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Diabetes Scams Fool with Quack Cures

Watch out for an email scam promoting medicine for diabetes or other common medical conditions. These messages claim that the products are endorsed by official organizations and offer amazing results, but it's all a con.

Watch out for an email scam promoting medicine for diabetes or other common medical conditions. These messages claim that the products are endorsed by official organizations and offer amazing results, but it's all a con. 

How the Scam Works: 

You get an email alerting you to an amazing new medicine that will "reverse" your diabetes. To establish credibility, the message drops the names of a variety of established organizations. In one recent email, the study was allegedly released by NASA and endorsed by both Harvard and Johns Hopkins University. Impressive! 

At the end of the email, a link leads you to a website to learn more about the "cure." It leads to a website touting the product's amazing affects and detailing the conspiracy theory that has kept this "cure" a secret. Of course, you can also buy the "blood sugar stabilizer" on the site, and it just happens to be on sale. 

Don't buy it! The product wasn't endorsed by Harvard or NASA, and it can't make diabetes symptoms disappear. If you purchase this "miracle cure," you will likely end up with expensive vitamin supplements. However, you are also sharing your credit card and personal information with scammers, which opens you up to a risk of unauthorized charges and identity theft.  

How to Spot a Quack Cure:  

Spot a fraudulent "cure" by watching out for these red flags:

  • The product is a "miracle cure." If a real cure for a serious disease were discovered, it would be widely reported through the news media and prescribed by health professionals - not buried in print ads, TV infomercials or on websites.
  • Conspiracy theories. These statements are used to distract consumers from the obvious, common-sense questions about the so-called miracle cure.
  • One product does it all... instantly. Be suspicious of products that claim to immediately cure a wide range of diseases. No one product could be effective against a long, varied list of conditions or diseases.
  • Personal testimonials instead of scientific evidence. Success stories are easy to make up and are not a substitute for scientific evidence.
  • It's "all natural." Just because it's natural does not mean it's good for you. All natural does not mean the same thing as safe. 
  • Check with your doctor: If you're tempted to buy an unproven product or one with questionable claims, check with your doctor or other health care professional first.
___________________ The BBB is dedicated to fostering honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers in the U.S. and Canada, instilling consumer confidence and contributing to a trustworthy marketplace for all.

Samsung Devices: Security Risks

Over the last few days, there have been numerous media sources reporting the major security flaw and security risks in Samsung mobile devices. I urge anyone who has a Samsung mobile device to keep posted on this matter. Over the last few days, there have been numerous media sources reporting the major security flaw and security risks in Samsung mobile devices.  I urge anyone who has a Samsung mobile device to keep posted on this matter.   I read the NowSecure blog on this issue and they have a list as of June 16th of impacted devices by carrier with the status of their security patch status ((www.nowsecure.com;  go to the “How to Detect It” subheading in the blog titled”Samsung Keyboard Security Risk Disclosed: Over 600M+ Devices Worldwide Impacted”). In a nutshell: NowSecure, a security research firm, has found a security flaw in the Samsung keyboard that could impact over 600 million Samsung mobile devices.  One report, by Graham Cluley, describes the flaw as including Samsung’s latest device, the GalaxyS6 iPhone (www.hotforsecurity.com; “Samsung Galaxy phones at risk from massive security flaw”; June 17).  As Mr. Cluley and others have warned, the flaw could allow hackers to gain access remotely to a Samsung device and allow the hackers to spy through the camera or the microphone, to track the Samsung user’s physical location via GPS, to install malicious applications, to steal information or even to listen in on the user’s messages and voice calls — all without the user’s knowledge. Samsung is reporting that it believes it has a possible patch for the problem and that the patch has been deployed to carriers.  However, per Mr. Cluley, it is difficult for mobile device users to know whether their carrier has patched the problem.  Again, another reason to check the NowSecure website for updates. __________________ Ms. Diener is now an independent consultant on privacy, identity management, information protection and risk management. She served in senior managerial, legal, policy and legislative positions in all three branches of the Federal government. In addition to her privacy expertise, Ms. Diener played a lead role on such important domestic and international issues as criminal justice/law enforcement and financial services. She speaks frequently at industry and governmental conferences and meetings.

