WWL>Topics>>11-12-13 1:10pm Angela: on scams

11-12-13 1:10pm Angela: on scams

Nov 12, 2013|

Angela talks with Michael Anderson of the FBI, Sanettria Pleasant of the Louisiana Attorney General's Office, and Cynthia Albert of the Better Business Bureau, about how to protect yourself from scams.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well you can almost feel that chill in the air and it's a very exciting because it says holidays and fun and -- And we're gonna talk about that at some point but right now we're gonna talk about something near and dear to too many people and that is scams. Just when -- thinks cameras can't come up with another idea on how to get your money another scam is born. I don't know whether I'm more offended by the sheer magnitude of those who live to rip us off. Or the use of their creative sides for such malevolent goals. These characters are without conscience or heart. And strictly wanna steal from me in May be your money or your identity but it is always the criminal mind -- work. We all have to be more and more alert and it's a pain but so is losing money or trying to rich re retrieve your identity. That's why today we're getting the latest from the experts in the world of scams. Michael Anderson's special agent in charge of the local FBI office. Sinatra pleasant the director of the public protection division of the Louisiana attorney general's office. And our dear friend Cynthia Albert vice president of operations. At the Better Business Bureau and ladies and gentlemen I cannot thank you enough for being here we have a lot to cover in the next hour. And I'm going to start with mr. Anderson because I was reading some information you sent and I was just stunned. That they're actually scams using. FBI officials names. And I thought you know that's the ultimate in nerves. Absolutely we have seen that repeatedly over the years where. They will -- -- -- in the -- -- -- -- -- letter -- apartment just -- -- and it will people aren't names mining for example is prominent on our web site so they can identify officials. And they will and the form letters -- extorting people to provide money. Otherwise they're going to be under investigation or even arrested by the FBI which is which is complete nonsense but it strikes fear in the hearts of of people. But to me that would just be some guys sitting home saying OK I'll try to pull this off but do people ever fall for it. Absolutely unfortunately they do and -- what people are doing is the necessary due diligence and in in fact. If you feel latter individual artists steal letter from the FBI or the ire up or any other government agency. Just a couple of media that one's fault phone call. -- -- that that latter and and put people at ease but it is that people feel that. That pressure to respond immediately because in every one of these letters of course there's a very tight deadline for people to respond. And that's these these structures. They rely on. The kind of pressure tactics to prevent people from kind of gathering their thoughts and doing the necessary follow to determine the letters and -- real. And of course they're also appealing to people who have a conscience so -- will quickly. Tried to do something to respond. Let's go on to I thought this is very interesting as well they increase an on line fraudulent gun sales. Absolutely. In the in fact the when you when he saw the. The other White House -- term for Republicans to two democratic leadership battle alone and people -- many in the media reports of concerns and fears that that. That that gun rights -- taken away in the -- Second Amendment was under attack. And that can -- second parallel national action or can be an off year election and so that is the -- perfect environment for people who also used. That as a ploy to get people two prod people into buying buying weapons. And again creating -- sense of urgency. To do so. So extortion scam -- this is scary to me. Up I'm I'm sorry the sex -- This is where. They -- -- won the media web sites and and say to the subject. Let's take pictures. And then they -- In essence. And say ninety payments sent to your follow. Oh yes yes I'm sorry I'm sorry yes absolutely you're seeing that to the with that with the ability with social media exploding like it is going to be able to. Anyone to be able to capture pictures at any time in the all the sites whether -- FaceBook or Twitter. Or YouTube. That has also been very prevalent. Scheme that's happening and in fact even hand people that will. Purport or put themselves about it saying that they can help. Or they will extort people that they are claiming or her cheating on their spouses and use that in an effort to get money on people. Well the first rule of thumb is don't take a picture of any part of your body that you don't want out there. But the idea that somebody -- -- actresses. On re. Let's go 12 and this is sort of outline to and I recently read an article on this. Mug shots and these are people who. Have broken the law before or were arrested for something and mug shots were taken and it might have been twenty years ago. And they've cleaned up -- life -- living in good life and comes back to haunt them. Have absolutely that is another. Way where. Structures will fall prey on the vulnerable and they won't go back in time in history. And now with again with the explosion on the Internet and in the information age all the information. -- can be easily access -- -- -- -- but even I think it was back for years and so all the skeletons in the closet. Can come out and it's all about. Again it's all about extortion. And bring down on people there multiple and so yes that is another scheme sourcing. What would you say. Is the worst that you come across. I would probably have to say. Eight teams that are relating to charity in charitable causes. One of the things that that we have seen and unfortunately a number of occasions where. People will calm. Create phony charities whether -- for breast cancer war or or or -- like hours. Saving children from from hunger overseas. And they will develop the charity -- bogus charity and help people are preying on. That they're preying on people's goodwill could give doubles titles charities. And especially depending on how much work they've done with it in now how much affront they can create. It can it can result in in thousands hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. And it even has come to the point where. People will go these structures will go public and they will even use the media to promote these charities when in fact at all all a hoax. So you're not talking just about people who make up a website to talk that people who do fliers are. Literally be standing in a mall trying to collect money that kind of thing. That's right including fundraisers. Online consultations. On. And again and media outreach. Aren't you sometimes. -- curious about because some of these can be very creative and always think great creative minds want to doing something. With real purpose rather than something is negative as this. That they used their creative side for such it really evil. That's right and I think it. It -- boils down to what. Has the best cover for a lot of these camps is for people perceive as the -- I'm likely scenario. Meaning he is trying to use the FBI are using charitable cause it's the people's initial reaction. Is that -- is something like that is that it is legitimate. And so. I think that is where these individuals will will go to first is trying to use of the platform the most legitimate tie. Type of organization one that will target. The most of at people's heart strings and use that as a starting point. We'll stay with this when we come back we're going to be talking to -- from plus and the director of public protection division. Of the Louisiana attorney general's office and believe me they have some cases -- we'll be right back this is Angela on that we -- do well. -- have you ever been scammed or even been close to being scammed would love to hear from -- call 2601878. Or 8668890870. We have the experts here do you head of the FBI we also have the one of the vice presidents of -- are not vice president's one of the people who now works with the attorney general's office. And that's really who live heard a lot of people complained. Two when they are being sort of attacked by these spammers and I would like to ask our guests missed pleasant. You know the 11 of the ones that you sent actually experienced and this was over about a two week period I would come home from work on my. Telephone answering machine would be. Kind of a creepy voice it was a rough sounding guy saying that I. I was eligible for this. You know when he's alert that you Wear around your neck and it was his. The way he phrased because I kept listening to that was in other words I know you've called about this -- so now we're gonna call you with. Why are you calling us back -- it was it was bad and I probably should have done more work and called your office. But I know that's one of the ones that your your wanting to talk about. Yet. We noticed that crimes. Of opportunity are what define -- -- are fraught. His attorney general buddy Caldwell likes to empower consumers and citizens to shut the door on camera before they can even act. And the medical alert. Are not only I'm not playing but they are able to convince some people -- your personal information over the and latest scam works is that someone that you you know a file called it. He did not act in the call are asked for any additional information but they calling toll -- use are eligible to receive. A free medical alert device. And and if he'd continue to live and our answer questions oppressed for certain but he's either and instructed to an 88 met. Easily be Larry and federal express that are union western union. On the wiring money you receive this free device there on the to tip off if they're at speed and Manny is therefore it really isn't free if you're -- -- -- ninety. But the camera is able to gain information from me concerning your credit account number or your bank account number he says security number. And I guess I would ask is both of you and mr. Anderson how do you catch these people. Well it's really difficult to catch these people because they do something called thirteen where they will use a -- -- -- -- company op and I'm able to -- a legitimate pain that they're really not a real company are similarly sounding name is found here legitimate. And -- have a outnumbered that looks like it's prom CDR. Talent in the United States when actual reality on the outside of the country. But it always be aware of the information on your collar -- don't ever trust that because cameras have technology. -- display -- fake number -- a fake names a lot of times you know you're killing way. But the attorney general Ali invited people to just hang up on the -- Now pressing buttons and county -- media information because once he pressed the button or give information they've actually even now they. That year financially affirmation and -- and bird it ever eaten and your bank account. What about these 51 hole I thought robo calls were against the law unless it was a politician. And yet today I got one that was about credit cards. So they sneak in and just thinking that I'm not gonna take the time to call either you were the FBI to stop it. That's correct attorney general column gets thousands of calls each day about this particular practices that mentioned earlier -- -- he caller ID information and it's. Virtually impossible. Or even Aaron I T specialists in Hampshire and FBI counter this same problem and it actually tracking down near origination of these types of calls. It's really tricky to catch these people but attacked count called volley inside his people to Egypt hang up -- -- -- -- -- -- -- needed to land in. Hang up on him and -- -- the preacher remain on the do not count Reggie -- with the Federal Trade Commission the people stay Abu. Hours upon hours and to be vigilant in -- up on the -- people and not in them opportunities take it and agent. Well I play another one that perhaps taps into all of our greed. But is the sweepstakes. You know you've won -- one something. He gets that. Debate Wednesday on the topic of the attorney general encounter as a customer received. I noticed an email in email are even on cost -- you've won a rather large -- on ninety and in order to -- -- year. You know grandpa that he must indeed and nine -- a check or credit card information bank account information. To pay taxes or me on your win. And as age and Anderson mentioned earlier eighties urgency with a lot of these scams and telling you that. He's got to act right away you're within three days in -- judiciary you're planning. It is always I am -- legitimately win and something's. You're not going to be that they gave -- my need taxes get taken out of your winnings before you actually get them. I get. -- get off on this particular scam that. He -- filled -- an entry armor he never entered a contest or sweepstakes they'll always be aware of these. And they are scams -- there -- leave for up front nine particularly he'd be never entered a contest. I know for both on mr. Anderson and yourself that the young. The payday loan issue is a growing one. Idiot that said statewide and nationwide problem. Isn't necessarily -- hand because a lot of these payday lenders are operating within the confines. A state and federal law but the -- that -- the -- and the inability of the borrowers to pay off their loans are very problematic. And I -- the most troubling thing about is is that our low income consumers. And military personnel are often targets the predatory and many practice is a payday lending. Institutions. Mister Anderson -- I know that was on your list of concerns too and that time but somehow they can access. People's Bank accounts. Absolutely I mean what's the with that the predatory -- it goes on and. That's going on out there that you we are seeing that the bad information has -- pilfered. On a daily basis. And so bad that results and all sorts identity theft and credit card fraud. And and and the like so I think that is again part of and -- an unfortunate byproduct apart from functioning. But if if if I'd go get a payday loans. And I'm fine having difficulty paying about how can they get into my checking account. Well I think it did it depends on what kind of information you're providing to get the paid -- That would have to come from me that no other way they could get it. Well more than likely it's gonna come that way but I. It's it's amazing how. All these guys can they can cap and all sorts of accounts even even account but -- of people that they are not dealing with directly. Okay well again I want I appreciate both of you being here please stay with this we're gonna continue. Our talk about scams. Now let's join the newsroom and Chris Miller. -- were talking about scams and how not to be scam to what to look out for but also. In essence were talking with the various agencies that work on these things. We do have a caller Steve from the North Shore Steve you have a question about it. The attorney general. Collected you know. Like why don't be attorney general law can't -- complaint. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- People are correct charity. And are well you know a lawyer or ski other lawyers then our attorney general -- without a major role. She. Actually. You know an epochal -- Why don't -- or. Yes and he can blame at brands and our State Capitol. There. The Louisiana line. The attorney general Ali has authority or jurisdiction over matters that are expressly eighties in the law. Is currently on this matter allowed the attorney general's office to regulate. Com are linked in any campaign day in governed by another entity that liars and be -- as Supreme Court and -- Louisiana. And doctors the medical board. Do. If you want a lot -- you have to talk to your legislators but that's the main reason why the attorney general's office. He's not able she's. Handle complaints because there are other agencies that alive are in. Charged with -- Let me ask you mr. Anderson. On that very subject when there anytime that one would call the FBI. I'm like yes if you have a situation where what they get an attorney that is embezzling. Points on. And that is something that -- defrauding -- involving attorneys and doctors or other professionals. Then now that is something that the FBI can can look at. Now we have to we you have to work with in certain monetary structural but but by and large we take good hard look at that could possibly. Deal thirsty local counterparts of -- something that we could investigate. OK Steve I hope that answered your question. But going back to some other kinds of scams. Mr. -- new head gift cards and this is a really bothersome because I think more and more people frankly are giving gift cards as Christmas gifts or birthday gifts. That's right I think the big gift card industry is is -- exploding over the years as a result. You don't fractures are going to look at what we're making. Can see the most volume and big gift card industry is this just exploded over the last few years. And so that is gonna again be another platform for them. To use especially during the holiday season but now -- Carter. Are are so prevalent in you know throughout the year. I. Do appreciate being here with a better this year. On the subject to gift cards as we roll Christmas. -- about donating cherry. Absolutely Angela. This is something man actually during the holidays for the holidays and so electorate is an instant like it's Philippines typhoon in we always hear. There's always focused -- Here. And we've really have to be careful and weaknesses. Differentiate. Well we do have. Wise giving alliance part of the council of better business news. And you can go in deadbeat deadbeat -- it got dear god or enhancements that is part of -- and you can just go in tied at the end. It should give you if there is a report. The main thing is how much can sneak contribution will go to the call it's you know in so many cases it might be 10%. Or might be completely. It's. In and that's the case when Gooden comes along. Most of us don't have enough money to contribute to the good ones that we -- a funnel money into legitimate lines and things -- part where. Always the Red Cross the rise will -- And they have a we have gotten some emails on and it and it's just like after Hurricane Katrina. In -- -- instantly pop up. Very quickly because they don't give saint. They -- pitchers in the mood for giving or charitable and they wanna get that money as quickly as possible. -- -- Yeah. We've been gang calls from individuals saying it in in some cases by the way they of people and very frightened. They used to scare tactics. They say they aren't with our aunts and they're telling people that they whom. And you know most people don't recollect that they do but the frightening -- the cause of the things hurt him. They're actually telling people that they will be rest. If they don't send this money in right away in the strange part about it they went in to wired money which is the worst possible way that she can do. Because that's the law enforcement really keen tracked it down it's more -- account and in most cases this is going out of the country. We have so many schemes that are out of the country it is just unbelievable. And indeed it's going to be hard to track and things. That -- the person. Just all the information. Which. Now. But you can get -- -- people act that way. You know I mean you can -- and -- happen it probably mauled body again and what we tell people is if you you know you listen to the first few sentences. And just -- I believe the the young ladies and it just hang there is no crime and hang in -- and it is much edited do there at the beginning skinny and okay we're going to take. Its colors. Appreciate state with again this is on -- Our guest today Michael Anderson with the FBI synutra pleasant. With the attorney general's office and our wonderful friend from the BBB. We have a caller Jerry. Wanted to question to the FBI. Yes sort of city mayor -- -- -- aren't you know reference to England or other overseas. Which article recently. That some interest in people of course it would work. And I taught law enforcement and basically get those calls well I'm -- with a question it. Locally -- United States. Is extreme but overall I'm in the world they're teaching program and other entitlement programs which people think they deserve. That is not what's in the news and abusing. Locally we talk to people say it's not much you can do they work on what. CNET you know we have detect these technologies. Is like someone can stop this local scheming. For a piece of the -- will say now that can be used for people who -- -- -- each program and show the medical thing that. So I'm just curious you know and partly. In the -- something done about it's not all is seen them do their. You know our whole country and people. Is that -- matter of her view is we're really what you -- asking. While like Anderson up. I would say is often times. What may look like a purely local stadium still has an effect an overseas. That. What what these guys will do they will try to make they'll try to localize that calm to bring it close to home. But when in fact if you peel back the -- you know we do the investigation. Ultimately -- -- overseas. And to their. Two challenges going overseas as one being able could just identify individual in the first place and then to extradition. The problem is most white collar crime and as egregious instances and how it affects people. In their pocketbooks and can destroy lives. These types the types of crimes are generally not extradite. Unless -- at such an unbelievable magnitude insult. What -- but what I will say though is if we can if it is true purely local scheme then yes we do have all the tools of the trade to identify who those individuals are. In intact -- cyber intrusions. Folks. Work those common type of cases all the time and and it had some success with them the only problem as we what we start off. As it appears to -- a localized issue ultimately it does more times than not and and that overseas. Okay. Let's go to Sean. -- -- Yes she had a comment. Now earlier they talk more like they're talking about aboard and how -- -- like -- -- -- -- you know government different professional organizations and understand I'm a social worker and my understanding is like my professional board can handle certain things that house like let's say like my code of conduct -- extinct like. But it on the violation of the law. I'm pretty likened in the complaint that's out popcorn is pretty much has pretty much guaranteed about you know attorney general officer. You are appropriations. You know. Okay I see -- -- saying so what -- plus it was saying is there's only so much they can do it as the attorney general's office but you're saying. Even though goes to a board -- May end up but the attorney -- yeah. You know like it's -- like to rectify the plot -- My guess Tuesday dispatch has been and what my board. But it violates somebody's -- the right so it's not just gonna go about sport spirit there there are other there's going to be like. Legal repercussions -- -- dignity at all. -- -- my documentation and our mind actually quite ethnically my orders -- power to handle that they could make me start my supervision all over again they could pick I liked the way. By that there's a lot has been broken. And were damaged some pretty much Garret keep an -- to go for a judge. -- thank you very much on for calling him back to the better visitor we have coming up Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- super shopping days. What -- what -- -- be looking for. Will attain that is the Supachai hoping to hate Black Friday. We always get complaints they have to -- In their -- tips to watch out for you know what we always say knowledge is power if you know about it you probably won't -- skiing and you want to read the fine print of an advertisement we hear about this every year. That people don't do that and it may be in tiny print limited quantity. Now last year where I heard we heard about a case that the person was second in line. And they hit it sold out well I'm sorry that doesn't -- So they. Going -- as they report to the sympathizer but that didn't work so they came to us. We do -- ever advertising review department that we can contact -- net so. Don't feel shy about contacting us because we are your BBB we're here to serve you in the trying to help and you're. The best stay with -- gonna continually talk on scams and we have a question for the FBI about ransom where. -- -- -- -- I'm forever grateful to Michael Anderson with the FBI Sydney throughout pleasant with the attorney general's office. And Cynthia -- we're talking about scams and mr. Anderson this is another one that uses the FBI logo which again sort of floors me. But it's this ransom where where they get into your computer. But that's right where people get get messages either from. FBI fire department of homeland security and masters extorting. Extorting money. And threatening to. Two -- malware or are viruses on your computer. And it's. We've seen -- ways where they they are actually threatening to do it -- and and will do it or they're simply threatening to do it -- for an exchange for money. And again and he they -- thrive on a sense of urgency here and to coax people into acting. And two and and also walk them through various key stroking that will. Might. Might reveal more personal identifying information. And and get -- -- people even more subject to fraud. Literally I'm looking in my Internet and all of a sudden I think pops up FBI saying you're looking at child porn which it did not happen. And that's where it begins and you should mainly just turned turned the thing off. That's right you should and you should contact. Contact the FBI and in fact. We have just in the past in the past year. Prior to the director Mueller leaving office we stood up cyber task forces so it's not just the FBI. The Secret Service our homeland security and our state and local partners that can they can help individuals if they are subjected to those types of things. Michael Anderson thank you so much for all of your time and help today and one final question for Cynthia Albert. Health care system changing a lot of people confuse yes what's happened. Okay yes indeed they are confused of one thing that you have to remember is that. Government officials will not call you and asking for personal financial information do not give it over the telephone thing for security now now on Medicare number and they'll tell you that they gonna give you new Medicare card. This is not true give us a call will be happy come to you reenact thank each and every one -- you appreciate all of this. Now let's join Chris Miller in the newsroom.