Tag Archives: scams 

WARNING: These Amazon Prime Day scams will cost you, here’s how to avoid them

Prime Day gets underway tomorrow morning, with Amazon slashing prices across thousands of popular products, from its Amazon Echo smart speakers to Kindles, garden furniture to clothes, and much more. This two-day sales bonanza is a great time for anyone with a Prime account to grab a bargain but it also comes with a warning. Security experts have issued a word of caution to all customers. You should be on high alert for scams that could leave accounts and bank details exposed to cyber thieves, they’ve warned.

It’s no secret that Amazon users are often targeted by scammers with criminals using a number of techniques aimed at accessing personal data. These attacks range from phishing emails and texts to actual phone calls that claim to be from the online retailer.

As Amazon explains on its website, “Fraudsters are experts at impersonating businesses, using email, call or text messages in an attempt to obtain your sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, one-time passcodes, access to your device and credit card or bank details.”

Amazon scams aren’t anything new but with millions of us expected to go shopping on Prime Day, there could be an explosion in attacks.

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“Scammers are attracted to special online events like moths to a flame. There is the potential that customers will see a sizeable increase in calls, emails and texts attempting to entice people into parting with their cash. said Jake Moore, the Cybersecurity Specialist at ESET.

“Events such as Prime Day act like beacons to cybercriminals and it is vital that people are made aware of their tactics and to not fall for their manipulative techniques. Furthermore, it is important that people never part with their Amazon password.

“If there is ever a warning there may be a problem with your account it is advised to go direct to the app installed on your phone rather than clicking on links in emails or text messages.”

And Tony Pepper, CEO of cybersecurity firm Egress, added: “Prime Day presents a perfect opportunity for scammers to try to steal your details – or even your money – using phishing emails.

“Last year’s Prime Day promotion saw Action Fraud inundated with hundreds of reports of suspicious emails, and it’s likely that cybercriminals will try to take advantage of Amazon customers once again. If you have received an email claiming to be from Amazon that you believe to be suspicious, we’d urge you to notify Action Fraud using their online reporting service.”

It’s important to remember that Amazon will never contact you and ask for your Amazon password, remote access to your computer any Credit, Debit or Bank Details.

The firm also states that it won’t ask customers to enter an Amazon one-time passcode anywhere outside of the Amazon platform to make payments.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

BBB: Watch out for Austin FC ticket scams ahead of first-ever home match

AUSTIN (KXAN) – If you’re without a ticket to Austin FC’s season opener, you might be out of luck.

Or if you’re willing, you can try to snag one online — but will either pay a pretty penny or run the risk of being duped.

Single-game tickets went on sale at the end of May, and within minutes, they sold out. Shortly after, they started popping up on third-party online resell websites like eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

As of Friday morning, there are dozens of listings from sellers claiming to have tickets. They range from double, sometimes triple, the original price.

Austin FC tickets sell on third-party online resell website Craigslist. (Screenshot from Craigslist Austin)

Last year, BBB received over 200 reports regarding fake tickets scams.

Austin FC ticketing officials told KXAN over the phone that in order to limit the sale of fake tickets, they went completely digital using ticket broker, SeatGeek. That means no tickets will be printed. Q2 Stadium has promoted a “tech-forward” experience announcing itself as a completely cashless stadium. Austin FC says the digital ticketing service helps keep it that way.

SeatGeek is both a primary and secondary ticket company. This allows them to both be the official ticket provider for Austin FC, while also serving as a reseller for fans wanting to put up their tickets back on the market.

Heather Massey with the Better Business Bureau Serving the Heart of Texas says its always a good idea to verify you’re buying tickets from the right website.

“A lot of sporting events or associations do partner with national ticket associations or legitimate third-party retailers. Just make sure you’re on the right website at the top, and that it does have the lockbox when entering any information such as financial to purchase the ticket,” Massey said.

BBB warns customers to be smart when searching for and purchasing tickets:

  • Purchase from the venue whenever possible. Many official ticket sales agents now offer secondary sales options, as well. 
  • Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling scam tickets.
  • Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on BBB.org to learn what other customers have experienced. Check to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers.
  • Buy only from trusted vendors. Buy online only from vendors you know and trust. Look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Don’t click through from emails or online ads; a common ticket scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
  • Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose to the purchaser, prior to purchase, the location of the seats represented by the tickets, either orally or by reference to a seating chart; and, if the tickets are not available for immediate access to the purchaser, disclose when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up.
  • Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.
  • Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment; some of these ads are going to be ticket scams, especially if the prices are low.
  • If you’re unsure, verify your tickets. Pay a visit to the arena where the event will be held. Present your ticket to “Will Call” (customer service) and they can verify if your ticket is legitimate and show you how to tell if a ticket is fake.

Lastly, since tickets are digital, Austin FC says don’t expect to see anyone selling a physical ticket outside the stadium.

Author: Ricky Garcia
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Austin rental scams on the rise: Woman loses more than $5K off fake Zillow listing

AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you’re looking for a new place to rent, beware. Scammers are preying on people here in Austin, and they can be pretty convincing.

“We were so excited. It came with a dog door, a guest house and everything,” said Michelle Deloach, who had been looking for a place to rent in Austin for weeks. “Things in Austin go like that, so we thought, ‘We love this house, let’s jump on it.’”

The home was listed on Zillow and after communicating by email with who she thought was the owner she was ready to move in.

“We sent over the deposit and the dog deposit and first months rent,” said Deloach. “It all added up to be $ 5,200.”

