Birmingham Real Estate: You've Got Options: SCAM ALERT HITS CLOSE TO HOME: Department of Fraud - Do Not FALL For This!

SCAM ALERT HITS CLOSE TO HOME: Department of Fraud - Do Not FALL For This!

SCAM ALERT:  Department of Fraud - Do Not FALL For This!

Please people listen up.  My daughter just called me and she wasn't exactly frantic, but I can tell she was very shaken.

She had just received an official "sounding" call from a so-called Department of Fraud with a threat of having her arrested by the end of TODAY for apparent fraud related to a particular business.

They had her

  • name,
  • social security number
  • place of employment
  • address and
  • more details. 

Here's Candi's account of what happened:

"I GOT A CALL FROM A MAN NAMED ERIC BERGER SAYING HE WAS FROM WASHING DEPARTMENT OF LAW AND FRAUD. SAYING I TOOK OUT A PAYDAY LOAN ONLINE AT PAYDAYLOAN.COM ON JAN. 8. HE SAID THERE WAS A LAW SUIT BEING FILED AGAINST ME IN THE NEXT 3 HOURS AND THAT I WOULD BE SUBPEONAD AND A WARRANT WOULD BE PLACED OUT FOR MY ARREST.

CALLED FTC (FEDERAL TRADE COMMISION) SHE ADVICED THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR SCAMS AT THE POINT. MEN WITH INDIAN ACCENTS CALLING TO TRY TO GET MONEY WIRED OR SENT OUT.

ADVICE CALL THE STATE OF ALABAMA AGENCY AND REPORT 1-800-392-5658"

MIND YOU, this is information that they recited to her.  She neither provided, confirmed or denied this informatiion.  After placing several phone calls she found out that this is one of the most recent AND popular scams circulating today.

She was asked if the caller has an Indian accent and my daughter confirmed that the caller in fact has an Indian accent.

She was asked if she was given a phone number and she was.

She was asked if she called the number back and the same person answered.  Again, my daughter's answer was affirmative.

If you're thnking Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and a number of other sources may be responsible then you're probably right (as well as online surveys). These classes of criminals spend their time siphoning through the information that YOU make public until they have pieced your life together.

I am not suggesting that you give up using these online tools to promote your business, just be careful what business you put in the street.  No one.  NO ONE needs to know where I am and what I am doing every second of every day.

 

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Charita Cadenhead, Your Metropolitan Birmingham, Alabama Real Estate Broker of Choice

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Charita H. Cadenhead, Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty Metro North
Gardendale, AL 35071
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43 commentsCharita Cadenhead • March 23 2011 03:00PM

Comments

Wow that is scary; what are they doing with the information? I mean they clearly already had it so what was their purpose of calling?

Posted by Susan Milner, Cape Coral Real Estate Broker, FloridaFutureAgents (Florida Future Realty, Inc.) almost 4 years ago

Susan the purpose was to reach some type of settlement agreement in an amount related to the supposed fraudulent activity.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) almost 4 years ago

Thanks Charita. This is great information to keep us ALERT! I just got funny notice from UPS. Which I deleted. It appears that the criminals are everywhere these days.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Green Home Realty, 210-789-4216,www.Selling-SanAntonioHomes.com) almost 4 years ago

Jerry we all have to be on high alert.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) almost 4 years ago

That's a new one on me.  Thanks for the alert.  I wonder if Snopes.com has that one in it's database.

Posted by Ann Bellamy (Hard money lending for investors in NH and MA) almost 4 years ago

You multi task very well...doing a post and Masterminds at the same time!  lol

It is just another warning to NOT give too much information about your whereabouts, etc on public sites...good post.

Posted by Cindy Marchant, "Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate (Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 www.marchantteam.com) almost 4 years ago

There's some scary stuff out there, and it's impossible to stay ahead of it.  You just have to remain vigilant. 

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) almost 4 years ago

Charita, I attended an identity theft seminar not to long ago.  I wrote about it and gave a link with more info.  Be safe.

Posted by Joe Kenny, Better Than Your Average Joe (Realty Executive Midwest) almost 4 years ago

Hey Cindy if you think that's something, check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X4MwbVf5OA

 

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) almost 4 years ago

Charita, name, address, place of employment are all easy to come by, but SS#?  How'd they land that one?  That's scary.

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) almost 4 years ago

Ann I think I have heard about Snopes.com but never visited  (will do though).  Thanks.

Joe I'm going to check out that link.  thanks.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) almost 4 years ago

Tish it seems a new scam is developed every day if not every minute.

Leah I don't know how they got the SS#.  That is very scary.  Again it may have been from some online form or hacking.  Who knows.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) almost 4 years ago

OMG - my daughter got the same call!  Eee gads!

Posted by Paula McDonald, CHEVAUX Group ~ The Woodlands, TX 936-203-0279 (Chevaux Group, PLLC) almost 4 years ago

Are you kidding me Paula?  How weird is THAT?

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) almost 4 years ago

These kind of people are all over the place.  It must work sometimes or they would not be doing it.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing Charita.  The only thing we CAN control is what we put out into the 'cloud'.  It is up to us to be careful what that information is.  Pretty scary, though, that a SS# was obtained.  It might be a good idea to purchase some identity guard to make sure no one tries to open up a credit card or bank account with all that personal information.

Posted by Peggy Hughes, SF NYC LA (PHA/Peggy Hughes Associates - Professional Moving Organizer) almost 4 years ago

My sentiments exactly Gene.  Somebody is taking a bite.

