October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, time for that annual flood of pink-colored reminders to support a cure for the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among women. It’s also time for a tsunami of “pinkwashing” — bogus charities and fraudulent fundraising through the sale of ribbons and other hued merchandise that promise to benefit… Read More
While many consumers may get ripped off by identity thieves without knowing it, one particularly unfortunate fraudster recently gave his victims a pretty good clue: He accidentally shipped his purchases to their house. A couple in Alaska recently learned from their credit union that a criminal had used their debit card number to make $5,000 worth… Read More
For years now, we at Credit.com have written story after story warning people about fake payday loan debt collectors. This February the Federal Trade Commission won a court order to close an operation that allegedly stole $5 million from American consumers using intimidation and threatening phone calls to collect on phantom payday loan debts, most… Read More
A debt collection company accused of running a fake courtroom with fake judges appeared in a real court yesterday, where a real judge ordered them to stop immediately, according to a story by the Erie Times-News. The company, Unicredit America of Erie, Pa., had been using fake subpoenas and employees dressed like judges and sheriff’s… Read More
What may seem like a prequel to the current financial crisis is actually its latest development: Foreclosure rescue companies.
Welcome to National Consumer Protection Week! Credit.com and CreditBloggers.com are joining with the Federal Trade Comission to use this week for educating consumers about fraud and scams. One of the features we’re going to do this week is “Meet the Scam,” where we profile the top scams of the past year. Today’s scam was named the #1 fraud crime of 2006 by ConsumerAffairs.com. That’s right, its the Fake Lottery Scam. Let’s take a closer look:
Last week, Citibank confirmed that it experienced a security breach affecting debit cards in Canada, Russia and the UK. The full story and true scope of this scam continues to unfold this week. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Washington Mutual customers have also been impacted by the security breach. What’s really going on here?
* Several hundred fraudulent withdrawals were made internationally with Citibank debit cards.
* Citibank reported that it was a third-party business that experienced the security breach. This business is widely assumed to be OfficeMax.
This seductive pitch resulted in several arrests in Florida in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme. An investigation dubbed “Operation Green Acres” uncovered a scam in which 24 “straw buyers” were recruited from Miami and Naples to “purchase” Big Sun Valley houses in the Ocala area. Most of the straw buyers did not speak, read or write English or had a very limited English vocabulary.
One company that is struggling with this issue is Pension Benefit Information. I spoke with their President, Sue McDonald earlier today. Pension Benefit Information’s job is to locate consumers that are owed pension money and to try to connect them with forgotten benefits. The company does this by sending letters to the consumer on behalf of their former employer. Unfortunately, many of their clients ignore these letters and choose to forgo the benefits that they are owed.