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Internet And Email Fraud
Don’t enter secure websites (ie. bank accounts, credit card accounts, online shopping accts, etc.) from a “WiFi Hotspot” (restaurant, coffee shop etc.) because there is in a increased chance of someone obtaining your account login information. Your information can then be used to make fraudulent charges and/or transfer money from your accounts to suspect(s) accounts.
Craigslist, eBay, Amazon and other online sale/purchase websites
There is a lot of attempted fraud on these websites and very little protection for potential customers.
  1. NEVER rent or purchase a home based on these types of ads alone, you MUST make sure you are dealing with a Realtor and/or the home owner. Victims have even met with the suspect at the rental home and still been scammed. Use public records (Clerk of the Court, Tax Collector and Property Appraiser) to determine the current owner and address that the tax bill is sent and by searching the owners name in the Clerk of Court website you can determine if the home is in foreclosure. A “Lis Pendens” filed on a property means there is pending legal action, most likely a foreclosure.
  2. NEVER accept more than the purchase price and then send the remaining balance to the suspect or any other 3rd party. This is very common and 100% of the time this is fraudulent activity. (The excuses range from: The extra money is for shipping, or I already obtained the money order/cashier check so just send me the difference, or send the difference to a shipping company they will respond to your house to pick up the item.) Once you cash a fraudulent payment item, of any kind, and you send the money to anyone you WILL NOT get it back. Once the bank determines that payment was fraud they will REQUIRE you to pay it back even though you are a VICTIM!
  3. If you are purchasing an item via the Internet and receive an e-mail that appears to come from a known legitimate online auction/merchant use caution. 1) Did you actually log into that website to locate and purchase the item? If not it might be fraud. 2) If you were dealing with someone via any online method and they send you an invoice that appears to come from a legitimate online merchant DO NOT send money unless you confirm that the online invoice is legitimate. The only way to do this it to contact the online merchant (via a known website and/or phone number) to confirm the invoice. Suspects will include links and/or phone numbers in the fake invoice that will lead you to their own fraudulent website and phones. They will then confirm the fraudulent order. It is IMPORTANT that you use known trusted sources to contact the company instead of the using the information sent by the suspect. Suspects are able to send invoices, links and information that is identical to the true company while trying to trick you. DON’T FALL FOR IT!!
ONLINE JOBS/RESUME’
When you post a resume’ online be cautious of online job offers specifically but not limited to: online payment processors, secret shoppers, package re-shipping

These jobs are highly likely fraudulent and can result in YOUR arrest in cases where it is obvious you KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN you were committing fraudulent activity.

These jobs usually require you to receive items and/or payments of various types. You keep 10% (or any pre-determined amount) and then forward the remainder of the money or the packages to a person and/or location they provide. COMMON SENSE should be applied in these situations. If all that is required is to forward a payment why would it be worth paying you a percentage? The payment can be submitted to proper person as easily as it is sent to YOU. This is a commonly occurring scheme in HERNANDO COUNTY and has resulted in the arrest of several residents. The suspect is ALWAYS outside of the USA and can never be arrested.

RED FLAGS TO THIS SCAM:
  1. When re-shipping the common method is using Fed-Ex accounts of various businesses. If the business does not match the check and/or YOUR alleged employer THIS SHOULD CONCERN YOU! A common method for international scammers is to use the known business shipping account(s) of companies to ship items in these scams at NO COST to them.
  2. If the item is being shipped to you, why couldn’t it be shipped straight to the ALLEGED customer? The suspect in these cases is making the purchase using stolen credit cards and/or other fraudulent methods and having them shipped directly to you to avoid getting caught. Most online retailers will not ship directly over seas, or shipping overseas causes them to look further and discover the fraud before losing merchandise. By shipping to YOU the merchant is more likely to approve the transaction and then the suspect uses YOU to ship the item(s) to them or their criminal associates. It is not unlikely to have several RE-SHIPPERS and have a package shipped 2 or 3 times within the US before sending it overseas. This helps to conceal and/or slow law enforcement from tracking the package(s).
  3. What about the payment(s) requires YOU to handle it? In most cases there is no legitimate reason for YOU to handle the payment. The reason they want YOU to handle it is because once you deposit it into your account and then send the money YOU get stuck paying the bank back when the fraudulent payment is discovered. They make it appear lucrative to you by paying you 10% of the total however in the end YOU end up paying back 100% of the loss and/or getting arrested.
  4. What company would hire you without meeting with you in person, and/or making sure that you have an extensive background in accounting to handle large payment transactions? IN THE END YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT ENDS UP PAYING FOR THESE FRAUDS.
  5. These scammers use VOIP (Internet phone) which appears, by caller ID, to be coming from within the USA sometimes even from Hernando County. YOU CANNOT TRUST CALLER ID EVER. There are many ways to change and/or conceal caller ID. A free website http://www.fonefinder.net/ allows you to identify the company that owns a phone number.
E-MAIL
If you get an e-mail from someone you DO NOT know referring to winning anything especially lottery and sweepstakes, found money/property that you are entitled to, large inheritance from a family member, ways to earn large sums of money BE VERY CAUTIOUS!

These scams are sent via e-mail to residents of Hernando County by the tens of thousands every single day! These scammers send out millions of e-mails regularly in hopes of just finding one or two people that are NAÏVE enough to fall for this. DON’T BE ONE OF THEM!

Depending on the e-mail provider there are various ways to check the IP address that these e-mails originate from. One method to dismiss these e-mails is to obtain the “originating IP address” from your “e-mail header” and using free internet tools to identify the origin of the e-mail based on the IP address. This is not a guarantee and you should not respond to or entertain these e-mails regardless however using these simple instructions you can discover for yourself that the e-mail most likely came from outside of the USA.

The most commonly used free e-mail providers are hotmail and yahoo. These instructions will show you how to read an e-mail header and locate the IP address, then how to trace the IP address.
At the ARIN database just put the IP address in the top right corner “search whois RWS” box and hit enter.

Reporting Internet fraud can be done online at www.ic3.gov

There are extensive websites that can be used to research fraud some of which have been listed on the main fraud page of this website at the lower left corner. The links are labeled “Recommended links for you”.

This is a good start, I will think of more but for now please post this information in any format you see fit with any pics/icons/graphics etc that you think will make it look good.
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