That's for sure Peggy.  That's a lot of info for someone to have who is already up to no good.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) almost 4 years ago

Charita, That is scary!  Having all of that info would make me a nervous wreck.  Wow.  I'm so glad you wrote this informing us all...so many nasty folks in the world.  Why can't everyone just be nice?  Coop :)

Posted by Elizabeth Cooper-Golden, Huntsville AL MLS (Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)) almost 4 years ago

It's a bit frightening Coop for sure.  The more I thought about it, I'm just feeling that these scammers hide behind the phone and I hope they stay there (behind the phone and not on someone's doorstep).

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) almost 4 years ago

Wow, that is scary.  thx for sharing and warning the rest of us.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring (Floor Coverings International - Westchester NY & Stamford CT) almost 4 years ago

Charita, scary indeed.  Some of the scams can seem so legit.  We have to be on our toes all the time.  Your daughter sounds like such a smart young gal that was definitely on her toes.

Posted by Vickie Slade, Service You Can Trust ~ Someone You Can Depend On (Steps Real Estate, LLC) almost 4 years ago

I just warned my oldest daughter and tomorrow I'll tell my youngest.  You want to believe that no one would fall for these kinds of things....but they do everyday.

Good thing you raised your daughter to think fast on her feet, Charita!

Posted by Christine Hooks, Celebrating 20 Years in Real Estate! (Pino Agency) almost 4 years ago

Debbie since I posted this, I have been informed that this has happened to a few people the a know.

They can seem legit Vickie.  I feel bad for the people who get hoodwinked by these jerks.

Chris someimtes kids just think the world is all peaches and cream until something bad happens.  But as parents we just have to keep talking until we are blue in the face.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) almost 4 years ago

Charita - OMG!!!  What a bunch of scoundrels!!!  I've heard of some slimy scams but this one is atrocious.  Thx for the warning Charita and I hope Candi feels a little bit better knowing that it was a scam and that she didn't fall victim to it.  GOOD FOR HER!!! 

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) over 3 years ago

Donne she did feel better but she still made some changes that made her feel even better.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

Charita - not only do people not need to know where we are every minute of every day, for the most part only loved ones and the wrong type of people care. Loved ones generally have a pretty good idea of where you are or how to reach you with going to Facebook or twitter.

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 3 years ago

Exactly Kathy.  I remember creating an account of Foursquare and I was on the site all of about 2 or 3 minutes before I knew it wasn't the place for me.  No you don't need to know where I am.  These scams have really gotten out of hand.sal

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

Charita - So, can you share what were the changes that Candi made that made her feel better?  Might be something good to know for all of us to consider.

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) over 3 years ago

Donne give that they were security measures, I'd rather not take it upon myself to share what she did that made her feel safer.  I will say that it wasn't anything that anyone recommended, but she did what she needed to do to feel safer.  That being said, if put in a similar situation, you would have to do what YOU had to do to make yourself feel safer.  Don't mean to be vague, but I am joining my daughter in protecting her privacy.  I know you'll understand.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

Absolutely.  :)

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) over 3 years ago

Thanks D.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

Charita - It's a scary world out there for sure! Great that you brought up this topic because we all need to be vigilant about protecting our privacy - SS# - now that's really scary! Love your blog and just subscribed! Great post and Suggest for sure!

Posted by Kristine Ginsberg, Morris County, NJ Stager (Morris County, NJ: Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC) over 3 years ago

Thanks Kristine.  I know I have been on high alert as well and as I have talked to people, I probably should not have been surprised that almost all had been on the verge of being scammed.  The SS#..... that's their number 1 ticket.  Thank you for subscribing.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

Charita:   This is such a good reminder.  Imagine having someone call with all of that personal information!  I am so glad your daughter is smart and did all of the right things.  Seniors and persons with limits may not be so lucky.  Scary stuff.

Posted by Valerie Zinger, Home Organizer (House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada) over 3 years ago

I would have literally freaked out.  I really feel bad for the seniors Valerie as they are probably among the most preyed upon demograhic.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

Hey Charita!  This is the first time of heard of this one.  The idea of them having all that information makes me sick to my stomach!

Posted by Ann Allen Hoover, CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL (RE/MAX Advantage South) over 3 years ago

Ann I have heard of several of these incidents since I posted this the other day.  All I have to say is just be careful.  Be very careful.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

Charita, my gosh, they just come up with so many different scams all over everywhere.  Thanks for the heads up, I am going to reblog this, and hope this will alert more people in my area, too.

Posted by Rita Fong, Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale (RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 ) over 3 years ago

Rita scams exist in every facet imaginable.  You almost need a "scam radar."

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

Charita: This is unbelieveable.. It's like a bad movie... I would never expected this but people will try anything now a days. I'm so glad your daughter didn't fall for it. Smart girl you've trained up.

Posted by Donna Paul, Long Island Home Specialist, Search for Long Islan (Keller Williams Realty Gold Coast) over 3 years ago

Charita, this is just amazing what people will do now adays.  I will be sending this info to my family and friends..thanks for the info!

Hope you don't mind, I added the link to my FB page???

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, the GO TO REALTOR, Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County (Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Donna everything seems to be up for grabs.  Scam artist have no limits.

Rebecca pass it on and tell others to do the same.  No problem on the FB link.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

This is why I believe that the use of social security numbers should be forbidden unless required for government related purposes. Banks and employers yes. The phone company or video rental stoer no way.

Posted by Maya Swamy, Ph.D. Long Beach, CA - fundsavailable.com (Funds Available) over 3 years ago

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