The amber alert, protecting your personal information online, and more: Internet ScamBusters #54
We've got some important Internet ScamBusters "Snippets" for you this month.
But first, we wanted to thank everyone who emailed us recently with feedback about this newsletter. As you know, we do this as a public service, so it's very gratifying to hear how useful you're finding Internet ScamBusters. In fact, your feedback shows us it is worthwhile for us to continue to research, write and send this newsletter to you. Just please remember, we can't answer questions personally. Thanks.
Second, we'd appreciate if you took a moment to check out the offers at the end of this newsletter. They are for excellent products
OK. Let's get going...
Internet ScamBusters "Snippets"
Protecting the Release of Your Personal Information
We recently got a question from a subscriber who wanted to know if a current spam going around is real -- it claims that if you want to stop the release of your personal info to "everyone under the sun" starting July 1, you need to take action.
Here's a bit of the spam:
Just wanted to let everyone know who hasn't already heard, the four major credit bureaus in the US will be allowed, starting July 1, to release your credit info, mailing addresses, phone numbers, etc., to anyone who requests it.
The email goes on to tell you (in capital letters) that you should:
Pass this message on to all in your address book and your personal friends.
Hint: Any email that tells you to pass the message on to everyone is almost definitely NOT legit.
Also, "July" referred to July 2001.
Nonetheless, we suggest you read the entire email and the response from Snopes.com at:
New Publications Available from the FCC
The FCC has posted a very interesting page called "Consumer Alerts and Factsheets." It provides information on important telephone, broadcasting and Internet scams.
For example, a new scam alert was posted called "Beware of Telemarketing Scam."
Here's how this scam works:
Your phone rings. The call is from someone claiming to be an official of a state Do-Not-Call registry, or some antifraud consumer group. The scammer asks if you want to be on your state's Do-Not-Call list, or asks you to verify your previous registration on such a list.
As the call progresses, the scammer asks you for personal information, such as your Social Security, credit card and/or bank account numbers, supposedly to confirm that the scammer is talking with the correct person.
The scammers then have the info to commit identity fraud.
Here is what the FCC says about Do-Not-Call registries:
You should not receive a call from such a registry. Signing up for these state-sponsored Do-Not-Call lists is generally initiated by the consumer. It is usually free (or requires only a very nominal fee).
Once you are signed up for such a Do-Not-Call registry, there is no reason for follow-up calls. Further, you should NEVER need to verify your registration with personal or financial information.
For more on this Telemarketing scam, visit:
For the list of FCC Consumer Alerts and Factsheets, visit:
The AMBER Plan
The FCC has recently enacted the AMBER Plan, which has been credited with aiding in the rescue of several missing children who were abducted.
The AMBER Plan was originally named in memory of a 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped by a stranger in 1996 and later found dead. In response to this tragedy, radio stations in that geographical area agreed to repeat news bulletins about abducted children frequently, with the hope that these alerts might help save the life of a child.
The FCC says the name AMBER now stands for: America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.
The goal of the AMBER program is to add millions of extra eyes and ears to help in the safe return of abducted children, and to help catch abductors.
Web site owners can now participate. To learn more about the AMBER plan, visit:
Nigerian Scam - Some Good News
Fifteen Nigerians have been arrested in South Africa. These alleged Internet racketeers asked people by email to send money by pretending to be from the Central Bank of South Africa. They promised to pay victims a large commission and asked for advanced payments to cover insurance and other costs.
You can read the whole story at: