Beware of Scams and Other Internet Fraud
Scams are a reality of shopping online
and offline. You should always be wary of giving personal information,
financial information, or payments of any kind to people you don't know
Red Flags for Scams
Requests to wire
funds via MoneyGram or Western Union
Most scams involve a
request to wire funds. Do not wire funds to anyone you haven't met
personally. Scammers create convincing reasons why they need to deal
remotely. Likewise, do not accept wire funds that you did not
Most scams come from
users in foreign countries who claim to be interested in purchasing or renting
out a home. Be wary of claims from people who are contacting you from abroad
because they are missionaries, U.N. workers, or in the military.
If you are asked to
provide a code sent to your cell phone via text or phone call, this is a scam.
Requests for personal
or financial information
Do not provide your
bank account number or Social Security Number to unknown sources. First verify
it is a trusted source and then only provide this information sparingly.
Typos and sob
Emails filled with spelling and
grammatical errors are usually a sign of fraud. British spelling such as
"favour" instead of "favor" is also a sign of a rental
scam. Messages involving stories of family or financial issues or of agents who
charge too high a premium are usually fraud.
Scams and Fraud
If you believe you
have been scammed, report the incident to the FTC. If you sent money via
Western Union or MoneyGram, report the incident immediately: if the recipient
hasn't collected the money yet, the wire transfer company can reverse the
When reporting scams, include as much
as possible of the following: the name and address of the sender, the send
location, the date and amount of the transfer, the transfer fee, the date and
actual location of the receipt, the name of the receiver, any information
recorded regarding the receiver's identification, the reference number for the
transfer, and the details of the nature of the issue.
Below are examples of fraudulent
out of the country and need you to wire me the deposit."
How the scam works: You find a great rental (it's usually
too good to be true), but the landlord is located out of state or out of the
country. They'll rent it to you and mail you the keys if you just send a
Tip: Don't wire money to anyone you haven't met in person. If it looks
like a great deal and is too good to be true, it's likely a scam. You will lose
your money, and the place you were looking at isn't really even on the market.
Thanks for your email
and interest in renting my house.
Property is available
for move in at the moment for $1250 for the month rent and $1200 for the
security deposit (Refundable After Lease period , As long as there are no
damages on property after inspection). For immediate move in you would be
required to make a total payment of $2450 but if you are not moving in
Immediately, you would be required to make a down payment of $1200 for the
security deposit Non- negotiable, to hold property till desired move in date.
would not be present in person to show you the property due to my recent job
transfer to London, UK, and I do not have a local representative to show the
house due to my transfer so if you are interested in renting the property and
willing to work with me despite my absence then I would email the necessary
papers for the lease to you, for necessary endorsement.
I also want to tell
you that the neighborhood is secured and the people staying there are good.
Details of the house are
3 Bedrooms, 1.75
Location: Kirkland WA
Street Address: 12721
Northeast 101st Place.
Pets Allowed: Cats
Size: 1,800 sqft.
Home available for
immediate move in.
This is a charming
home in Kirkland.
Lovely move in ready
3 bedroom, 1.75 bath, rambler, located on quiet cul-de-sac. Approx. 1800 sq
ft., built in 1989. Bright and airy interior that has been beautifully updated
Exterior Sun Blockers
roll-shutters for max insulation & security.
include security system, built-in vacuum system and skylights. High quality
throughout. Neutral colors. Master suite with private bath and two walk in
closets. Spacious kitchen with tons of oak cabinets and all appliances (refrig,
range, microwave). Very light and open, Washer and dryer included. 2-car
attached garage with opener.
Yard service included
and home is pet friendly!
overpaid you with my money order. Please send some back."
How the scam works: A renter or buyer agrees to wire you
money for a deposit, but accidentally sends too much. They ask you to wire back
the over-payment and you must "act now." You send the
"overpayment" back and their check fails to clear the bank. Now, the
money you sent is gone forever.
Tip: Don't wire money to anyone you
haven't met in person.
Example email exchange:
"Thanks for the speedy response,i am really excited that the house on the Huntsville MLS / Valley MLS is
in good condition, and i really love the pictures of the house i have seen so
far, i would not mind to see more pictures of the home, i would like to know if
i would have any repairs what so ever.
I work with the United nations development program(UNDP).I have been working
there for 5 years.
I am married with no kid. I and my Wife actually got married last year. My Full
name is PXXXX AXXXX kXXXX and my Wife's name is MXXXX DXXXX kXXXX.she is
a school teacher, I am 39 years old and my wife is 35.Our current house address
is 3XXXXXXXXXXXXX, EXXXXX Edinburgh Scotland.
I have never bought homes for sale in Huntsville before, this would be my first, and i am
not working alongside any agents, I also want to know how soon you are willing
to move out of the house. I and my wife are looking to relocate as soon as we
have found a home we like, I would also like to know your final price for this
property. please kindly get back to me asap."
want to buy your property. Please send sensitive information."
How the scam works: Someone contacts you remotely and
proposes to buy or rent your property. They may ask for personal information
that can be used to steal your identity or rob your bank account.
Tip: Beware long-distance inquiries or requests for personal
"I am interested in purchasing the property on 17 LXXXX Rd, CXXX HXXXX
VXXXX CO XXXXX.Although the price is much "$4,000,000". But i will
convince my client regarding the property is a Single Family Residential. I
know he must like it. I will like to view the copy of the contract of sale. As
you are the real owner for this property. I will like to view the contract of
sale. So it can be checked for any irregularities. Once the contract is okay
and has been given the thumbs up by my client. I can then contact you and make
an offer accorden to your request or Advise. I look forward hearing from you
Sincerely, Mr. CXXXX KXXXX BXXXX
7XXXX TXXXX bldg. 1-XX-XX HXXXX-IXXXX, TXXXX-XX ,
Aluminum to Copper connection causes Huntsville home fire.
In the late 1960s to 1970s aluminum wire was sometimes used to wire homes. Copper prices spiked and builders were able to save a few hundred dollars per home by using aluminum instead of copper.
Aluminum oxidizes. The oxidation forms on the surface of aluminum and is a barrier to electricity. As electricity flows through the oxidation barrier it generates heat. The heat may cause a fire. The heat also causes the aluminum to copper connection to expand.
Aluminum and copper expand at different rates when heated making the connection even worse and causing more and more heat. A loose connection can cause electric arcing and cause a fire.
There is a third risk; When Aluminum and copper are connected, especially under heat, galvanic corrosion will begin. Since the two metals are different a reaction at the atomic level begins. Metal from one wire begins to move to the other. This corrosion weakens the electric connection even more. The heat, expansion, oxidation, corrosion cycle repeats and amplifies over time.
Never connect copper and aluminum wiring. Never connect aluminum wiring to copper light switches, outlets or light fixtures. While there are products that claim to make these connections safe always call an experienced, licensed and insured electrician.