By Dale Gribow

Last week I suggested to beware of DUI’s or Accidents due to increased concert traffic. Today I am alerting my readers to Coachella Scams.

AIRPORT

A pickpocket steals your wallet and calls you with a disposal phone saying he found your wallet and though there was no money in it he will mail it back to you. By saying this you do not cancel your credit card and he will go on a buying spree.

LUGGAGE

Remove old airline tags from your bags and never list your home address on your luggage. That info makes it too easy for someone to know you are not home and burglarize your home.

CREDIT CARD

The waitress folds the receipt and returns your credit card. Normally we take it and place it in our wallet or pocket. When you looked at the “expired card” of another person you call the waitress. She walks to the cashier who gives her your card back.

Make sure the credit cards in your wallet are yours. I suggest to my family they write “Ask for ID”.

HOME

A scammer rents a Craigslist home for 1 month and then refuses to leave. Absent filing an unlawful detainer, your best hope is to give them “money for keys”.

Be wary of listings on Craigslist for vacation rentals by owner. Be careful when no phone number or email address is listed. Prospective renters may be asked to send money for a home rental during Coachella. The home may not exist; may be rented to someone else, not owned by the other party or not for rent. I have seen all these scenarios.

When looking for a rental or looking to rent your home, look carefully at the spelling and language in the advertisement as they are often prepared by people from outside of the USA. You may want to check Google Maps to be sure the address exists. Also, be wary if the renter asks for money up front or asks for money to run a background check.

TIME SHARE

A scammer claims to have a buyer for your timeshare property. The caller even gives you the name and number of the prospective buyer, who confirms interest in the sale. Someone contacts you offering to sell your timeshare and trying to get you to pay up front fees. A company, allegedly buys lots of timeshares, but only after the owner pays $500–$2000 via credit card for registration and other fees.

CAR

Beware of paper on the back window of your car when at the airport or shopping center. When you walk back to remove the paper they hijack your car…and guess what ladies… your purse is probably still in the back of your car. Now the hijacker has your car, home address, your money and your keys. Your home and ID are now compromised.

If you see a piece of paper on your back window, drive away with it and remove it later.

A thief breaks into a car left in an airport’s or Coachella’s long-term parking and finds the car’s registration in the glove box. He then drives the car to the owner’s home uses the garage door opener to get in and robs you.

COUNTERFEIT CHECK

The scammer buys an item for several hundred dollars using a counterfeit check. The scammer claims they mistakenly overpaid the agreed-upon amount and requests the victim cash/deposit the check and return the difference of overpayment via a money order or cash. When the check is processed, the victim receives a call or email from the bank, informing the victim that the counterfeit check deposited did not clear, causing the account to become overdrawn.

GPS

This happens during concerts with the same things stolen from the car including the garage door remote control, money and of course the GPS.

Thus you should not put your home address in the GPS. Instead use a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.

CELL PHONES

Last week Coachella pickpockets stole money and 100 cells during the first day. Most of us list names and passwords. The crook texts “HUBBY” on the phone, asking for Bank PIN number, which allows the thief to clean out your bank account within minutes.

PURSE IN THE GROCERY CART

Your wallet is stolen from your purse in the shopping cart. You report the theft to the store and upon returning home you receive a phone call from the “store security” saying they have your wallet and that although there was no money in it, it did still hold your personal papers.

When the owner goes to pick up the wallet s/he is told by Security they did not call. Meanwhile the home had been broken into and burglarized. The thieves knew that by calling and saying they were Security, they could lure the victim out of the house long enough to burglarize it.

HOTEL

After checking in, the front desk allegedly calls for you to confirm card number and sec code, claiming computer trouble. Tell the caller that you will be right down to clear up any problems. When you get to the front desk they explain there was no call. Advise the hotel manager that someone called to Scam you out of your credit card information by acting as a front desk employee.

PHANTOM B&B

The website describes elegant accommodations at a great price. They need you to sign a contract and send a cash deposit; but there is no such address or the person at the address knows nothing about it.

If you have an idea for a future article contact Dale Gribow 760 837-7500/dale@dalegribowlaw.com.

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