Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:09 AM EDT2014-07-29 08:09:58 GMT
BY: Megan O'Rourke This summer's abnormal weather created near perfect growing conditions for farm crops which could mean lower prices for shoppers. Projected high corn yields, called bumper crops, couldFull Story >
This summer's abnormal weather created near perfect growing conditions for farm crops which could mean lower prices for shoppers.Full Story >
Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:36 AM EDT2014-07-29 07:36:53 GMT
Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. Social Security's disability program is already in crisis as it edges...Full Story >
Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. Social Security's disability program is already in crisis as it edges toward...Full Story >
By now, you or someone you know
has probably received a text message congratulating you on winning a gift card
to a major retailer.
According to consumer affairs experts and
retailers, the names of stores like Best Buy, Walmart and Target have been
used by scammers to try and lure consumers into giving up their private
information for more than a year now.
The South Carolina Department of Consumer
Affairs says December was its most active month for reports of text message
giveaway scams. But if last year was any indicator of activity, tax refund
season may produce another spike in the phony giveaways.
Retailers say while they have no connection
to the scams, the frequency in which people receive the texts seems to come in
waves, and it's usually when consumers are spending more money. At the Best Buy
in Lexington, they say the constantly get questions about the messages.
"People walking into the store, it happens
about once a week, and they'll come in and ask to speak to someone and sometimes
even show us the text message," said Mechelle Carey, the general manager at the
Carey says she's seen the text message quite
often, and even her son has asked about it. "My 13-year-old got a text message
and was like, 'Hey, is this real?'," said Carey. "So, it impacts us too."
So how do scammers get your cell phone
"Sometimes it's just a robo-dial or auto-dial
type thing, and sometimes scammers will share lists/distribution lists," said
Juliana Harris with the Department of Consumer Affairs. Harris says the worst thing
to do is to respond to a questionable message that's from someone you don't
know. "If you are responding and engaging with the scammer that often tells
them there's a live body on that line, so they're going to keep that number,"
Harris says the messages will often lead to a
website looking for your personal information, and sometimes scammers just want
access to your device.
"Our phones are like mini-computers," said
Harris. "So if you're clicking on these links it could be infecting your phone
with something that is recording information or something of that nature."
Harris recommends downloading a free virus
software for your smartphone. "If you do happen to accidentally hit on that
link, then you can run a scan immediately after and see what's going on on your
phone," she said.
Consumer affairs experts add it's a good idea
to keep a check of your cell phone record. Also remember if a major retailer
contacts you, it will be through a way you won't question. "We contact you
through the ways you have given us to contact you, your Reward Zone and things
like that," said Carey. "You can always call us, and we'll make sure to validate
whether that's a true offer or not."
Experts say it's not just smartphones that
receive these phony messages. They add cell phones that don't link to the web
are just as vulnerable, and in some cases consumers will then type in the link
to the phony website on their home computer to try and claim ‘their
prize.' Consumer affairs experts say a person may then be opening up
their computer to a virus.
Harris recommends if you do get one of these
messages, the best thing to do is to forward it to your cell phone provider at
7726 (SPAM). She says the FCC keeps track of the phone numbers that scam
messages are sent from.
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 18:09:07 GMT
A mysterious 'Woman in Black' has been spotted around the Tri-State in recent days, causing social media to erupt with questions about her identity. According to WATE in Tennessee, the Sullivan CountyFull Story >
A mysterious 'Woman in Black' has been spotted around the Tri-State in recent days, causing social media to erupt with questions about her identity.Full Story >
Monday, July 28 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-07-28 22:12:32 GMT
Damage was reported in several areas of Highland County Sunday night after a strong storm went through the area. According to the National Weather Service, numerous trees and power lines were blown downFull Story >
Damage was reported in several areas of Highland County Sunday night after a strong storm went through the area.Full Story >