Phony Clients Fool Photographers in New Scam

Freelance photographers are getting targeted by a new con. Scammers are posing as potential clients and fooling photographers into paying thousands of dollars. It's a new twist on the classic overpayment scam.

Freelance photographers are getting targeted by a new con. Scammers are posing as potential clients and fooling photographers into paying thousands of dollars. It's a new twist on the classic overpayment scam. 

How the Scam Works:

You are looking online for freelance photography jobs. One post looks particularly promising, a family in your area is hiring a photographer to take family portraits. You send a message to the email provided, but, in their reply, the potential client has some odd requests.  

First, the client doesn't want to meet or talk on the phone. He or she only wants to communicate by email.  Second, the family is amazingly flexible with their time. They give you a huge window in which they are available for photos. Finally, there's the biggest red flag of all. The client wants to send you a check for far more than your fee. You are supposed to deposit it and transfer the difference to an "event planner" or other third party. 

Don't take the job! A version of this scam is targeting freelance photographers across the US and Canada. The exact scenario given may change, but the central scam remains the same. If you deposit a fake check, the money will appear to be in your account. But if you transfer the funds before the bank officially clears the check, you are responsible for the difference. 

How to Spot a Freelance Scam

  • Don't fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay a contractor and ask him/her to wire the money elsewhere. This is a common trick used by scammers.
  • Watch out for clients who won't meet in person or talk on the phone. You may be an excellent candidate for a job, but beware of offers made without talking first. Scammers use many excuses to avoid talking, ranging from having surgery, being out of the country or even being hearing impaired. If your "client" will only communicate through email or text message, that's a big red flag.
  • Watch out for bad grammar. Many scams targeting job seekers and freelancers operate overseas. Be wary of help wanted postings and emails written in poor English. 
  • If a job looks suspicious, search for it online. If the result comes up in other cities with the exact same post, it is likely a scam. 

 For More Information

Thanks to the Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut for their work identifying this scam. Learn more about this scam here.

_____________________

The BBB is dedicated to fostering honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers in the U.S. and Canada, instilling consumer confidence and contributing to a trustworthy marketplace for all.

Buying a flood-damaged car could leave you high and dry

Recent storms and flooding plaguing the Midwest and Southeast could impact car buyers across the country. Vehicles damaged by floods in those area can be cleaned up and taken out of state for sale. You might not know a vehicle is damaged until you take a closer look or have a mechanic check it out.Recent storms and flooding plaguing the Midwest and Southeast could impact car buyers across the country. Vehicles damaged by floods in those area can be cleaned up and taken out of state for sale. You might not know a vehicle is damaged until you take a closer look or have a mechanic check it out. Here’s what to do:
  • Look for water stains, mildew, sand or silt under the carpet, floor mats, and dashboard, and in the wheel well where the spare is stored. Look for fogging inside the headlights and taillights.
  • Do a smell test. A heavy aroma of cleaners and disinfectants is a sign that someone's trying to mask a mold or odor problem.
  • Get a vehicle history report. Check a trusted database service. There are reliable services that charge a small fee. The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) free database includes flood damage and other information.
  • Understand the difference between a “salvage title” and a “flood title.” A “salvage title” means the car was declared a total loss by an insurance company because of a serious accident or some other problems. A “flood title” means the car has damage from sitting in water deep enough to fill the engine compartment. The title status is part of a vehicle history report.
  • Have your mechanic inspect the car’s mechanical and electrical components, and systems that contain fluids, for water contamination.
  • Report fraud. If you suspect a dealer is knowingly selling a storm-damaged car or a salvaged vehicle as a good-condition used car, contact your auto insurance company, local law enforcement agency, or the NICB at (800) TEL-NICB (835-6422). You’ll help someone else avoid a rip-off.
If you have other questions about buying a car, these resources can help. __________________ The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the nation’s consumer protection agency. The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace.