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PSE&G Issues Scam Alert : PSE&G phone number spoofed by scammers

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Public Service Electric & Gas is warning New Jersey residents that scammers have spoofed one of its phone numbers in attempts to obtain personal information. On Thursday, PSE&G started receiving a small number of inquiries, with calls escalating during business hours today. Many of the callers were returning missed calls that appear to have been made from a PSE&G phone number.

“If you receive an unexpected call from PSE&G in the next few days, particularly if you are not a PSE&G customer, we encourage you to hang up as it may be a scammer,” said Fred Daum, PSE&G’s executive director of customer operations. “If you have pending business with us, such as an appointment or collection notice, call us back on the number provided on your bill or call our customer service line, 800-436-PSEG (7734) or contact us on our website through MyAccount.”

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Scammers have found a new avenue for defrauding unsuspecting victims: Google Maps

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to  Business Insider,  scammers have found a new avenue for defrauding unsuspecting victims: Google Maps. The Google-run online map service lets users submit changes and corrections to listings – so would-be fraudsters are changing the contact details listed for banks on the app. Then, when unsuspecting bank customers ring up what they think is their financial institution, the scammers extract their private banking details and use it to empty their accounts.

Continue reading Scammers have found a new avenue for defrauding unsuspecting victims: Google Maps

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N.J. Residents Deceived into Paying Scammers via Western Union Can Apply for Compensation from Settlement Fund

IRS Scam

file photo by Boyd Loving

November 19,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced today that New Jersey residents who were deceived into sending payments to scammers using Western Union’s wire transfer service can now apply for compensation from a $586 million fund related to a multi-state settlement with Western Union in which New Jersey participated.

According to Porrino, New Jersey residents may be eligible to receive compensation if they were the victim of a fraud-induced money transfer using Western Union services between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017.

New Jerseyans who reported to Western Union, or to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, that they were the victim of such a scam may soon receive a claim form in the mail. The claim form will be sent from the Settlement Administrator of a related federal settlement within the next two weeks.

The form will contain instructions explaining how consumers may file their claim to receive compensation. Consumers who do not receive a claim form in the mail but believe they may have an eligible claim can visit www.westernunionremission.com or call 1-844-319-2124 for more information on how to file a claim.

Filing a claim is free, so consumers should not pay anyone to file a claim on their behalf.

No one associated with the claims process will call to ask for consumers’ bank account or credit card number. All completed claims forms must be mailed back to the Settlement Administrator by February 12, 2018.

“Unfortunately, con artists use all types of ruses and tall tales to convince people to wire them money – and they sometimes succeed. Some of these ‘send money’ scams may appeal to the target’s humanitarianism or love of family, while others may suggest the would-be victim needs to wire money in order to claim a big sweepstakes prize,” Porrino said.

“The position of the states in this matter was that Western Union must be more vigilant going forward,” Porrino said, “but consumers can protect themselves, too, by exercising great caution in the face of overtures asking that they send money. If a person is being told a loved one is in need or in danger, we urge that he or she proceed with deliberation and make every effort to authenticate the story independently. And if a supposed ‘bargain’ or ‘contest prize’ sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We recommend that they not take the bait.”

Announced by Attorney General Porrino in January 2017, a multi-state settlement with Western Union Company resolved an investigation by the participating states focused on fraud-induced money transfers – specifically, the wiring of money by unwitting consumers to third-party con artists using Western Union’s wire transfer service.

Under the settlement, Colorado-based Western Union was required to develop and put into action a comprehensive anti-fraud program designed to help detect and prevent future incidents in which consumers who are the victims of fraud utilize Western Union to wire money to those defrauding them.

New Jersey was a member of the multi-state Executive Committee that spearheaded the Western Union investigation. Deputy Attorney General Cathleen O’Donnell, assigned to the Division of Law’s Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section, and Division of Consumer Affairs Chief Investigator Laurie Goodman, as well as Investigator/Team Leader Aziza Salikov, handled the Western Union matter on behalf of the State.

