A couple of Niners fans have been screwed out of almost $6,000 after they thought they were buying legitimate Superbowl XLVII tickets. The scam itself wasn’t unusual, but this ticket scam had a bit of a twist.
It goes without saying that tickets to the Superbowl are hotly pursued in the weeks leading up to the big game. And ticket scammers are fully aware of that, taking to sites like Craigslist to hock their would-be seats at the Superdome in New Orleans.
It was, indeed, an ad on Craigslist that Hayward, California couple Sharon Osgood and her boyfriend responded to when they agreed to wire $5,900 cross-country for four 49ers-Ravens tickets. After all, the seller had even spoken with them live on the phone, telling them he had to skip the game due to his wife being eight months pregnant. So they went ahead.
Here’s the twist: what they received in return for their money wire, however, was a picture of quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Joe Flacco with a note underneath that said: “Enjoy the game!!!! Go Ravens!!! LOL”.
The fact that they received anything at all is really quite unusual as scams go.
According to the Mercury News, Osgood was quoted as saying, “I’m just sick—like, physically sick. All over the envelope it says ‘go Ravens’ —even on the FedEx label.” (Undoubtedly, she is also sick over the loss of close to $6,000—but clearly, in the immediate aftermath of the scam, her loyalty to the 49ers must have outweighed her disgust and anger over being duped and losing the money…)
The News goes on to report that, undaunted by their loss, Osgood and her boyfriend plan on still trekking to New Orleans—in their RV—for the game, even if it means they’ll wind up watching the game from a bar on Bourbon Street.
But there’s more—a follow-up twist: it seems after reports of this scam got out, the News reported that Nathan Hubbard, CEO at Ticketmaster, offered Osgood four free tickets to the game—and a breakfast with Troy Aikman.
Additionally, Osgood heard from the 49ers front office—they offered a free ticket as well.
In some way, all’s well that ends well when the ending you want is tickets to the Superbowl. Osgood is still out the $5,900; a police report has been filed but whether the scamming perp will be caught is anyone’s guess.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently shared some tips for job hunters who need to be on the lookout for job scams. Seems one person’s economic woes are another person’s opportunity—as typically is the case with scams or internet fraud of any sort. Here are some of the more frequently seen job scam tactics to watch out for:
1. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes. A number of scams originate from outside the U.S. in locations where English isn’t necessarily the first language. Needless to say, if there’s one situation where spelling is key, it’s on the job hunt, and any correspondence with misspells or lousy grammar should raise a red flag.
2. “Problems with Your Job Site Account”. Most job hunters nowadays have profiles on the major job search sites—like Monster.com for example. Scammers know this and send phishing emails—that claim to be from the job search site—stating that there’s a problem with your account. In order to fix the problem, the email sends the job hunter to a link that ultimately installs a virus or malware on his computer.
3. Got the Job Minus the Interview. Or minus any real experience. Wouldn’t that be nice, eh? Unfortunately, after being told “you’ve got the job”, the job seeker is contacted by the would-be employer—by phone or email—who asks for the would-be new hire’s social security number and/or bank account numbers. The BBB warns that you should never provide such info to an employer over the phone or by email.
4. Work from Home! And get rich while you’re at it, right? It’s a dream gig—especially for work-at-home moms, the disabled, seniors or students—and it sounds enticing. But as the adage goes…if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Best thing to do? Check out the company with the local BBB.
5. Asking for Money Upfront. Unless you’re investing in some start-up somehow, the idea of employment is that the employer pays the employee; not the other way around. This includes things like being asked to pay for a background check. A corollary to this is the MoneyGram or Western Union request—if anyone asks you to send money via MoneyGram or Western Union in any way, shape or form, it should raise a red flag.
Should you encounter a job scam or internet fraud, be sure to report it to the BBB.
Heard there’s a new federal program that’ll pay your utility bills? Well, hundreds of utility customers in New York City and undoubtedly thousands more across the nation have been receiving phone calls and fliers—some even text messages—claiming that President Obama will pick up the tab on their utility bills. Apparently he’ll do this by giving customers credits or by actually paying the utility bill.
Talk about spirit of generosity coming off of that Obamacare win! (“win” being relative to which side of the political fence you’re on…)
Unfortunately, it’s not true.
No, President Obama is not offering to pay your utility bills. Nor are the legislative or judicial branches of our government. It’s a utilities scam and you, dear citizen, will have to retain the glorious honor of paying your bill.
Here’s how the ‘Obama Pays Your Utility Bill” scam works:
Utilities customers are contacted by the scammer. They’re told that President Obama is offering to pay their utility bills as part of a new federal program.
To participate, customers are told all they have to do is provide their social security and band routing numbers. The scammer then provides a fake bank routing number that will purportedly be used to pay their utility bills.
Needless to say, there is no bank account with any money that will pay the utility bill.
And guess who’s credit is affected when the utility bills are late or unpaid? The customer.
Meanwhile, the scammer has the information he needs to drain your real bank account and then some.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) provides the following tips to avoid falling for the utility bill payment scam: