Warning “US Federal Grants Administration” awards fake grants

Just imagine you receive a phone call one afternoon from THE US Federal Grants Administration and you think to yourself, what could they possibly want with me? You receive the news of a lifetime – you have been awarded a grant to initiate any project or further your education of your choosing, all at a total value of $8000.00!*

Does it sound too good to be true? The latest scam to sweep across America is the Government Grant scam and unfortunately my friends, this one hasn’t landed anyone thousands of dollars richer. What usually happens to the contrary, is that the caller claims himself to be a representative of the US Federal Grants Administration and attempts to lure the recipient to believe that they have qualified for a government grant. In order to retrieve this “free money,” the caller firstly requires the person’s bank account number or a small figured deposit.

We have some beneficial information with what you might hear, see and expect, to help easily recognize this Government Grant Scam and useful tips for proceeding with the phone call.

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Scams are set to sky rocket during this FIFA World Cup season

Football season kicked off recently and the social media has been undeniably broad. Ahh yes, the World Cup has brought more than football to the forefront than economic, politcal and of great interest – social issues. But we must tell you there is something behind the scenes lurking. Scams with ‘World Cup’ related content are said to increase right through to the end of the season.

MessageLabs Intelligence report 419 scams, including emails offering tickets to games, fake auction websites, fake accomodation providers, offers of free mobiles are all in the mix that we can expect to see to be on the rise in the next few weeks.

Image courtesy of Chrisroll FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And it comes to no surprise to us here at tellows. We have received a number of comments from people around the world stating that they have received an email claiming that they have indeed hit the al’mighty jackpot and won themselves tickets to see the game live in Brazil. It seems that this email will ask the recipient to phone back and potentially be charged premium rates or respond to their email which could in fact permit hackers access to your computer. Symantec Intelligence inform that contact such as an email is often just the beginning of an elaborate scam.

tellows commentator OwenOcrazy said on phone number 8015429344

I got something quite different. I got an email with this return SMS number attached for tickets to the World Cup Brasil. Quite different but more or less the same. Who do these fools take us for?

What do we suggest to do if you receive suspicious contact?
1. Ignore any suggestion to respond with an SMS, phone call or email. You can verify the phone number by performing a tellows search and read what our users have to say about their experience.
2. If the email itself looks a suspicious with World Cup propaganda or merchandise related offers, do not proceed to click on any attachments or images.

And thirdly,

3. our information is gathered by our users themselves. If you have come across something that seemed suspicious to you, do leave a comment. We urge members of the community to warn others of persons and their phone numbers that aim to financially and emotionally rob others.

Source: http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/fifa-world-cup-scams-continue-circulate

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The May edition: exposing the targeted cities, figures and the top 3 questioned phone numbers

It has already been a busy year at tellows. Our users have been occupied this year searching among phone numbers as such as those linked to the IRS phone scam targeting us taxpayers, USPS phone and email scam and the Jury duty scam that threatened many of the vulnerable to cough up a penalty fine by making a credit card payment over the phone. Yes, the first half of the year so far has showed us that the scammers are still working hard at it. Now, not all calls here at tellows are deemed to be linked to a scamming operation, however they are more often than not categorised as unwanted and unbeknownst to the caller even with the help of caller ID. This is demonstrably put foward with America’s figures in May.

Number of searches for the month of May per region.


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Home security providers have been claimed to harass

Gone are the days of leaving your front and back door ajar and your windows wide-open. Sad but true, people just don’t feel as safe in their own neighbourhood’s anymore and we long for security solutions before it is too late. So when a company (cold) calls you again and again offering a solution to this problem on a silver platter, what do you do?

Here at tellows.com, it has come to our attention that there has been a common trend lurking over the last few months with searches for phone numbers related to the selling of these (questionable) Home Security Systems.

Due to this high volume among the greater community, the Federal Trade Commission recently released information as to what are a couple of the “red flags” to be aware of for those who receive these calls.

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“Was that my phone?” Beware of less than exotic calls from the Carribean

Most of us now are glued to our mobile phones. Kids can be playing in the other room but by golly our phones are always within arms length or even closer. Have you ever asked yourself how you ended up with missed calls on your phone? Surely, you would have it heard it ring. And then we sight this phone number we’ve never seen before. Once upon a time we would just simply hit the call back button but we live in different times now, a time where we need to move with caution and implicate security measures with almost everything we do. We have another reason why.

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7 points to make your nuisance-call complaint effective

The FCC, the Federal Communications Commission are one of the go-to people if you wish to issue a complaint regarding nuisance phone callers. Their website will generally ask the all the appropriate questions in regards to your call. However, if you would like to use another body to lodge your complaint or if you’re complaining directly to the caller themselves (if you have got their contact information.) then in preparation, here we have below what you might want to jot down as the call is happening, or while the details are in your mind. Being a good and accurate historian is essential in building a case in any complaint situation.

 
 

1. The phone number where you received the phone call

2. The date and time of the call

3. Whether or not you are on the National Do Not Call list

4. Did the caller advertise goods or services?

5. Was previous consent given from persons in your household to call this phone number?

6. Have you made any previous inquiries or applications with the individual or company, such as requesting information from their website?

7. Whether or not you or other persons in in the household have requested the cessation of these phone calls

 

 

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Get these best insider tips from the IRS to avoid tax scams

Tax season is here and opportunists are again determined as ever to victimize wage earners, steal their identities and much-anticipated tax refunds.

