FBI Warns of Internet Extortion Scams During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned that they have seen a number of of reports of online extortion scams during the current “stay-at-home” orders due to the COVID-19 crisis. These scams have been around for a long time but because most of the population is staying at more and using their email and internet to communicate they are seeing an increase in the number of online extortion scams.
The fraudsters are emailing users that they are to release sexually explicit photos and/or videos to friends and family if they do not pay them money. Scammers will adapt their schemes to capitalize on current events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and other high profile new stories.
The FBI warns that many of these emails have similar characteristics. Please read below for just a few of the similarities.
  • The email comes from an unknown party and is often written in broken English with grammatical errors.
  • Some of the recipient’s personal information (such as a user name or password) is provided in the e-mail or letter to make the threat more intimidating.
  • The recipient is accused of something that would put them in a compromising situation if it got out, like visiting adult websites.
You can the whole Press Release from the FBI here.

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I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.

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Avoiding COVID-19 Scams

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IRS stimulus check scam warning: Don’t answer calls, texts …

The US government isn’t calling about your stimulus check

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3 Rules to Help Avoid IRS Scams This Tax Season

Don’t let fraudsters add to your filing stress

This article was originally posted on AARP

In the long list of Adult Things That Aren’t Fun, filing your taxes is pretty close to the top. Even worse is getting ripped off in a tax scam.

If you want to safeguard your money

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‘Free’ DNA Testing Used to Scam Medicare Recipients

States sound alarm about fraudsters urging cancer screenings.

This article was posted on AARP.

Jerry Armstrong, an IBM retiree in mountain-fringed Sonora, Calif., got a phone call out of the blue.

Did he have any direct relatives who had cancer, and would he like a free DNA test that would reveal his propensity for the disease?

Armstrong, 76, whose mother, sister and daughter suffered from cancer, never suspected that the call could be a scam.

The Californian, who was a U.S. Air Force medic in Vietnam and spent 25 years with IBM before retiring as a senior buyer, was keen to take the test.

So he gave the caller,

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$1.2 Billion Medicare Fraud – Stay Alert!

This article was shared by Age Options
As we have discussed in past Fraud Alerts, Durable Medical Equipment (DME) fraud is one the biggest scams we see in Illinois. Earlier this month, the Office of Inspector General with the help of the FBI, IRS, and other federal agencies announced federal indictments against individuals allegedly involved in DME fraud. Additionally, the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) took action against 130 medical equipment companies.
According to these indictments, international call centers were used to up-sell or give “free” braces to beneficiaries regardless if they needed them. These call centers then allegedly gave kickbacks to telemedicine companies for the DME orders. The telemedicine companies then would allegedly pay doctors to write medically unnecessary DME orders. Doctors are needed to sign off on the orders in order for Medicare to pay for the braces.
You can read the whole article and more details about this scam and indictments from the U.S. Department of Justice here.
Remember, Medicare will never call you, and you should only give your Medicare card number out to your doctors or providers. If you have received one of these phone calls and have given out any information, you can report this with the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions at (800)699-9043.
This report from CBS 2 Chicago, showcases the stories of two beneficiaries in Illinois whose Medicare accounts were billed for braces that they did not need. CBS 2 Chicago aired this story when they reported the recent federal indictments, you can read the whole story

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5 Ways Medicare Theft Affects You Directly

How scam artists steal from you…


Practices such as phantom billing, which means charging Medicare for services not delivered, leaves money in the hands of fraudsters.

Medicare fraudsters steal billions from the system and they can also have a direct impact on your wallet and medical records.

  • Medical identity theft
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