Shipping Schemes, Rental Home Fraud Among Top Scams in Pasco
When it comes to economic crimes, awareness is critical to prevention.
After hearing from a local business owner affected by shipping scammers, Patch checked in with Sgt. Charles Troy of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Unit to find out which scams are most common in Pasco County and what you should be aware of when it comes to protecting yourself from fraud.
Business owners and job seekers, beware: Shipping scams are a prevalent problem in Pasco.
Unfortunately, the shipping scams are pretty common recently. Obviously, fraudulent transactions with stolen credit cards and credit card numbers are very common; however, the re-shipping scheme has become very common. Generally, these involve unwitting (or at least somewhat unwitting) persons who are reshipping items purchased for someone else to a second or third destination.
Most people fall victim to this scam by answering employment ads on places like Craig's List for jobs as a "Shipping Supervisor", "Secret Shopper", or some other type of administrative position with a company. They receive boxes of merchandise and shipping labels and are told they will be paid to reship the items. In reality they rarely receive compensation in the end. A common destination for these items seems to be Russia or other eastern European nations.
Are you getting emails from strangers promising money, or asking for help? Delete them.
Many of the old scams, which have been around for years, are still around and believe it or not, people are still falling for them. Some of these include the foreign lottery, the "grandma" scam, the friend in need with an emergency, and the fishing scams. I know they're old news for the media, but people (mostly elderly) still fall for them routinely.
Looking for a home for rent? Don’t send your deposit overseas:
Another common scam lately has been people copying information from a real estate ad on house for rent and re-posting it at a lower price on Craig's List. When people call about the property, they are advised to send a security deposit overseas via Western Union.
Protect your outgoing mail:
Lastly, one thing to get out there is that mail theft is still very prevalent for identity theft. Please let people in the community know not to put any outgoing mail (especially mail with checks or financial information) in their unlocked/unsecured home mailbox.