Ah, it must be spring if traveling roofers are trying scam homeowners.
Police are warning of a scammer who is targeting the elderly in Florida and the surrounding states in an attempt to scam them through fraudulent home repairs. Leonard Lovell allegedly approached his victims claiming work needs to be done on the roof, but that it won’t cost them much ($70-$80). After he and his accomplish “finish,” they charge the victim more than the promised sum (in one case it was over $300) and then quickly cash the check. Little to no work is ever done, police said.
A recent string of scams in California involves the manipulation of card readers on gas pumps in an effort to steal customer information while they are filling up their tanks. Authorities say that a small device is inserted into the reader, and the scammers will come back to the machine to recover the stolen information, sometimes being able to do so wirelessly increasing the covert nature of the scam. Victims often won’t know they’ve been scammed until they check an account and see the money missing.
Scammers posing as tech support engineers have been targeting victims who have recently had their computers fixed. Calling the customers and claiming to be affiliated with the company that did their previous repair, the scammers then try to sell questionable software or ask for money upfront to fix a computer related issue. Recently scammers have started using the names of legitimate system files in an effort to trick the less tech-savvy that their computer is infected with a virus or other malware. Authorities warn that antivirus companies almost never call their customers and would never ask a customer to use a free or trial version of commercial remote desktop software.
Olivia Evans was recently sentenced in Florida for her role in a scam that had its victims sending money to Evans, and her already jailed accomplices, for them to be cleansed of “evil spirits.” This service was supposed to cost a small fee, at which point the customer would have their money returned to them. Instead the fraudsters kept all the money. In a few cases, watches with prisms were also sent to be cleansed, because the prisms, claim the scammers, were homes to “evil spirits.” Two of the three watches victims sent in were recovered, and the scammers are sentenced with jail time and face paying restitution to the victims.
A recent email scam has taken the form of an appeal by Safia Farkash Qaddafi, widowed wife of Muammar Qaddafi. The scam involves an alleged $65 million of the unknown total which the dictator Qaddafi stole from his country. The email claims that the money is in an account in Malaysia and that Safia is willing to share it. Victims have actually been lured to foreign countries because of the scam where they face the potential for further and more dangerous scams.