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Recently in Online Scams and Security Category

Spark Networks USA, the company behind niche online dating sites like Christian Mingle and Jdate, has settled a consumer protection action filed by San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties on behalf of customers who were automatically renewed for the service and denied refunds.

The company will pay $500,000 in civil penalties and almost $1 million in restitution, distributed to users and the municipalities, including the city of Santa Monica. Here's a closer look.

What Is the 'Neighbor Spoofing' Scam?

There seems to be a new scam born every minute, and this one is tricky, on so many levels. You may have already experienced it, but didn't know it's name. The neighbor spoofing scam is used by con artists and robocallers that call your phone, seemingly with a local number, but they are not a local business.

In this scam, not only the area code matches the victim's, but also the next three numbers, or prefix, will appear familiar, tempting you to pick up the phone even though you don't know this exact number. A telemarketers biggest obstacle is getting you to pick up that phone, but by deceiving you into thinking the call is coming from someone local, they easily clear that hurdle, and are one step closer to completing their scam.

Virtual Kidnapping Phone Scam Happening in New Mexico, FBI Warns

In yet another phone scam preying on people's fears and emotions, the FBI is warning New Mexico residents to be wary of one more. Dubbed "virtual kidnapping," this one extorts victims by coaxing them into paying a ransom to free a loved one they believe has been kidnapped or is being threatened with violence or death. The calls seem to come from Mexico prisons. A few years ago, these calls were solely targeting Spanish speaking suspects. But now, anyone is fair game.

FDA Tells 21 Websites to Stop Selling Opioids Online Illegally

The American opioid crisis is in full swing. On average, there are 115 opioid overdoses in America each day, and that number is rising. In an effort to combat illegal opioid sales, the Federal Drug Administration has directed four online networks, amounting to 21 websites, to stop selling illegal, and "potentially dangerous, unapproved, and misbranded" opioids.

These networks include CoinRX, MedInc.biz, PharmacyAffiliates.org and PharmaMedics. The FDA has been on a roll this summer, issuing 13 warning letters to more than 70 websites, in an effort to shut down online opioid drug dealing. And they claim more letters will be sent out soon.

Look, we're not saying that you cheated on your spouse. We're not even saying that you've thought about it, received a steamy email, or had a stranger's number burn a hole in your smartphone. All we're saying is that some unsavory scam artists are playing the odds that your marital history is less than pristine, and hoping your insecurity will lead you to paying some big bucks to keep them quiet.

The first step to avoiding the scam is obvious: don't cheat. After that, know that the scammers probably don't have any real evidence, and report the incident.

What to Know About California's New Online Cancelation Law

In today's busy world, we often overlook a few things, especially if they are not in plain sight. One of those frustrating and costly things is recurring fees for auto-renewal services and recurring purchases. And sometimes those fees could be more than we bargained for, such as "free trial" offers where you get one free month and then a $59/month fee charged automatically to your credit card. Sound familiar?

Perhaps the fees were in small print that wasn't caught. Or perhaps we forgot to put a note in our calendar to cancel the subscription. Now, California has a new law concerning online cancelation. Here's what you need to know.

There is nothing sacred to scam artists. From summer jobs and jury duty, to grandparents and puppies, scammers will use anything to separate you from your money. And now they're targeting 9/11 survivors.

After prompting from prominent U.S. senators and congresspeople, the Federal Communications Commission is now warning New Yorkers that scammers are using the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund in an attempt to con consumers.

It's almost May, meaning that many high school and college students are tracking down summer employment. And if you haven't found your summer job yet, you might be feeling a little desperate. But don't let that desperation cloud your better judgment. Scammers are looking to take advantage of online job seekers, especially via Google Hangout interviews.

The summer job scam, in one form or another, has been around for a few years, so here are a few tips and tricks to make sure you don't get scammed this summer.

3 Tips to Protect Your Personal Information

There's a balance between the convenience that advancement in technology has provided with the fact that it's created new avenues for potential scams. For this reason, it's important to be aware of the current scams that are going around during a given period of time, like the FedEx shipping scam that occurred during the holidays, and to take certain steps to protect yourself.

It's also important to report any scams you become aware of, as they can help identify the scammer or at least get the word out. Here are some helpful tips to protect your personal information, so that you don't fall victim to identity theft.

Millennials Are Most Likely to Get Hit With Financial Scams

Young people tend to think they're smarter than their parents and especially their grandparents. But, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), last year Americans in their twenties lost more money in financial scams that those over seventy years old. More specifically, 40 percent of millennials indicated that they lost money to fraudulent schemes compared to the 18 percent of older consumers (those 70 and older) who reported that they lost money as a result of fraud.

Of note, however, is the fact that the median loss for those 20-29 years old was $400, while the median loss for those in their 70s was $621 and those in their 80s or older was $1,092.