Online Romance Scams

Online romance continues to grow as a money-making opportunity; not only for the companies charging would-be daters, but the scammers that lie, cheat, and steal money as well as hearts. As technology grows, singles are more likely to pursue romantic liaisons online. It’s much easier to meet a wide variety of people with similar interests and you never have to leave home. The prospects are exciting, and some have found their soulmates online. Sadly, many seeking romance have been hoodwinked, robbed, and blackmailed.

The Sob Story

The first conversations typically start out well. The scammer comments on how attractive you are and how many things you have in common. Invariably, a sob story develops to gain pity and, perhaps, access to your bank account. Some common stories:

  • Spouse and/or children killed in an accident
  • Significant other dies from disease
  • Lonely military personnel on deployment
  • Sad retiree
  • Stranded overseas
  • Was robbed and needs help

The potential romantic interest is often very good at garnering sympathy and playing upon the target’s ego with phrases like, “with you I think I can live again” or “you’re the one I’ve been waiting for.” Highly sensitive people tend to be more susceptible to this line of trickery because they genuinely feel bad for the scammer.

The Giveaway

It was once much easier to determine if someone was a scammer by doing a reverse look up on their phone. Caller ID apps can identify the region from which someone is calling. Common regions for scammers include Nigeria and Jamaica. Those tools are still valuable, but scammers are making it harder by employing local numbers or ones that will not send up any red flags. Still, if an online dating prospect gives his (or her) phone number, reverse search it immediately to verify the information you’ve been given.

Another giveaway is the time zone. If your romantic interest is only online in the middle of the night or at some other illogical time, take note. You may ask on occasion what time it is if you suspect the person is not located in the U.S.

Language is another telltale sign that someone isn’t being up front about his or her nationality. If the person claims to be American or from some other English-speaking country, it’s easy to tell by the way they write or talk. Bad English, typos, and poorly written sentences are a dead giveaway that the person does not speak the language.

 

Protect Yourself

There are many ways to protect yourself in an online romance situation from using a nom de plum to using an anonymous email or phone number, if in fact you give out that information at all. Others may include:

  • Never give out your social security number, bank, or credit card information
  • Refuse to transfer money or make a financial transaction on behalf of the love interest
  • Do not reveal your street address
  • Don’t pay up front for a promise
  • Do not post any compromising photos or videos
  • Report any suspicious activity to the website and local police.

How to Make Your Phone Safer in 2018

The new year is almost here! We’re ready to say good bye to 2017 and with it start a new chapter. It’s more important than ever to protect your personal and financial information from hackers and phishing scams. We’ll go over the best ways to make your phone safer in 2018.

Install a VPN

Safely browse the internet while on public Wi-Fi with the use of a VPN. We like to use TunnelBear. It’s simple interface allows you to choose which IP location you would like to use with the toggle of a button.

Make Sure You Have a Passcode Set

This may be obvious and you might already have one set up, but make sure that you have a passcode on your phone. If it’s ever lost or stolen this will ensure that any sensitive information on your phone will be protected.

Turn on Find My Phone

With iPhones you can turn on Find My iPhone which will allow you to remotely track your iPhone if it’s ever lost or stolen. Also, and most importantly, if a phone can’t be recovered this feature allows you to wipe the phone completely. If your phone ever gets stolen, this will protect you!

Use Stronger Passwords

After so many breaches, you’d think that people would start using stronger passwords. Unfortunately, we don’t because having too many different passwords can be too difficult to remember. In 2018 it’s important for you to start using unique, strong passwords for each of your many online accounts. We recommend using a password vault app, like LastPass, to generate all of your passwords and keep them safe.

Password vaults will create and then guard and pre-populate the sign-in fields whenever you go to a site that requires you to log in.

Block Spam on Your Phone

Lastly, make your phone safer by using a spam call blocking app. These apps run in the background of your phone and will block calls from numbers that have been reported as spam.

Never deal with an annoying telemarketer or potential phone scammer ever again.  There are many different options and some carriers even provide their customers with free spam blocking.

How To Find Out Where A Call Is From

You probably get calls from random phone numbers all the time. Some might look familiar, while others might be completely unknown. The best way to identify these calls and where they’re coming from is by using a reverse phone lookup.

How Do They Get Your Number?

There are a lot of ways in which companies and scammers get your phone number. The most common way is via you giving it away to them. Whenever you sign up for something and are asked to give your phone number be sure to read the privacy policy first.

Many survey companies and realtors will often sell your information to third-party marketing companies that will then add your phone number or email to call and email lists.

Another way you may be giving it away is via your social media. Make sure that your profile information is public only to people who you know and trust. Many times we’ll unintentionally provide information in our social media profiles because we’re not aware of the privacy settings. Be sure to double check what’s visible to strangers on your social media profiles.

How To Find Where The Call Is Coming From

The easiest way to find out where a call is coming from is by looking at its area code. However, this isn’t always reliable do to caller ID spoofing. This technique allows a caller to disguise their caller ID as any number they wish.

This technique can sometimes result in you receiving calls from your own number!

The best way to identify an unknown call is by using a reverse phone lookup app on your smartphone. These apps will allow you to look up any phone number, identify where it’s from, and even see other people’s experiences with the phone number. This means you can avoid all of those annoying robocalls.

Caller ID Apps and Online Dating

Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage! You know the song, well now it’s time to update it for 2017 and caller ID apps and online dating go together like a horse and carriage.

If you’re single and you haven’t at least tried online dating then you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. We’ll go over why you should try out online dating and what you need to know to keep you safe.

Why Online Dating?

Nowadays, many couples meet on online dating sites and apps. Some of the most well-known ones are Tinder, Match.com, Bumble, and eHarmony. There are so many options for online dating that it’s important that you do your research and pick the one that’s best for you!

What You Need To Know

Some people like dating and other people dread it. It’s important that you think about what you’d like out of your dating experience. Do you only want the opportunity to meet new and interesting people in your area? Do you want to find “the one”?

We recommend going with the first option. Relax, take your time, and most importantly enjoy yourself. Not every date will be perfect, but that’s okay.

In addition to this, it’s also important that you be safe with online dating. After all you are meeting strangers off of the internet!

Caller ID Apps And Public Meeting Spaces

If you’ve met someone that you like and you want to invite them out on a date the first piece of information you’ll probably share with each other is your phone number. You can use a caller ID app to verify that the person is who they say they are.

If you don’t feel comfortable giving out your real phone number to someone you’ve just met you can also download an app that gives you a second number, like Burner. This is a good app to have whenever you’re dealing with people you’re unsure of.

The number one rule with online dating is to always meet in a public place and don’t have your date pick you up from your house.

How To Protect Yourself From Data Breaches

Recently there was a major hack at Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting companies in the U.S. This hack has exposed the information of 143 million Americans, nearly half the population. We’ll go over how you can protect yourself by using iPhone caller ID, avoiding phishing email scams, and freezing your credit.

Is Your Information At Risk?

You can find out whether or not your information may have been exposed by going to Equifax’s Cybersecurity Incident & Important Consumer Information site. Equifax is also offering a free credit monitoring service. However, it’s important to note that by joining this you waive your right to sue the company in the future.

What To Watch Out For

Beware of phishing scams and keep an eye on your credit report. Here are the top things to watch out for:

  • Impostor phone scams: Don’t trust callers who are requesting that you confirm your Social Security Number or asking for other sensitive pieces of information. Scammers will often pretend to be calling from credit card companies or other organizations in order to trick you into giving them information.
  • Phishing email scams: Almost more common than phone scams are email scams that are phishing (or requesting) personal information. Look for spelling mistakes in the emails, this is a sign that the email isn’t legitimate.
  • Changes in credit score: If you notice changes in your credit score, report it immediately to the the three credit reporting agencies and put a freeze on your credit. You can learn more about this here at the FTC.

Using iPhone Caller ID And Other Tools To Protect Yourself

If you’re an iPhone user, download an iPhone caller ID app to allow you to identify unknown calls. This will help you identify whether an incoming call is trustworthy. If you have an Android phone you should check out Truecaller.

