General PSA for followers in the US:

If you have a landline (not sure if these calls happen on cell phones?) and you receive a call about the IRS “filing a lawsuit against you”, in the voice of a text to speech message, be aware that this is most likely a scam - especially if you have not received any mail from the IRS prior to this, because the IRS uses mail as its first line of communication.

(Quote from the IRS website: “The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.”)

This is what an example of the call sounds like; although the phone number given when our household received this call was different.

General information from the IRS about this scam.

ATTENTION: There is malware that may compromise your Tumblr account.

I just got two fanmails in a row from people I don’t know with the following message: 

Hi there Darling! For summer job I am working in a employment company. I have to create a paperwork about young people careers in US… May You please enter your dream career, hit continue & put your e mail there? This will be an empirical part of the statistical survey for my work and its totally anonymous! :) Site url is under the recent reblog on my blog. You could not imagine how useful it is to finish this paperwork! :) Then I would enjoy my summer :) Thanks a lot! :)

The opening line can vary from “dear” to “darling” to any number of polite greetings.

I strongly advise you NOT to click or enter anything. Whatever it is looks like it’s phishing or doing something to people’s accounts to make them spam this message around. If you did what it said, change your Tumblr password immediately because your account might be compromised.

REBLOG THIS IMMEDIATELY SO PEOPLE KNOW.

staff needs to be aware of this too.

IRS Phone Scam Alert

I missed a call earlier and the voicemail was an electronic recording saying that the IRS was taking legal action against me. There was no reasoning or other information left, except for a telephone number. When I called the phone number back, I reached a very generic “the number you have dialed is not available” recording and immediately hung up. I did some research (librarian’d) and found out that this is part of a major phone scam.

The number that called me was 214-272-0337. Do not answer calls from this number. This is likely not the only number being used.

The IRS has a warning about this phone scam and about current email phishing scams here (link). Judging by the IRS, FTC, and TIGTA pages, this is really widespread at this time and there’s a good chance you or someone else you know may be called.

Furthermore, if you receive a call or email that doesn’t feel right to you, especially if they are requesting personal information and especially financial data, do not give them any information. Report them to the Federal Trade Commission (here) and the Treasury Inspector General (here).

Signal boost this and especially warn young people who may have recently filed for the first time, elderly relatives, and new immigrants. Refer back to this page from the FTC on how to recognize scams (link).

Libertarian 'Utopia' Styled After Ayn Rand Book Spectacularly Falls Apart Almost Immediately

Libertarian ‘Utopia’ Styled After Ayn Rand Book Spectacularly Falls Apart Almost Immediately

image via galtsgulchchile.com

A community made up of American ex-pats deep in the South American hills of Chile – far away from America’s annoying taxes, healthcare mandate, and legal abortions – was supposed to be a Libertarian paradise of rugged individualism, instead it cost many of the people who bought into it almost everything and now is buried under lawsuits – a reminder that everything…

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Libertarian 'Utopia' Styled After Ayn Rand Book Spectacularly Falls Apart Almost Immediately

It’s hard to feel sorry for them.

Libertarians and Randroids learning the harsh consequences of their own dogma will always be funny. It does make me wonder if there is a stratum of con artists targeting them, having factored in that people who are distrustful of the state and unlikely to go to the police make brilliant marks.

Don't Get Scammed

I’ve seen a recent trend on Tumblr is users asking for money. Most of the time it is for things like food, housing, medical needs, etc. This has become a bit problematic for me…while there are many a legitimate need out there, there are also many willing to take advantage of good intentions by using this method as a means to get money not for any actual need but rather for selfish gain. So, here’s a helpful list to avoid scams on Tumblr:

1. Never do transactions directly, including through PayPal. When you engage in a transaction like this, you leave out a non-biased third party which can intercede if it turns out to be a scam. If you believe a claim is legitimate, but they are asking for direct donations, you can direct them to one of the many free fundraising sites out there like GoFundMe or YouCaring 

2. Keep an eye on how the person spends their money. If a person claims they need money for food, but frequently post expensive or unneeded purchases, it may be a sign that they aren’t managing donations the way they were meant to, or that they don’t actually need those donations. Don’t assume as the items may have been gifts or pre-owned. 

3. Always question other options for getting money. If a person clearly owns several items that can be quickly and easily sold for money, ask why they haven’t considered that first. If that is their only source of entertainment, it can be understandable, but keep in mind this lesson: I have had situations on many occasions where I had no money and had rent due, or needed to buy food. I compensated by selling a DS, an XBox, several games, and at one point even a laptop. If the need is something very immediate like food, people should be willing to give something up to make ends meet. That’s an unfortunate reality of life. But not doing that doesn’t necessary indicate a lack of need. 

4. Don’t think questioning a person makes you a bad person. Sympathy is great, but blind sympathy can be dangerous. If a person is asking for money, then potential donators are owed information before they hand it over. If you’re attacked for asking questions or if your questions go completely ignored, it is likely there is some dishonesty going on. 

5. When in serious doubt, seek proof. A person late on rent will get a notice from their landlord. A person trying to pay medical expenses will have bills. 

6. If you can’t decide, then save your money. Scam artists are very good at trying to reel you in with a sob story but the fact of the matter is, you can’t believe everything you hear. If something seems like a scam to you in any way, then turn the other way. If you still wish you can give, find an established charity and donate to them (there you have the ability to research and understand those companies since most are required to be completely transparent). 

And remember the general rules of any online financial transaction - don’t give someone your credit card information or social security number directly, don’t give out personal information, see if a person is tracking and transparent about their donations and how they’re spending them, and remember that giving directly to a person is NOT tax deductible but counts as a gift - only donations directly to a non-profit organization are tax deductible. If a person claims your donation to them is tax deductible, it is likely a scam. 

This post isn’t to indicate all Tumblr fundraisers are scams but many are, and many others may not be scams but are clearly not well run and may be unsafe to pour money into. Proceed with caution because while you might be saying “But I have good intentions” the money you give to scammers is money that could’ve gone to people who legitimately need help. 

- Mod Dawes Sr. 

Dear Lovelies! Many of you have already been made aware of these types of messages, but I will reiterate because I received this in my inbox today:

1. Any account that you do not know who sends you/ talks about a link, especially with the mention of beta testing a video game, is FAKE. These links are loaded with lots of bad stuff, so DO NOT CLICK.

2. These roboblogs tend to follow you first. They have very obscure names, so if you suspect something, check out their blog (the blog itself does not carry harmful bugs).

3. Their icons are completely random, photostock-esque pictures with some random phrase below. They do not allow any sort of messaging directly, but they can message you. They also tend to reblog generic pictures and usually don’t reblog actual tumblr user posts, but that can vary.

I was troubled to see these going around again because there are people that haven’t yet heard about this scam who mean well and want to support someone’s independent ‘game’ to help them out. So yeah, everyone stay safe and continue to have a great summer! ~

Okay so I’m gonna post a little PSA.

For the past month I’ve been receiving phone calls and a voicemail from numbers in the New York area threatening me that if I do not call them back and work with them then police will be at my door to arrest me. I am an avid rule follower so this piece of information scared the shit out of me, but when I spoke to my parents about it they said it’s an active scam to steal peoples money. If you do not know the number that is calling you please do not answer or give them any of your information no matter what. This group is preying on people, threatening them, and taking their money. When I called them back and told them to stop they immediately began yelling at me and then they hung up (like cowards).

A couple numbers they have called me on are:

  • 347-759-6218
  • 718-514-9872
  • 347-650-2076

I don’t care if you reblog/share this, but please let others know to avoid these calls and NEVER give information to anyone over the phone.

youtube

This Guy Scammed Those Internet Companies That Prey on Old People

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The Legend of Soapy Smith, The Old West’s Great Con Man,

Originally I had a much different topic in mind for tonight’s history post, but life events have intervened and inspired to touch on something else.  Unfortunately today Peashooter was snookered by some con men posing as Microsoft tech support agents, who gratefully called him to inform him that his computer was going kabonkers.  Gullible Peashooter handed his credit card number, and faster than you can say “humbuggery” a charge for a $29.95 maintenance warranty morphed into three $200 Western Union money transfers to a man named Ping Lian in China (if he exists).  The worse part about being scammed it not the money aspect, but the feeling left knowing that you have been so easily bamboozled, especially when I have daftly avoided similar scams before. 

