Lest you think this cannot happen here in the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Counties area, do not be deluded. Romance scams do happen here and we have evidence that some people have lost lots of money in the pursuit of companionship. The Federal Bureau of Investigation warns about “Romance Scams | Online Imposters Break Hearts and Bank Accounts.”
“On the internet, you can become anyone you want to – at least for a while. And though deception doesn’t fit well with lasting romance, people lie all the time: Fewer than a third of people in one survey claimed they were always honest in online interactions, and nearly nobody expected others to be truthful. Much of the time, lies are meant to make the person telling them seem better somehow – more attractive, more engaging or otherwise worth getting to know.
“‘Catfishing’ is a more advanced effort of digital deception. Named in a 2010 movie that later expanded into an MTV reality series, a catfish is a person who sets up an intentionally fake profile on one or more social network sites, often with the purpose of defrauding or deceiving other users.
“It happens more than people might think – and to more people than might believe it. Many times in my own personal life when I was seeking to meet people online, I found that someone was being deceptive. In one case, I did a Google image search and found a man’s profile picture featured on a site called ‘Romance Scams.’ ”
You can read this article in its entirety at The Conversation, click here.
Here are just two of the email offers we received today:
“Hello, How are you doing? I hope your doing great? I am Capt. William Hall an officer in the U.S Army. I have a transaction that i believe will be of mutual benefit to both of us. I hope you can be trusted to handle some serious and confidential transactions? Please contact me asap for more details.”
“al ethics but please treat with absolute secrecy and personal. My name is Mr Naji Otri from Damascus Syria. i’m now a retired government officials I was the former prime minister of the Federal Republic of SYRIA and ex-agriculture minister,personal investor & financial consultant advisers to some Top Politician in Syria, I chairman a group of company Kabour brothers co (Hermanos) and Al Furat Petroleum Company (AFPC) the leader in the region in Reservoir Management AFPC was established under Service Contract no. 210 ratified by Law no. 43 of 1977 and named as per decree-law no.12 in
Am interested in buying properties houses, Building real estate as
means to secure stability to my money ,I will appreciate your idea and
knowledge regarding this or any other profitable investment you may
suggest, on my next email i will explain to you the full details of
this investment Proposal.
I shall tell you more about myself and my family on my next email,
upon your respond, you may as well tell me little more about yourself.
I’m waiting for your good responds.
Waiting for your reply and let me know if i can trust you the civil
war in my country has left me with no option and i may lose all my
money soon if nothing is done fast.contactme here pls.
These folks keep slinging stuff against the wall hoping that some of it sticks. These are obvious scams. The spelling and the grammar are so bad; that should be tip-off number one.
Just delete emails like this; see what the Federal Bureau of Investigation has to say about email scams.
A few minutes ago, a call from “Homestead Villa” rang on the phone. Note, the absence of the 717 prefix. This often happens with a local call. While our advice is always “DO NOT ANSWER THE CALL IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHO THE CALLER IS” we do answer all calls because this is a home office phone for our role of Link coordinator.
The “caller” was one of those annoying voice recordings announcing a FREE something or other. Immediately cleared the call.
Masked SPAM calls are become more and more frequent; getting people to respond to a known local call is part of the scam. The scammers technology is becoming more and more pernicious and sneaky.
The federal and state DO NOT CALL lists are ineffective and apparently the Federal Trade Commission is incapable of putting counter technology into play.
Pennsylvania’s Attorney General is on record as saying, ‘Don’t answer the phone,’ AG Shapiro tells seniors how not to become scam victims.”
So, it appears our most vulnerable populations are being held hostage by technological and seemingly nobody cares enough to stop the hostage-takers.
by Tara Siegel Bernard
“It’s not just you.
“Those pesky robocalls — at best annoying disturbances and at worst costly financial scams — are getting worse.
“In an age when cellphones have become extensions of our bodies, robocallers now follow people wherever they go, disrupting business meetings, church services and bedtime stories with their children.
“Though automated calls have long plagued consumers, the volume has skyrocketed in recent years, reaching an estimated 3.4 billion in April, according to YouMail, which collects and analyzes calls through its robocall blocking service.”
“New Medicare ID Card Mailing Delayed a Month; but first-time enrollees will get redesigned cards now” – AARP
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services via AP
“Medicare officials say they have delayed mailing out the new Medicare identification cards to current beneficiaries because they are stepping up their anti-fraud initiatives.
“According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), beneficiaries living in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia will begin receiving their new Medicare ID cards in May, not April, as originally scheduled.
“‘We are working on making our processes even better by using the highest levels of fraud protection when we mail new cards to current Medicare beneficiaries,’ the CMS notes.
“The CMS also announced that new enrollees in Medicare will automatically get the revamped cards, regardless of where they live.”
“Most telephone scammers rely on talk, getting you to pick up the phone so they can give their impersonations of IRS agents, noble fundraisers, tech-support saviors or grandkids in need. But with a new breed of telephone fraudsters, sometimes you don’t even need to say “Hello” to get ripped off. Here’s how some of these crooks may target you.
Call Center Fraud
“There are scam artists who spend hours calling the customer service centers of banks, insurance companies and other institutions, posing as people like you, to try to access accounts. These crimes have more than doubled in the past year. “That’s because reps only ask a couple of simple authentication questions — maybe your mother’s maiden name or your Social Security number — before you can transfer money or do whatever,” explains Ken Shuman of Pindrop, a company that provides antifraud services to call centers.
“Scammers start by assembling information on you, stolen in data breaches, purchased on the “dark web” or gleaned with a simple Google search. Then, working from boiler rooms (often overseas), they spend all day phoning different call centers to determine if you have accounts with those companies. With your data in hand, they can often answer the authentication questions that call centers ask.”