid telemarketing calls from con artists is to sign up for a free blocking service, such as Nomorobo, or simply let calls from unfamiliar numbers go to your answering machine. Scammers rarely leave a message. If you do answer a call from an unfamiliar number, be skeptical of strangers asking questions that would normally elicit a “yes” response. The question doesn’t have to be “can you hear me?” It could be “are you the lady of the house?”; “do you pay the household telephone bills?”; “are you the homeowner?”; or any number of similar yes/no questions. A reasonable response to any of these questions is: “Who are you, and why do you want to know?” If the caller maintains they are with a government agency -- Social Security, the IRS, the Department of Motor Vehicles or the court system -- hang up immediately. Government officials communicate by mail, not phone (unless you initiate the call).
  2. Maryland State Police and local law enforcement are getting a number of calls about threatening text messages, and they're urging residents not to respond to them. The texts all come from the same email address []. It reads as follows: ""I've been paid to kill you but wish to spare you. Inform the police or anyone else you die. To be spared, contact immediately via email" If you reply to the email, law enforcement officials say, it downloads everything from your cell phone. Instead, you'll want to delete the text. He says detectives have learned the text is tied to a "Trojan Horse" virus, and the virus is downloaded onto a person's smart phone, when responding to the text. He says the virus captures all of the contact information from your phone, and then the virus is sent to your contacts. He says the text may have originated in India, but detectives are still investigating. Detective Sgt. Mike Luppiwok of the Worcester County Sheriff's Office told WBAL NewsRadio 1090 that his office has received 30 calls about the text since this morning. His office has also received calls from Florida and Tennessee from people who have received the text.
  3. Operating through a call center in India, three men used a string of companies to bilk Americans of millions of dollars by sending them pop-up ads that claim their computers are infected, the FTC claims in court. Since at least 2013, defendants have bilked millions of dollars from consumers throughout the United States. In carrying out their scheme, defendants employ pop-up ads that warn consumers that their computers have been hacked, infected, or otherwise compromised, and are in immediate need of computer security or technical support service. The pop-ups advise consumers to call a toll-free number to obtain that service, and mislead consumers into believing that they are contacting technical support providers affiliated with Microsoft, Apple, or other well-known companies. The scheme is known as "browser hijacking" because the pop-ups are designed so that users are unable to navigate or close them, leading them to think there is a serious issue with their computer. The simple scheme tells computer users their computers are infected with a virus and the defendants can fix it, for money.
  4. [in a class action, independently owned hotels accuse Expedia, Orbitz and other travel websites of running a bait-and-switch scam, funneling business to hotels that pay them a fee by falsely advertising nonparticipating hotels as booked up. Expedia's deceit is brazen," Buckeye Tree Lodge And Sequoia Village Inn say in the federal class action. Expedia posts fake telephone numbers for Buckeye Tree Lodge and other class member hotels to divert callers to Expedia's own operators, who then try to book the consumers at Expedia member hotels. Worse, Expedia then targets social media advertisements — for hotels it cannot book — to those consumers, using the brands of class member hotels to divert business from them to Expedia members. It's a simple scam, and a "classic bait and switch," the hotels say: "Defendants push 'deals' for stays at their members' hotels and lie about the availability of rooms at non-member hotels.]