The art of the con is a practice that goes back to the dawn of civilization, and throughout history there have been countless people who have devoted their talents and skills towards tricking people out of their hard earned money.  Back in the days of the Old West, one of the most famous con artists of the era was a man named Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith, who made a living as a cheat, gambling house operator, and gangster operating out of Denver, Colorado in the late 19th century.  Soapy Smith earned his nicknamed from his most famous racket, the “Prize Package Soap Con”.  He would arrive in a bustling town or street corner with a display case full of packaged bars of soap.  He would then take out 100 dollar bills, unwrap some of the bars, re-wrap them with the bills inside, then mix them all up so that nobody knew which bars had the $100 bills.  He would then sell each of the bills to gathered onlookers for large sums of money.  Little did the people know that using sleight-of-hand, he had secretly replace the bars containing money with bars containing no money.  A couple of plants would be placed in the crowd, who shout with joy that they had bought a bar containing money, but of course the whole thing was a farce.  Sometimes, if the crowd was particularly enthusiastic, Smith would announce that the remaining bars still had money in them, and would auction them off to the highest bidder.

Soapy Smith grew so rich with his scheme that he eventually became a powerful man, eventually becoming the crime boss of Denver while also rigging local and state political elections.  When the Great Klondike gold rush started in 1897, he moved to Skagway, Alaska in search of greener pastures and new marks.  In 1898 he cheated a pair of gold miners in a game of Three Card Monte.  Moments later he was confronted by a large group of vigilantes, who demanded he return the money.  When he refused, the riddled him with bullets.

What is most embarrassing for Peashooter is the fact the Microsoft Tech Support scam was not that much more complex than Soapy Smith’s legendary soap con, although the Microsoft hoaxsters played more on ignorance and fear rather than greed.  I have a feeling Soapy would have been proud.

anonymous asked:

I'm not sure if you take random tips for people, but here goes anyways: Be careful of door to door people! Some people aren't nice and they'll try and see if you've got valuables inside so they can break in later. (Had a guy claiming to be from a cable company come today asking how many TVs were in the house, and just hell no you don't need that info.)

There are a lot of scams that start this way, especially preying on seniors. A recent one in my area involved someone at the front door engaging the homeowner with talk about gas bills or something while a partner broke in the back and stole things.

Sometimes door to door salesmen are legitimate, but sometimes it’s a scam. ARRP does have a list of common scams (like I said, they mostly target seniors).

If something seems off, contact your local police department’s non-emergency line. They may have received other calls already and can issue a town warning if necessary.

Give someone a number on a website, and they will come up with ways to artificially inflate that number on a website that accomplishes exactly nothing.

Patreon is a service that me and a bunch of other people use to allow readers to support us directly!   This guy is proposing I pledge him $x and then he’ll pledge me $x in return, and in the end – nobody makes any money?  But we’ll appear to be more successful, AND THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS.

Anyway, gross.

9

Alright Tumblr. I get it. The McKinney incident is HORRIBLE. Fox News is generally horrible. A lot of us suspect that Fox news thinks black folks are a bunch of ill behaved niggas who need to be put down. So when we see things like This Post, it confirms our biases, fuck fox news right? But let’s do a little digging, yeah? 

Image 1 is the post I linked above, right? Seems legit, right? I saw it, I was pissed, I was like, fuck fox news. Since I got Ad Block and Ghostery (two lovely Chrome add-ons one should invest in) let’s go find that web page. But I couldn’t find it on google. So I go to OP’s blog, and I find that they’ve reblogged another screenshot, with the URL in it, and that leads me to Image 2, (here).  So I’m like hell yeah! I type in the URL. 

That take me to Image 3. You can see for yourselves here. The link doesn’t exists. If you think I’m lying, try to search for the article on the Fox website yourself. So now I’m a little bit suspicious. I decide to take a look at OPs archive. That’s Image 4. Lo and Behold as Image 5 shows, of OPs 15 posts, all from this month, the earliest post is only three hours earlier than the Original Post. 