Secondly, you should also check emails to verify the address. Don’t click on links that seem suspicious, and if you have doubts go directly to the company’s website and contact them directly.

What’s most important though, in cases like these, is to keep an eye on your credit report. Any fluctuations are a red flag.

Mental Pollution: How to Stop Automated Calls

At SequentiaEnvironics we want to focus on ways to reduce the mental pollution that is everywhere around us. This has gotten to be quite difficult especially today. We are bombarded with psychological toxins on a daily basis via television, the internet, aggressive marketing tactics and more. One of the most annoying of these mental pollutants are automated phone calls. In this article we’ll go over how to stop automated calls.

What Is an Automated Call?

Have you ever gotten a call from what looks like a local number? You pick it up, and instead of an actual person a recording of someone saying you’ve won a cruise plays. They instructs you to call back (XXX) XXX-XXXX to claim your prize. Annoying. And a waste of your time.

There are different variations of this too. Sometimes the recording might say that you’re going to be arrested by the IRS, that you’re eligible for a free medical alert system, or that you can refinance your home. Most of the time these claims are fraudulent and you shouldn’t pay attention to them.

If you’re receiving automated calls on your cell phone this is illegal and you should report it.

Stopping Automated Calls

Unfortunately, not much has been done to try and stop these annoying calls, but there are a few things that you can do. If you’re a T-Mobile customer you can use their automatic scam call block, other phone carriers are also working on different ways to help their customers avoid these types of calls. In addition, there are apps like Nomorobo and free caller ID apps that have incorporated automatic spam call blocking features.

Having an app on your phone will help reduce the amount of unwanted automated calls you receive, but there is still more that you can do. Whenever you pick up an automated call, do not press any buttons to be removed from the calling list. Pressing buttons on these types of calls will alert scammers to the fact that your phone number is an active number and they will inundate you with even more calls.

Lastly, make sure you report automated calls to the FTC. They are working to put a stop to these types of scams and your help brings them closer to achieving this!

White Pages Reverse Phone Lookup App Can Help You Stop Stalkers

No one wants to deal with unwanted phone calls. In some cases, repeat phone calls from an anonymous source could be the result of a harmless accident. The person calling just may have an incorrect number. In other situations, the calls could be from a telemarketer or annoying spammer. While bothersome, these calls still fall under the category of being harmless. Unwanted phone calls from a scammer or stalker, however, have danger associated with them. Read more below to learn about different white pages reverse phone lookup apps and how they can protect you from unwanted callers.

Receiving Unwanted Calls

The appearance of a strange phone number calling you time and time again can be distressing. If the calls are combined with strange messages or other odd behavior, then it makes sense you might have some fear surrounding these calls. The vast majority of the anxiety surrounding fear derives from the unknown. When you do not know who the person calling is, then you end up being very understandably on edge over the constant unwanted calls. To assume you have a stalker on the other end of the phone is not paranoia. Stalkers do like to abuse their phone privileges.

Why Do These Calls Happen?

Why would someone constantly call, but not leave any real identifying messages or other indicators of identity? Sometimes, a scammer or stalker may be trying to hide who he or she is. The repeated calls are not always about trying to initiate a conversation with someone. In the case of a stalker, the calls could be about trying to determine whether or not you are home.

A jealous stalker could be keeping tabs on you. Knowing that your whereabouts is always going to be a high priority of an obsessional stalker. Keep in mind, such a person is very troubled. Even if he or she does not wish to cause any harm, the behavior of the person is very delusional and self-absorbed. The person is going to objectify the subject of his/her phone calls. So, repeated, mysterious calls for seemingly no purpose fit the modus operandi of the individual.

Anyone who is receiving phone calls that are disturbing in nature either due to their content or frequency should take some action. Determining who the person is who is making the calls should be the logical first step to take. Finding out who is placing these mysterious calls might end up being easier than initially thought.

