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Scam watch: Work-at-home jobs, fake lawyers, voicemail

September 16, 2012|By Stuart Pfeifer
  • Many scams are spread through the Internet.
Many scams are spread through the Internet. (Adam Berry/Getty Images )

Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for.

Work-at-home – The Federal Trade Commission is repaying $2.3 million to consumers who were defrauded in an Internet work-at-home scheme. A firm that marketed jobs with the “Google Money Tree” charged a shipping fee for training materials and then added unexpected monthly charges to consumers’ credit cards, the FTC said. However, the company was not affiliated with Google Inc. and their work-at-home product did not provide a method for earning the income promised, the FTC alleged. More than 90,000 victims will receive payments of about $25 each under a settlement with the marketing firm, the FTC said.

Lawyers impersonated – The FBI is warning attorneys to be on alert for a scam in which attorneys’ identities are used in websites that defraud people seeking legal services. In one case, the identity of a retired Texas lawyer, who had not practiced in several years, was used to set up a fake law firm website using the attorney’s name, former office address and biography, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, which is a partnership of the FBI and National White Collar Crime Center.

Voicemail scam – U.S. residents have been victimized by emails that claim to include links to voicemails, but instead can lead to harmful software being installed on their computers, the Better Business Bureau said in a recent alert. The emails inform recipients that they have received voicemails that can be heard by clicking a link. Instead, victims are directed to a website through which harmful software, or malware, will be installed on their computer to search for banking or credit card information, the BBB said. Anyone who receives such an email should not click on the link, the BBB said.

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