Category Archives: Fraud

Who Said There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch?

Did you hear about the restaurant in New York City that is offering up a free three-course meal to victims of Bernie Madoff? Anything on the menu too, not a pre-packaged arrangement.

Nino’s 208 is an upscale Italian restaurant located just blocks from Madoff’s office. All you need to do is show proof of victimization.

Nino Selimaj, owner, said he has sympathy for these people because he was in a similar situation in 2000, losing all of his money in stock market.

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What is the Safest way to Pay Online?

A new Web Site, JustAskGemalto, specialize in digital security to help consumers sort out Internet security, online payments, password management, credit card fraud, cell phone usage, and identity theft. The site  is organized along six themes: Buying, Surfing, Traveling, Communicating, Working and Personal Data.

‘Tis the Season for Scamming

Beware. During times of economic uncertainty, there is one thing you can bank on… increased fraudulent activities.

Grifters, swindlers and con artists alike prey on the weak. And with unemployment levels rising, there is an abundance of individuals looking for a quick and easy fix.

Diligence is the best measure for avoiding these schemes. When in doubt, do your research and make sure you always read the fine print.

Identity Theft

A survey conducted by Zogby International for TransUnion found that more than half of respondents either have, or know someone who has, been a victim of identity theft or fraud.

TrueCredit offers the following consumer tips:

1. Use a paper shredder to ensure personal information and pre-approved credit offers don’t end up in the wrong hands.

2. Don’t carry extra credit cards, your Social Security card, birth certificate or passport with you unless needed.

3. When you order new checks, don’t have them sent to your home. Pick them up at the bank instead. Stolen checks can be altered and may be cashed by fraudsters.

4. Check your credit reports frequently to ensure accuracy. Consider a subscription credit monitoring service with a report locking feature to control when, or if, creditors can access your report and to receive email alerts when critical changes occur.

5. Provide personal information over the phone only if you’ve initiated the call. Identity thieves may call you and pose as banks or government agencies to extract this information.

6. Follow your billing cycles closely. A missing credit card or other bill could mean an identity thief has changed your billing address.

Canada Fraud Agency

Employees at Canada’s tax agency have abused government credit cards to the tune of $55 million for the year ending March 31, 2008. The federal probe revealed a litany of problems in a June 2008 audit of the 1,704 MaterCards issued to Canada Revenue Agency workers. Abuses include retirement gifts, flowers, greeting cards and even charitable donations.

Something’s Phishy

Dear Brain,

It seems like every day I am getting email or mail for a new credit card promotion. I’m always skeptical of scams and don’t want to be taken. Do you have any advice regarding these solicitations?

thank you,

ali sareen – brampton, ON

Ali,

Be careful of email spam. It’s quite possible that the offer could be legit, however there are a lot of criminals on-line who are just looking to defraud you or capture your personal information for identity theft.

Regarding snail mail offers – direct marketing has become a very sophisticated marketing tactic and as a result, oftentimes you are sent these promotions because they are a perfect fit for your customer profile. My suggestion here would be to read the fine print and really understand the offer – it may be just what you are looking for.

– Credit Brain