Scam Emails Archive : Generic

Subject: Scamdex, Internet Scambusters Newsletter #283, 5-14-08

From: "ScamBusters Editors" <>

This email with the subject "Scamdex, Internet Scambusters Newsletter #283, 5-14-08" was received in one of Scamdex's honeypot email accounts on Wed, 14 May 2008 01:04:37 -0700 and has been classified as a Generic Scam.

The sender was "ScamBusters Editors" <>, although it may have been spoofed.


Internet Scambusters (tm)
The #1 Publication on Internet Fraud

By Scambusters Audri, Jim, Floyd and Pete
Issue #283  May 14, 2008


Note 1: Easily change your subscription information by
clicking the link at the very bottom of this newsletter.

Note 2: Please share this newsletter with 3 or 4 of your
friends or colleagues who you think will benefit from it.

Hi Scamdex,

Today we have two Snippets for you:

- Credit Card Liability: What's in Your Wallet?

- To Catch an ID Thief, One Victim Did It Herself

The first Snippet explains what you need to know about your
liability if your credit card, debit card or ATM card is stolen
or lost. Understanding what you need to do -- and when -- is

The second story is truly outrageous, and shows (among other
things) why new laws are needed to deal with identity thieves.

Before we get started, why don't you take a look at this week's
issue of Scamlines -- What's New in Scams? -- here.

Next, we suggest you visit last week's most popular articles
from our other websites:

Children Need to Be Protected From Identity Theft Too

Photo Gifts: Simple and Fabulous

What You Need to Know About Lawn Care Services 

These 4 Graduation Gifts Aim to Please

Time to get going...

Credit Card Liability: What's in Your Wallet?

Most of you know that if your credit card is ever lost or
stolen, you're only liable for up to $50 in fraudulent charges.

But did you also know that you could be liable for LESS money,
under certain circumstances?

And did you know that this liability law does NOT apply to
debit cards?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, The Fair Credit
Billing Act guarantees that... "your maximum liability under
federal law for unauthorized use of your credit card is $50."

But, if you report the loss of your credit card BEFORE
fraudulent charges are made, you cannot be held responsible for
ANY of those charges -- in other words, you owe nothing.

Here's another fact most people don't know: "Also, if the loss
involves your credit card number, but not the card itself, you
have no liability for unauthorized use."

Plus, if you're a good customer, your credit card company will
often waive the $50 liability.

That's the good news. Now here's the bad news. If your DEBIT
card is lost or stolen, your liability is just $50, but ONLY if
you report the loss/theft within two days after you realize
your card is missing.

And, if you neglect to notify your bank that your debit card
has "gone missing" within 60 days after your bank statement
containing the unauthorized use is mailed to you, you could
lose EVERYTHING in your checking and overdraft accounts.

Also, even if you're not ultimately responsible for the debit
card losses, if the theft results in your checking account
being emptied out and that causes your checks to bounce, you
may still be liable for the fees.

To protect yourself against fraudulent charges on your debit
card, contact your financial institution to learn about their
liability policies. A few debit card issuers offer better
protection than the federal government.

For example, some debit card issuers offer consumers "zero
liability" in cases of fraud, theft or unauthorized usage, as
long as the cardholder reports the problem within two business
days after discovery.

And, if it takes longer than two days, these cardholders are
only liable for a maximum of $50 in charges.

To paraphrase a popular TV commercial, it pays to know "what's
in your wallet."

To Catch an ID Thief, One Victim Did It Herself

The following true story is about how an identity thief named
Maria Nelson stole the identity of Karen Lodrick of San
Francisco -- and then was apprehended by Karen Lodrick.

Important: We do NOT recommend trying to catch an identity
thief yourself -- in the unlikely event that you ever spot one.

Here's what happened...

In November 2006, Maria Nelson obtained a master key to the
mailboxes in Karen Lodrick's building, and stole several
letters. One bank statement included Karen's Social Security
number, and another letter contained the PIN numbers for
Karen's credit/debit cards.

(NOTE: It's common for identity thieves to acquire personal and
financial information by stealing victims' mail. It's uncommon,
however, for thieves to obtain mailbox keys.)

Although Karen's bank informed her of suspicious activity on
her account, it then gave her the runaround, making her come in
three times over the course of several months to review photos
of Nelson using her debit cards at their ATMs.

Each time Karen reviewed photos, she dealt with different bank
employees -- all of whom denied that she'd ever scanned the
security photos before.

About six months after the theft, Karen was waiting in a
Starbucks when she saw something she recognized -- the coat of
the woman she'd seen in all of those bank security photos.
Ironically, Karen was in the coffee shop waiting for her bank
branch to open.

The branch had called Karen the previous day to inform her that
she'd left her driver's license there (in reality, a clever
forgery most likely left by Nelson), and apparently, she and
the identity thief were both preparing to retrieve it.

Upon recognizing Nelson, Karen took matters into her own hands.
After calling 911 to let them know what was happening, she
followed Nelson all over town.

Karen's hot pursuit eventually unnerved Nelson enough that she
hailed a cab, but Karen talked the cabbie into refusing to give
Nelson a ride. Karen tried to get Nelson to stay with her until
police arrived, but Nelson said she couldn't -- she was already
on probation!

The chase continued, and at one point Nelson tossed away a
wallet. When Karen retrieved it, she found it was full of
credit cards, debit cards and a Social Security card -- all in
her name.

The chase finally ended after 45 minutes in a dark parking
garage. Still on the phone with the 911 operator, Karen asked
for police backup. When he arrived, the officer found Nelson
crouching behind a car, smoking a cigarette.

Nelson evenually "pleaded guilty to one felony count of using
another person's identification fraudulently," reports, and was sentenced to the 44 days she'd already
served in county jail and three years' probation.

"Nelson also was ordered to make restitution in an amount to be
determined by the court and to stay away from Lodrick.

"Lodrick, who made a statement at sentencing, was dissatisfied.
'I can't believe it,' she said. 'I went through six months of
hell, and she's going to get probation? She was on probation
when she victimized me. Obviously, probation's not helping.'"

You can read the entire story here.

Conclusion: We're sharing this story with you because it
illustrates many different points, including how difficult it
can be to work with banks and other financial institutions if
your identity is ever stolen, and how new laws are desperately
needed to deal with identity thieves.

To find out more about preventing, recognizing and recovering
from identity theft, visit the Scambusters Identity Theft
Information Center.

That's a wrap for this issue. Wishing you a great week!

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This is a great time to buy a car or truck -- but only if you
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Are Credit Problems Driving You Crazy?

One of the biggest causes of stress and unhappiness in most
people's lives is money -- especially when your debt keeps
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But no matter how deeply in debt you are, there still is hope.

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Small Business Owners: Exactly What You Need to Know to
Succeed in Any Economy

Worried about high gas prices and how deeply they'll affect
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