One for the kids and one for the seniors

Here’s a new scam that targets kids:

Among fans of Justin Bieber, getting the popstar to follow you on Twitter is apparently a badge of extreme OMG-ness, which means it was inevitable that a scam would surface exploiting the fact.

If you even mention the star on Twitter, there is a good chance someone will direct message you with a URL that supposedly reveals a surefire way to get the star to follow you back. It then leads you to a site that requires a cell phone number and for the victim to take yet another bogus IQ test.

What happens next: the victim’s phone is charged $10-$20 per month for some lame premium service, and Justin doesn’t follow them at all.

As of the latest reports, the original scam site had been shut down, but it won’t be long before it resurfaces. Warn the kids: anyone on Twitter that tells you they have a way to get a star to follow them back is leading them into a scam. Also, in a year when there’s some new pop culture obsession, just take out the words “Justin Bieber” and fill it in with the Current Big Thing, and repeat the warning.

Here’s one that targets seniors:

A guy in coveralls will hang around a parking lot and wait for an elderly person to go into the store. He’ll then dump some oil or brake fluid near the  car. When the potential victim returns, he’ll tell them he’s a mechanic and that he can fix the car. One he “fixes” the non-existent leak, he informs them he has to charge for the “service.” I would assume they get a bit aggressive if the victim refuses.

If someone in a parking lot offers you auto repairs out of the blue, politely refuse. Take your car home and park it. If there’s a (new) pool of fluid a few hours later, your car really does have a problem. Take it to a real mechanic you trust.

But there probably won’t be, because in all likelihood you were approached by a con artist.