Debt Consolidation Scams
Gulf Street Advisors appears to be part of a debt consolidation scam.
Gulf Street Advisors, Snowbird Partners, Brice Capital, Old Dominion Associates, Sooner Partners, and Memphis Associates have been flooding the market with debt consolidation and personal loan offers in the mail.
The problem is that the terms and conditions are at the very least confusing, and possibly even suspect. The interest rates are so low that you would have to have near-perfect credit to be approved for one of their offers.
We all try to do our best not to do anything that might endanger our friends and family. Whenever we find out about a new illness or a criminal that is still to be caught, we spend a significant amount of time worrying about whether those we love are safe from the threats.
Whether that means encouraging everyone to wear a mask—such as in the pandemic, or asking everyone to stay indoors until the coast is clear—we do what we can to protect the ones closest to us.
However, a common threat that many people don’t think to discuss with their friends and family exists in the least suspicious of places. Someone might receive an email or text which puts them in harm’s way—and without proper knowledge of the various kinds of scams—could make their confidential information available for hackers and fraudulent schemes.
With the pandemic still ongoing, the kinds of scams that scammers are coming up with are now more expansive and harder to detect. That’s why it’s important to have an idea of the common scams to keep your family safe from so you can educate them on what is safe and what is suspicious behavior.
Here are some of the most common tactics being used to steal your money and information today.
Many people have suffered from either unemployment or are living in fear of being laid off by their employers. Many others have also had to deal with pay cuts and the loss of many privileges because the organization they work for cannot afford to offer them anymore.
This means that scams related to unemployment are affecting not only people at an individual level, but organizations that cater to those that are unemployed.
An example of this is unknown people sending in applications regarding their unemployment and requesting benefits using the name and information of an unaware person such as yourself or a friend or family member. If successful, the department of employment security will transfer the necessary amount into an account provided by the scammer, all the while believing the applicant to be someone else.
To deal with such scams, warn your friends and family to notify their workplace as soon as possible if they get a notice stating that they have applied for unemployment benefits. The chances are high that someone has received the money under your friend or family’s name. Your workplace can then work with you to contact law enforcement and sort the matter out.
Fake Federal Agent or Officer
Another way to be scammed is through a fake federal agent or officer showing up at your doorstep or contacting you through an email or phone call. They may state that you or a loved one has arrest warrants or legal issues that need to be addressed on an immediate basis.
They will support their claims by having proper reports and notices which they’ve crafted to convince you that they are authentic. An officer will then ask you to send them a certain amount of money in order to receive their advice regarding the legal matter so that they can help you navigate out of it.
For those who are unfamiliar about how officers contact civilians, it is important to know that an official from the government will never call someone to ask them for their private and confidential information, nor will the request that you transfer money to them in any way.
If you do receive an email or phone call such as this, you should call you’re the agency that the individual claims to be from on a number that is verified and let them know that someone is attempting to scam you into transferring them money.
Warnings That Your Account Has Been Hacked
Another strategy that scammers are using is calling or emailing you to notify you that your Apple, Google, or Amazon account has been hacked. They’ll inform you that you need to pay them a certain amount of money and ask for your password, username, and other confidential information to secure your account again.
An important tip to remember that is that any employees calling you on behalf of any organization will not request you to tell them private information about your account. They also will not ask you to transfer money, especially through Cash App, Western Union, Venmo, and PayPal, to name a few.
To be extra sure, you can contact the organization through a legitimate phone number or email and confirm that the person contacting you was indeed a hacker.
Fake Deals on eBay and Facebook
Another common way of getting scammed is through Facebook Marketplace or eBay. Now that the majority of us are shopping online, it is essential that we’re more careful about verifying the authenticity of the deals we see online. Many scammers are putting up deals that are much cheaper than you’ll find anywhere else, encouraging you to purchase from them.
Chances are, these deals comprise of a fake product, or something that is different from the description and image. When you’re making a purchase and browsing through deals online, make sure that you are working with a legitimate seller and that the prices mentioned are in-line with what the how much other sellers are charging.
Property and Vehicle Ownership Scams
Last but not least, people have been receiving emails with photos of the property they are living on, claiming that the property belongs to the sender. They request for your personal information and will proceed to ask you to make a payment.
This can happen for both homes and vehicles, where the sender will claim that you purchased or rented the property from them and they need you to carry out a transaction in order to keep using the property. Before making any transfers, you can get in touch with a listing agent or the register or deeds and confirm whether these claims are true or not.
There are hundreds of different tactics that scammers will use to convince you that they are legitimate and trick you into transferring your money. It’s important to be vigilant, never give out bank details and passwords to anyone claiming to be an employee, and to double check who the recipient is whenever making a transfer.
If you’re unsure, you can always reach out to someone you trust or a legitimate government official or law enforcement agency to confirm the authenticity of the people contacting you.