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The 5 sneakiest new scams to watch out for right now in 2017

Nigerian scam michael-scott-

Christy Rakoczy, Mic

Aug. 4, 2017, 9:52 PM

Maybe you’re booking your awesome Labor Day vacation. Or you finally got a reply to an email you’ve been waiting for, with package tracking information for a gadget you ordered online. You’re cool to send payment to your Airbnb host, or to follow the link in the “shipping info” email… right?

Well, not so fast. Some scams that have cropped up recently actually mean that if you’re not 100% sure you’re actually booking with a legitimate Airbnb host — or responding to a trustworthy email or text — you could be putting your identity and your computer security at risk. Fraudster trickslike fake student loan relief offersor fake tech support scams have been a problem for awhile, but summer is an extra busy time for scammers, with consumer complaints about new tricks on the rise.

That means it’s especially vital for you to be really careful right now — and part of that is knowing of the newest traps that scam artists are setting to get you to give up personal information, cash or worse.

To help you out, here are five of the newest scams that you’ll want to be sure to avoid in 2017 — ranked from kinda sneaky to downright dastardly.

http://www.businessinsider.com/sneakiest-new-scams-to-watch-out-for-in-2017-2017-8

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How Banks, Other Ridgewood Businesses Can Avoid Becoming Cyber-Crime Victims

bank-of-america_theridgewoodblog

May 7,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Apparently, the heist couldn’t have been any simpler if it had been drawn up in the lunch line at an elementary school cafeteria.

In February, Bangladesh’s central bank saw $81 million disappear out a virtual window. Now it’s been revealed that, although the computer hackers used custom-made malware, they probably didn’t need to work up a cyber sweat while pulling off their long-distance theft. The bank had no firewalls to defend against intruders and its computers were linked to global-financial networks through second-hand routers that cost $10.

“It’s stunning that a major institution would leave itself so defenseless in this day and age when everyone should know that cyber criminals are waiting for you to let your guard down,” says Gary S. Miliefsky, CEO of SnoopWall (www.snoopwall.com), a company that specializes in cyber security.

But he says the episode can serve as a cautionary tale for other banks and any businesses that want to protect themselves against today’s cyber versions of Bonnie and Clyde.

“Most companies have some vulnerability and it doesn’t take a sophisticated attack to cause a security breach,” Miliefsky says. “Often on the hackers’ end of things, it just takes patience.”

For example, he says, a cyber criminal can gain access by sending a company an email with an attachment called a Remote Access Trojan, or RAT, that looks like a normal file. All it takes is for an unsuspecting employee to open that file and, voila, security is compromised.

That’s bad for companies, of course, but it’s also bad for consumers, whose bank account, credit card and other private information is at risk.

Miliefsky says it’s important to go on the offensive. Among his recommendations:

• Employers need to train their staffs. Those employees sitting at their computers each day are a company’s first line of defense. An errant click on the wrong email is like unlocking the front door, so employees should be made aware of the dangers and told what do about suspicious email.
• Companies should routinely update their defenses. Outdated technology and outdated security software make a company’s computers vulnerable to attack. It’s important that businesses periodically review their IT operations to make sure what worked last year still provides the needed security.
• Consumers must take their own safety measures. It would be nice to expect banks and retailers to protect consumer information, but the average person can’t count on that. Miliefsky suggests consumers take personal security measures such as frequently changing passwords and deleting any phone apps they don’t use. Many apps contain malware that can spy on you.

“Most people log onto the internet every day without much thought about how susceptible they are to being hacked,” Miliefsky says. “It takes vigilance to protect yourself against cyber criminals who are working hard to figure their way around security measures.”

About Gary S. Miliefsky

Gary S. Miliefsky is founder of SnoopWall Inc. (www.snoopwall.com), a cutting edge counter-intelligence technology company offering free consumer-based software to secure personal data on cell-phones and tablets, while generating revenues helping banks and government agencies secure their networks. He has been active in the INFOSEC arena, as the Executive Producer of Cyber Defense Magazine and a regular contributor to Hakin9 Magazine.

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McGreevey pushes latest Boondoggle in Paterson

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McGreevey comes to Paterson to defend controversial prison reentry initiative

JANUARY 6, 2016, 9:57 AM    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2016, 10:02 AM
BY JOE MALINCONICO
PATERSON PRESS

PATERSON — Former Gov. Jim McGreevey made a surprise appearance at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting in an attempt to defuse criticism aimed at the new prisoner reentry program he is launching in Paterson.

