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The Avanti Group LLC Recruiting & Leadership, BBB offers 10 resolutions for a scam-free new year

With the New Year here, Better Business Bureau (BBB) has 10 resolutions that can help you fight scammers, prevent identity theft and save money in 2014. 

“In this day and age, you can’t afford to make mistakes”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “Taking preventive measures before opening your wallet is well worth the time and effort to keep from becoming a victim.”

BBB provides the following resolutions to help consumers have a safe, scam-free 2014:

1. Always check a business out with BBB before you buy.  Nearly 400,000 businesses meet BBB standards and are qualified to use an Accredited Business seal on their websites and at business locations.  Visit www.bbb.org to find BBB Business Reviews for nearly 4 million businesses across North America.

2. Be skeptical of “job offers” that promise easy money. With high unemployment and long job searches common, scammers are targeting people desperate to find jobs. Beware of any job offer, work-at-home scheme or business opportunity that promises big money for little work and no experience.

3. Always read the fine print—especially with “free” trial offers. Thousands of consumers complained to BBB this year after signing up for a “free” trial offer online that resulted in repeated charges to their credit or debit cards, sometimes amounting to hundreds of dollars every month. Read the terms and conditions of any “free” trial offer before handing over credit or debit card numbers.

4. Keep your computer safe. If you haven’t already done so, install anti-virus software on your computer and check regularly for software and operating system updates and patches. Don’t open attachments or click on links in emails unless you can confirm the email came from someone you trust.

5. Never wire money to someone you don’t know. Many scams require that the victim wire money back to the scammers. Scammers know that tracking money sent via MoneyGram, Western Union, or via Green Dot Moneypak is extremely difficult. Once you’ve wired the money, it’s nearly impossible to get it back.

6. Fight identity theft. Shred paper documents that include sensitive financial data and dispose of computers, cell phones and digital data safely. BBB offers tips and checklists on what to shred, and hosts annual Secure Your ID events nationwide to help you stay safe.

 

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Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Finance

 

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The Avanti Group LLC Recruiting & Leadership, Consumer 10 Report | Scamming of veteran a cautionary tale

Sharnai Skinner is proud of the eight years she spent defending her country, as underscored by the staff-sergeant insignia — four chevrons bracketing a star — tattooed on her left arm.

The Air Force veteran is anything but proud, however, of the manner in which she defended — or failed to defend — her finances.

“I’ve already accepted the fact that I just lost all my savings,” the 29-year-old Whitehall resident said. “And it hurts.”

Skinner’s recent financial blunder began with the best of intentions.

After receiving an honorable discharge from the Air Force last January, Skinner returned to civilian life in central Ohio and decided to pursue a college degree. She made arrangements to attend school full time, starting this month.

She figured she’d need a reliable car to get to and from classes — not to mention a part-time retail job.

While searching Craigslist in November, Skinner found what seemed to be the perfect vehicle: a 2003 Honda Accord with just 67,000 miles on it. The seller, she said, wanted $1,970

The bargain price, though, wasn’t the only selling point. Skinner said the car’s owner indicated that she, too, had military ties.

“She said she was stationed in North Dakota and that she was deploying in December.”

Skinner felt an instant bond.

“I thought: ‘She’s not going to scam me. She wouldn’t do that. We’re together in this.’  ”

Emboldened by the apparent connection, Skinner took the plunge.

“I said, ‘Great, I think we have a deal,’ and I said, ‘How did you want me to pay for it — so I can see it?’  ”

Skinner received an email — purportedly sent by eBay Motors, the automotive division of online marketplace eBay — instructing her to wire the funds via Western Union

 

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2014 in news

 

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The Avanti Group LLC Recruiting & Leadership, Cyber Wars / Job-seeker turned into ‘money mule’

Information technology deeply permeates our daily lives, from banking transactions to shopping to photography to chatting with friends, to name only a few ways.

This constant state of connectedness has been accompanied by a growing number of cases in which people become unknowingly involved in crimes and other trouble. This series of articles, “Cyber Wars,” will examine some of these hidden dangers that impinge on our lives

This is the first installment.

While cases of illegal money transfers via online banking services have risen astronomically, another scam designed to hinder police investigation has been spreading under the radar. These schemes launder money through the use of “money mules”—unwitting victims often recruited online and used to transfer proceeds from such Internet fraud as phishing scams.

These fraudsters attempt to escape the reach of investigative authorities by having their mules transfer money acquired illegally via overseas remittance services, which are less stringent in their identification requirements than commercial banks are.

In Japan, the first money mule operation was confirmed to have been conducted last year. By the end of November, 224 money mules were found to have been involved in transferring illicit funds totaling ¥260 million. Of the 224, 149 were Japanese.

The Yomiuri Shimbun examined the operations of one such criminal scheme that recruited victims through e-mail and online job advertisements that appeared legitimate, but actually hired them to work as “disposable” money mules.

In September, a 57-year-old man living in Yokohama received a job offer from a food-related firm in Britain through LinkedIn, a social media site targeting job seekers.

 

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2014 in cyber

 

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