On a hunch I decide to check the OP of the post that gave me the URL in the first place, That image 6. Interestingly enough, this screenshot in Image 7 was taken only fifteen minutes after the OP.  If you take a closer look at Image 7, you notice a few odd things. The biggest, in my opinion, are One: The tab name for this screen shot is “Are the blacks more dang…” while the URL is “are black americans prone to a more violent lifestyle”. The second issue, Two: There is no sub-section assigned to this article.  

On a article from the same section however, it labels clearly what heading it would fall under. By the by, as Image 8 shows, the section this article is supposed to come under is Lifestyle. You know food, drinks, cars, feel good, relaxed articles. Why would a about black people being prone to violence be in that section of the website with the tag line “Leisure” in the URL. 

And if you guys look at image 9, you see that the OP with the computer screen shot doesn’t have ANY posts except for that one screenshot. Tumblr, you’ve been duped.. You have had, not for the first time, someone take advantage of your anger and rage in order to gain notes and cause trouble. Stop spreading that post. It is false, and I’ve provided links for you to figure out if I’m right or not on your own. 

~Lala

SWIFTIES how to avoid scams

So I’m sure a lot of you are aware of the prevalent tickets scams that are going on with Taylor Swift tickets. Scammers are targeting Taylor swift concerts because of their high prices for tickets which means a lot a profit for them if their scam is successful.
I wanted to reach out to you guys and let you know a couple common scams and offer my professional opinion and advice for you guys because I hate seeing so many of you getting scammed.
This is actually what I do for a living; investigations and many of them involve credit card fraud and Internet/craigslist scams. The number of the scams/fraud is absolutely astonishing and you guys would be shocked to know how common it is.

The general rule is “if it seems too good to be true it probably is”.
-Never EVER wire anybody money. If someone is asking to be wired money that is almost 100% sure it’s a scam.
-Some people are trying to offer more money for tickets and this is a complicated issue but if anybody ever offers you more money then you are asking for tickets that is a scam. This makes it seem almost irresistible to you when you’re selling tickets and it seems legit but in the end they somehow screw you out of not only your asking price but the extra money they offered to pay you.
-If you’re buying tickets and meeting someone: before you give the person the money call and verify the ticket number with Ticketmaster.
If they don’t want to wait then it’s a scam-walk away.
-Always meet in a public place preferably a Police Department parking lot. If they ask to meet somewhere not very public, it’s also most likely a scam, and a dangerous one at that.
-Another tip is when you’re on your way to meet a person call or text them and ask them what kind of car they are driving/ meeting you in. As you are pulling up have your phone ready and read off the tag number to your “talk to text” on a note and save it. This way if it ends up being a scam and you don’t get into the show for some reason (they changed the tickets and resold them or went themselves) you now have the persons information that you can give to the police. It takes a simple look up for the cops to get that persons info and they will be charged with “Theft by deception”.
-if you’re buying off of eBay always do your research on the seller if they are new seller with no reviews, just don’t buy them.

Just a few tips if you’re buying/selling tickets. If anyone is looking at tickets or looking to sell tickets and are getting a weird feeling and want to ask me what I think about it or if it I think it is a scam do not hesitate to message me the info and I will Do everything I can to check it out for you. ☺️☺️ my url is catsfoxesntswift13. I will get back to you within a day.

Please reblog this and share with your friends. No more swifties getting scammed!!!

Vocabulary.com defines a grifter as: A grifter is a con artist—someone who swindles people out of money through fraud. If there’s one type of person you don’t want to trust, it’s a grifter: Someone who cheats someone out of money.

Historically, grifters have taken many shapes. They were the snake-oil salesmen who rolled into town promising a magical, cure-all elixir at a price. The grifter was long gone by the time people discovered the magical elixir was no more magical than water. They were the sideshow con men offering fantastic prizes in games that were rigged so that no one could actually win them. They were the Ponzi scheme operators who got rich promising fantastically high investment returns but returning nothing for those sorry investors at the bottom of the pyramid.

Over the last few years we have seen the rise of a new grifter—the political grifter. And the most important battle being waged today isn’t the one about which party controls the House or the Senate, it’s about who controls the Republican Party: the grifting wing or the governing wing.
—  Former GOP Rep. Steve LaTourette, pointing out that people like Ted Cruz are merely using the Tea Party movement as a gravy train to enrich themselves – and that this is hurting not only the Republican Party, but the nation.