Your Social security number, name and date of birth – that’s all a scammer needs – as easy and as low risk as that. Once they have a Social Security number in hand, the scammers can file a phony tax return in the victim’s name, claim a large refund and have it sent to a false address.

Last year, the IRS caught more than 1.8 million fake tax returns and prevented more than $12 billion in fraudulent refunds. It is estimated that about $21 billion in fraudulent tax refunds over the next five years can even be issued to scammers.

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The tellows app caller identification for Android and iOS – the smartphone app to identify nuisance callers!

With the tellows app, you can now identify unknown callers!

The app will tell you real-time if the call is trustworthy or not. On the first ring of your phone, the tellows score will appear in order to help you decide whether to answer the phone or cancel it – 7 to 9 being the most untrustworthy numbers. The app also allows you to read the comments of users about this number. Post your own complaints through this app so you can also warn others. The service is free of charge.

The only requirement is of course, aside from internet access, is an Android Smartphone or an iPhone.
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8554116569: Confusion about Obamacare led to more Scams and Nuisance Calls

Based on reports from consumers and federal agencies, the Better Business Bureau identified Obamacare as the most used scam method for 2013.

The complexity behind the newly approved Affordable Care Act brought a lot of confusion among Americans, which in turn, opened a lot of doors to scammers and fraudsters as a way to fool citizens into sharing their personal information, and stealing their money.

Scammers would:

  • Claim that they are connected with federal government
  • Inform the target victim that he needs a new insurance card for the Obamacare
  • Ask for personal information like bank account number, credit card number, social security, medicare ID
  • Charge fees as high as $100 to help people understand the new policies
  • Target older people, or those above 65 years old, by falsely claiming that they need to buy a supplemental coverage

tellows also received reports related to this matter.

Liz on the number 8554116569:

I don’t know how to place this number, but I just received a call from it and a pre-recorded message said that they were from America’s Next Generation and then they went on to talk about Obamacare. I don’t know exactly what their agenda is, but I didn’t wait to figure it out. After a minute or so I hung up because whatever they were trying to sell me (literally or metaphorically) I wasn’t going to buy!

Lois on the same number said:

Recently received a call from this number. It was a political call, although I’m not quite sure what kind of political movement or group they belong to. An automated message identified the caller as America’s Next Generarion (even though I never heard of the group nor am I aware of what I ever did to “deserve” these kind of calls). They just kept talking about Obama care.

BBB provided the following tips and advice on protecting yourself from con artists:

  • Never pay upfront fees. If someone asks for money to help you shop for insurance, it’s a sure sign they’re not legitimate. Real navigators provide information about the ACA for free.
  • Hang up the phone. Don’t press any buttons or return any voicemails, period.
  • Never click any links provided in e-mails. Even if it appears to be a legitimate link from a trustworthy source, type in the URL yourself.
  • Be suspicious of anyone claiming to represent the government. Government agencies typically communicate only by mail.
  • Don’t provide personal information such as your Social Security or bank account numbers. If you do give out such information, immediately inform your banks and credit card providers.
  • Don’t trust caller ID. Phone numbers and organization names can be faked.
  • Go to www.healthcare.gov. It’s the official shopping place for qualified health plans.
  • Report scams or suspicious activity. You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.
  • If you think your identity’s been stolen, visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT.

Source:

www.bbb.org

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Spoofing USCIS to scam immigrants and visa applicants

From 2000 to 2010, there were nearly 14 million immigrants who entered the United States. The US is basically accepting more legal immigrants as permanent residents than all other countries in the world combined. For these immigrants, at least for most of them I’m sure, American dream signifies new opportunities, a new world and a new life.

But then statistics leads us to having this huge immigrant population in the US as one of the most lucrative markets for the scammers. Immigrants or those who are still applying for an immigrant status could be naive, vulnerable, and still less informed about the country’s legal system.

Scammers would claim he is connected with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), “spoof” the victim’s telephone Caller ID system to display that the call originated from USCIS, ask for the social security and passport numbers, dates of birth, etc., and scare the victim by saying that there are some problems in his immigration records. The perpetrator would then convince the victim to pay a certain fee to process his records and threaten him with deportation or application/petition denial if the victim refuses to pay.

There have been similar reports in tellows regarding this matter. 0016466166770 was reported to be asking for a legal fee for an immigration lawyer.

iceman said:

they called me up also in asked my credit card no. for legal fee for immigration lawyer,and they talk very fast and persistent. i give them my old credit card no. anyway thank you for knowing it…

A similar thing happened to bai, this time the scammer is offering assistance on her visa application:

I got a call from this number saying she is processing a visa. she is asking for any debit card or credit card last 4 digit number in order to open the application.

Those applying for visas, green cards and employment authorization are also being scammed by „businesses“ promising faster and sure way of getting applications approved. Scammers also use fake websites offering step by step guidance on completing a USCIS application or petition that claim to be affiliated with USCIS. Others even ask for payment to download forms, instructions or other information.

As advised by USCIS, seek assistance from the right place and people that are authorised to help. Applying directly with USCIS can give you the same result without extra charges and fees. Trust only the official website of USCIS with free downloadable documents.

Report such scams to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov and your appropriate state authorities.

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