Washington, DC

“Fake In-N-Out”

Thanks to Jordan for sending yesterday: “Not affiliated with the real company. Trying to pass off as the real thing.

So sad.”

Anyone actually try it?

From Dalton: “I can 1000% confirm that it is not real In-N-Out. Not sure how they haven’t gotten busted for false advertising yet. My wife and I ate it this past Sunday and that’s the first time we’ve seen the truck- we aren’t down by the mall too often though. Their advertising signs are pretty legit and they also claim to have animal fries…”

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Photo by Bradley Joines

“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to bring attention to a “couple” (I do not believe they are actually together) running a fairly obvious scam, the first which I was pulled into late summer and then again this past Saturday. Both times they flagged me down on 11th street NW near Cardozo HS. The pair are a late 40’s couple who do not look unhoused but still in rather rough shape (especially the woman). Last summer I was biking home (I live in the area) and he flagged me down – “hey neighbor – [insert phrase]” and then told me him and his wife just got their first apartment in the area, for the first time ever, and after receiving a housing voucher couldn’t get the keys, also saying that people had used racist slurs and were generally unwelcome (the story is sad and rather lengthy) and ended with an ask for $20 for … something (bus fare? getting in? I can’t remember). He asked for the money in cash or the cash app. I didn’t have either and when I went to break off our interaction he got rather agitated (we’re desperate! please help a neighbor! then even yelled some curse words as I rode off on my bike). I knew then it was likely a scam but I still really felt for them. Read More

“Dear PoPville,

Today I went to a national oil change garage for a regular oil change. After I gave them my basic information, they told me the wait would be 2 hours, so I decided to go home and come back another day. 30 minutes later someone at the shop saying that during my oil change (that I didn’t have), they noticed a bunch of problem in my car (giving my car’s make, model, and year) and I was going to need to come back in for a list of repairs that cost over $500.

No one ever looked at my car. No one changed my oil. Read More

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“Dear PoPville,

I got a scam call last week from someone claiming to be a MPD officer. He claimed I had failed to appear for jury duty, and that legal action would be taken against me if I wasn’t able to prove that I’d never received the summons letter, which he claimed had been signed by me (I never got such a letter).

He seemed really legit and used real-sounding jargon. He had info about me, such as my age and address. Read More

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Photo by John Sonderman

From DC Water:

“DC Water is warning customers to beware of people claiming to represent the utility to gain access to their homes.

DC Water was made aware of a police report that says two suspects dressed as construction workers approached a home in the 3000 block of M Street, SE. Police say the men claimed to be from DC Water and said they “needed to check pipes inside the home. The homeowner refused to let them in, at which point the suspects produced a handgun and tried to force their way into the home. The homeowner was able to get the door shut and the suspects fled the location.

The suspects do not work for DC Water and our crews will not try to gain access to a property without prior authorization. If someone claiming to be from DC Water shows up at your door asking for access, please do not allow them in. If you fear for your safety, call 911 immediately to report the suspicious behavior. We also ask that you call our Customer Care Department at (202) 354-3600 to report it. Read More

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Photo by Joanna Hiatt Kim

Ed. Note: If it seems too good to be true, especially on Craiglist, it is 99% a scam. I can’t tell you how many houses I see for $600/month when looking for my daily rental picks…

“Dear PoPville,

I finally started exploring the renting portion of Craiglist and have come across something that seems pretty sketchy. I’ve reached out to two properties that seem too good to be true but just on the line – $1650 – $1700 for spacious one bedrooms – and recognized similar behavior between the two.

The properties had two different “unit managers” but both started by asking for my real email, sending me apartment information in a separate thread, and then sending the following message: Read More

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11th and Florida Ave, NW

It was very upsetting to see this sign last month. Even more upsetting is scammers trying to take advantage of our emotions.

On Saturday the Florida Avenue Grill warned:

“Beware there are multiple unauthorized people purportedly raising money to “save” @floridaavegrill here on IG and elsewhere. None of these solicitations are authorized. They are done without our knowledge or consent. Nor have any funds donated been given to the Grill… The Grill is not going out of business. Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

From the Office of the D.C. Attorney General:

“District residents should be on high alert for scams related to federal coronavirus relief payments or “economic impact payments.”

As early as next week, millions of eligible Americans will begin receiving one-time payments from the federal government as part of the response to COVID-19. The exact timeline is still being worked out, but these payments will come through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) either through direct deposit or by check. Accurate information on these payments can be found on the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

Unfortunately, scammers are using the news of these relief payments as an opportunity to attempt to steal consumers’ money or personal information. Scammers may use the promise of these government checks or payments to trick people into giving out private information, such as bank account details or Social Security numbers. They may try to impersonate government agencies or promise to help consumers get payments faster. And scammers may reach out to consumers by phone, email, text, or social media.

In fact, the Office of the Attorney General has already heard of people receiving robocalls asking for financial information to process their stimulus payments. Beware: this is a scam.

Here is what you need to know to spot scams and stay safe: Read More

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