Speaking to the council members, McGreevey said a similar reentry initiative he oversees in Jersey City has achieved low recidivism rates and high employment among its participants by providing them with counseling, job training and other services to ease their transition to life outside prison.

Then the former governor addressed council members’ concerns about Paterson’s use of municipal public works department employees working overtime to complete renovations on the privately-owned Montgomery Street building where some of the post-prison services will be provided.

McGreevey said the “crazed drive to get this done quickly” stemmed from concerns that the city could lose the $180,000 federal grant paying for the work if it were not completed quickly. McGreevey’s explanation matched the one provided by Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres on Monday. The mayor has said the overtime costs would be covered by the federal grant.

In an interview after his presentation to the council, McGreevey said he expected the program to begin operation in the middle of this month with its first group of 11 to 15 participants. He said that it would serve between 175 and 250 released inmates per year. In an effort to dispel some residents’ concerns that parolees would be living at the Montgomery Street building, McGreevey said the site would only be used during business hours to provide services and referrals.

“I believe we’re changing lives through the process of reentry,” said McGreevey, chairman of the board of the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, the nonprofit organization working on the project.

For the most part, council members seemed to show deference to the former governor as they complimented his efforts. Not until later in the night, long after McGreevey had left the building, did several council members sharply question administration officials about the project

http://www.northjersey.com/news/mcgreevey-comes-to-paterson-to-defend-controversial-prison-reentry-initiative-1.1485818

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Scammers take Ridgewood Resident for $2600

Nigerian scam michael-scott-
September 13,2015
the staff of the Ridggewood blog
Ridgewod NJ, Ridgewood Police report that on Tuesday September 8, 2015 a Godwin Avenue resident reported receiving a solicitation via the United States Postal Service from a health care company offering him/her an employment opportunity.

The victim subsequently received bank checks totaling $2,610 with instructions that he/she was asked to deposit said checks into his/her personal bank account. The victim was then asked to wire funds to a client from the account via a money gram. By the time the checks were determined to be fraudulent the victim had already wired funds from his/her personal account.

This type of fraud has been reported with varying schemes frequently targeting the elderly and unemployed but a new spin has been reported recently targeting college students seeking part time employment. Under no circumstance should you use your personal bank account nor should any legitimate company request you do so to process or covert company monies.

So why do they ask you to wire money – through companies like MoneyGram and Western Union – is like sending cash. Once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. That’s one reason scammers often insist that people wire money, especially to addresses overseas. It’s nearly impossible to reverse the transfer, trace the money, or track the recipients.

Anytime someone ask you to deposit a check its a scam . Scammers ask you to deposit a check for them, and then wire money back to them. The scam is that the check is fake. It will bounce, and you’ll owe your bank the money you withdrew. By law, banks must make the funds from deposited checks available within a few days, but it can take weeks to uncover a fake check. It may seem that the check has cleared and that the money is in your account. But if a check later turns out to be a fake, you’ll owe the bank any money you withdrew.

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Scammers mailing fake arrest warrants to scare victims into payments

Ridgewood _police_theridgewoodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving 

MAY 15, 2015, 8:04 AM
BY MARY DIDUCH
STAFF WRITER |
THE RECORD

The state Division of Consumer Affairs is warning the public about a scam in which con artists are mailing fake arrest warrants issued by the state Attorney General’s Office to intimidate victims into sending money.

In one “arrest warrant” that was sent to a victim, the letterhead states it was issued by the U.S. District Court and that the victim has been charged with criminal violations like “collateral check fraud” and “theft by deception,” the division said in a statement on Thursday.

The letter says the victim faces “a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $24,000” and calls on the victim to pay an “outstanding balance” of $1,876.48. The warrant gives a number with a 609 area code for victims to call to arrange a payment, the division said.

Last month, the division warned that scammers purporting to be representatives of the state Attorney General’s Office were calling victims to demand the payment of nonexistent debts.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/nj-state-news/scammers-mailing-fake-arrest-warrants-to-scare-victims-into-payments-1.1335585