White Pages Reverse Phone Lookup App

With an iPhone white pages reverse phone lookup app, the name, address, and other contact information associated with a mysterious call can be revealed. Once you know who is calling you, you can take appropriate legal steps to deal with any harassment.

iPhone Caller ID Apps and Other Ways to Make Your iPhone Safer

iPhone caller ID App

In this day and age, our cellphones our not just gadgets that we simply own, but an important part of our daily lives. It’s not only a device for communication, but we store almost all our personal and sensitive information in it. This is why making our phones more secure is a must. In this article, we’ll share with you our top tips for keeping your info safe, including iPhone caller ID apps.

Don’t Lose Your Phone

There are many apps that help mobile phone users locate the exact location of their devices. To locate a cell phone, it must emit a roaming signal which can be detected by a nearby antenna tower. This process does not require an active call. Nearby antennas locate the phone based off of it’s signal strength.

iPhone users can use Find My iPhone to track where their lost or stolen iPhone is. You will see where your iPhone is with this feature. This program allows you to erase all the contents of your iPhone and lock it remotely so that if you can’t retrieve it others won’t be able to use your phone or steal your information. Android phones have a similar application that they can download and use called Where’s My Droid.

Safety Apps

  • iPhone Caller ID Apps
  • VPN Apps
    • A VPN will allow you to safely browse the internet on coffee-shop and other public Wi-Fi networks. When your phone is connected to the Wi-Fi hackers can infiltrate your phone. A good VPN will block such attacks.
  • Password Vault Apps
    • Chances are that your passwords aren’t strong enough to prevent hackers from breaking into your accounts. You can use a password vault to safe-guard all of your passwords and keep them unique. A good password vault will randomly generate strong passwords for you and remember them for you.

iPhone Phone Number Tracer

Ever heard of an iPhone phone number tracer? Whether you admit or not, no one like getting unknown, mysterious phone calls. iphone phone number tracker

 

Breaking Down The iPhone Phone Number Tracer

iPhone phone number tracer is a revolutionary app that is used for tracing phone numbers. The tracer scans billions of phone numbers in order to find the listing you’re looking for. A good phone tracer will provide you with a listing that includes a first name, last name, address, and social media profiles. Also referred to as caller ID apps, phone tracing apps can now be downloaded onto your phone.

Tracing apps are designed for innocent purposes and not to intrude on other peoples’ privacy. A phone number tracer can be used to keep your kids safe from potential predators, verifying a person’s identity, or reporting scams.  With these apps you will know if some one is safe or if they are untrustworthy.

Find Your Friends

Phone number tracing apps also allow you to reconnect with old friends. It’s important to note that internet access is required for these apps to work. You can look up the listing of old friends to make sure they have the same number, or find out what their new number is.

 

How to Trace a Phone Number

Have you ever wondered how to trace a phone number? Is it even possible? The answer is YES. Read on to learn more about it:

how to trace a phone number

What Is Call Tracing?

Call tracing is a technique that is used in determining the origin of a certain call. Upon request from the police, the phone carrier will give the information they have about a phone number.

You can also trace a call though. Typically there is a fee associated with call tracing for personal reasons. While on the other hand, for police the charges are eliminated because they are needed in a criminal investigation and they will have a warrant.

There are two kinds of call tracing that is available for mobile users, one of the methods is that call logs can requested from your phone carrier. This kind of phone tracing includes the numbers or all calls and text messages, and calls from blocked numbers. Subscribers with security concerns about cell phone harassment, threats, or recurring obnoxious calls may use permanent tracing for record keeping. The best way to trace a phone number on your iPhone is by downloading an app from the App Store.

Using Call Tracing

People who receive threats and harassing phone calls can talk with their carrier to receive their call logs, this information can then be brought to local police to file a report.

It’s best to block the harassing or obnoxious calls and then turn the call records to over law enforcement for more help.

In scenarios where debt collectors are violating the law by harassing you or making threats, call tracing can be used and then a formal complaint can be filed with the Federal Trade Commission.

Call tracing can be used to get restraining orders and injunctions to prevent the people from harassing you. There are numerous methods of tracing a call, depending on the situation.

 

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