Everything seemed perfect, but when she went to meet the owner at the property to pick up the key, the owner never showed up or responded to her.

“This is the real owner’s name, but clearly he just forged it,” Deloach said, as she pointed out a rental agreement that was set up between her and the scammer.

When asked for comment and an explanation on why something like this could happen, Zillow responded with this statement:

Zillow goes to great lengths to police activity and fully informs our users of the existence of scams and how to protect themselves. Our customer support team monitors activity on the site in a number of different ways and if a rental listing is found to be fraudulent, it is immediately removed from Zillow. Zillow has a “Beware of scams and other internet fraud” page on the site, telling users to look out for red flags like requests for wire transfers and long-distance inquiries, and directing them to our fraud and scams page, which provides valuable information about how to avoid fraudulent listings.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says this is a growing trend and is happening more and more, especially in areas like Austin where many people are moving.

“It is prevalent,” said Jason Meza, the BBB’s regional director. “It should be on the top of every mind for everyone looking for a rental right now.”

Meza says you should always be vigilant, and if something looks too good to be true, it might be a scam.

Most scams involve a request to wire funds. Do not wire funds to anyone you haven’t met personally. Scammers create convincing reasons why they need to deal remotely. Likewise, do not accept wire funds that you did not initiate.

Now down thousands of dollars and with no place to go for the time being, Deloach hopes her story will help others not get scammed.

“What was supposed to be an exciting time has now become a huge nightmare,” she said.

Deloach filed a police report and reached out to the BBB to report the scam.

Author: Nabil Remadna
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

DHL and Hermes delivery text scams are on the rise – how you can beat the conmen

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Online shopping has exploded in popularity following the months of lockdown measures across the UK and chances are, you’re becoming pretty familiar with your Postie or local Amazon delivery driver. But while it can be sometimes difficult to keep tabs on when you’re expecting your next delivery – cyber crooks are banking on that to trick you into opening fake messages. Days after mobile networks Vodafone, Three and EE warned customers about a fraudulent text message that claimed to be from DHL, similar scams referencing DHL, Hermes, the Post Office and other firms are back trying to replicate the success of the fake delivery scam.

It’s easy to see why. With a quick skim-read, it can be easy to fall for these scams. We’ve all ordered something online and then promptly forgotten about it. And if there are delays with stock or slow shipping, it can be easy to forget when an order is due. Not only that, but if you need to leave the house to collect kids from school or grab some shopping, you’ll want to know exactly when that doorbell is going to ring.

These text messages prey on our forgetfulness to trick us into following the link.

The latest scam text message tells phone owners click on the link to check when they can expect their order to be delivered.

“Wondering where your order 4017628719 is? Your expected delivery date is 29/04” it then includes a link to a website which it claims is used to track the progress of the parcel. Unfortunately, that’s not what the link does. Instead, it sends you to a scam website designed to trick you into handing over your personal information directly to the cyber crooks.

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Another scam message, received by a number of people nationwide earlier this week, claimed to be from delivery firm Hermes. Again, the fraudulent text message is designed to trick people into believing they’ve missed a delivery. It reads “Hermes: We attempted to deliver your parcel today and was unsuccessful, to reschedule delivery please follow the link.” Clicking on the link takes the phone owner to a fake website where they’re told they need to enter their bank details to pay the £1.45 redelivery charge.

This concerning trend is known as smishing – a portmanteau of scam messaging.

The Money Advice Service warns that “smishing can be difficult to spot, particularly if it’s someone who would normally contact you by text. But, like email scams, there are some tell-tale signs. For example, there might be spelling mistakes or the text just addresses you as Sir or Madam. Real messages from these companies will usually address you by your full name.

“You can also look at the phone number it’s been sent from. First, it won’t be the same as the one on your bank card. Second, it might be sent from an overseas number. Fraudsters won’t just pretend to be your bank. Sometimes they’ll claim to be from an online account such as PayPal, or a service you subscribe to, such as Netflix. Fake text message scams have also been reported targeting customers of government organisations such as HMRC and the DVLA.”

The Money Advice Service, which is the largest single funder of debt advice nationwide, warns anyone who is suspicious of these messages to avoid clicking on any links found in the text. If in doubt, go directly to the website and login as normal – navigating to the Hermes website separately and inputting the order number from the text will soon rumble it as a fake. And since you didn’t follow the link from the text message, you can be sure you’re on the genuine website and your bank details are safe, for example.

If it’s already too late and you’ve fallen for one of these growing number of text messages, you need to act fast. First up, report the scam to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040. If you’ve entered your payment details into a website or online form that you believe was set-up by hackers, you should contact your bank to flag the mistake. This ensures they will be on high alert for any potential fraud.

It also means they can provide you with a new card if they believe the details are already compromised.

'What utter b****ks' Martin Lewis rages at Government over reaction to online scams 

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

“My Department is considering how online advertising is regulated through its Online Advertising Programme. 

“This work will look at ensuring that standards about the placement and content of advertising are effectively applied and enforced online to reduce consumers’ exposure to harmful or misleading advertising. 

“This work will look at the role advertising can play in enabling online fraud and help inform our future efforts to tackle it. We will be consulting on this issue later this year,” she added.

Martin, who runs his own website MoneySavingExpert.com, has been campaigning against online scamming throughout the pandemic, when many vulnerable people have been targeted.

Ms Dineage has been approached by Express.co.uk for comment.