Scams are everywhere. As long as there have been people who are too lazy to work for what they want, there have been scam artists. These people usually use trickery and underhandedness to get what they want. A scam artist is real good at making you believe that they care about you but in reality, they care nothing at all about anyone except themselves. The most disheartening thing about scam artists is that they usually get what they want and live much better lifestyles than they deserve and than those they scam. Here are the top ten scams that you need to watch out for and how they work. If you think that you might be the victim of a scam, you have options. Check out this website to see what you can do if you are a victim or suspect a potential fraud.
The last decade or two has brought the world to a new place in how we shop, pay bills and bank. The technology is amazing and wonderful. Unfortunately, con artists like this new system as well. They keep coming up with unique ways to part you from your money or banking information.
Phony Fraud alerts: Con Artists pretend to be from your bank
Credit Card Scams: Scammers have numerous ways to trick you out of your credit card details, including phony websites.
Card Skimming: They can actually steal the information off the magnetic strip on your ATM or credit card and make a phony card with your info on it.
Nigerian 419 Scams: Never fall for helping someone transfer their money out of their country. Even if it were real, (which it is not) it just puts you and your money in jeopardy. By refusing, you are not being cruel you are being smart. Best bet… do not even open the email.
The pyramid scam and chain letters have been around for a very long time. They are one of the oldest types of scams around and people still fall for them or variations of them every day. Rule of thumb: If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Chain Letters: These offer false promises of financial gain or guaranteed investment advice (no such thing)
Pyramid Schemes: These always collapse after they run out of victims with which to build upon.
Work From Home Scams: Huge promises of huge profits for very little work. If making money from home for doing next to nothing were possible, either everyone would be doing it or it would be the biggest secret in the history of the world. It just ain't possible. Do not fall for this one, please.
This is perhaps one of the worst categories as some of these scams take advantage of the sick or dying. Con artists have no conscious whatsoever. They do not care about anyone except themselves. You can drop dead the moment they get your money and they would only go through your pockets and sneak out the back door, your rings and watch in hand.
The Miracle Cure: This scam is very successful because dying people are desperate to try anything. It is a waste of time and energy. Miracle cures are offered that do not work and could actually be dangerous. All natural remedies are also targeted and offered with fake testimonials from fake people who were "cured" by these fake remedies. Please consult your doctor before trying any miracle cures.
Weight-loss Scams: There are so many weight loss scams on the market today that they are impossible to count. This is another time that you should check with your doctor before you begin. You could do more damage than good.
Fake Pharmacies Online: These cons offer drugs at huge discounts. People who fall for these are usually decent folks who cannot afford health insurance and good people who are hooked on careless physician's painkillers. Do not fall for these.
Dating Site Scams: Just what it sounds like, these scams prey on lonely people and the elderly are especially vulnerable. Poor, elderly people flock to communities like dating and social sites just to have someone to talk to and that is where their weaknesses lay. These con artists should be shot.
Identity theft happens when someone conducts business pretending to be you, whether it is obtaining credit or making purchases and even participating in illegal activities with your identity information. It can be financially and emotionally devastating.
Phishing Scams: This is one way that con artists get your information. They will call or email you and pretend to be your bank. They inform you that there has been illegal activity or some other problem associated with your account and will ask for your information to confirm your identity. If you receive a call or email like this call your bank and ask if they are calling or emailing you.
Dumpster Diving: Con Artist will pay someone to go through your trash to obtain information about you. You would be surprised just how many details about your life wind up in the trash. One way to avoid this is to purchase a home shredder and shred all of your personal trash. Recycle the shredded waste or burn it.
Online Job Opportunities: This con to get to your identity has been extremely effective lately with so many people being laid off. They pretend to be a website that can find you the perfect job. All you have to do is enter your information. The only way to avoid this is not enter your information. Why would a job service want your account information? Guess what… they would not.
These scams fall under the "get rich quick" category. It is not necessarily greed that hooks you as much as it is the desire to believe in something that is too good to be true. We all need an extra line of income and there is nothing wrong with that.
Hot Tips Scam: If you are not expecting email or a phone call then watch out for strange calls or spam containing hot tips or stocks that are about to rise. If someone does have secret information about a stock, it is illegal to give it away or sell it anyway. Do not put your self at risk, either way.
The Seminar Scam: There are tons of seminars that are supposed to teach you how to make a large profit in the real estate or stock market arenas. While I am relatively sure some of these are perfectly legitimate, most make their money off the enrollment or attendance fees and selling stocks at inflated prices. Be very cautious and do your research before you become involved with one of these. The
Business Opportunity: Does this sound like something your brother-in-law would sell you? Watch out for once in a lifetime business opportunities that have a limited time offer attached to them. No matter how great they actually look, in most cases, the only one making money is the one offering the opportunity.
Preying on people who have to pin their hopes on a lucky break, these scams take peoples dreams and crush them to pulp. There are millions of people who play the lottery in the hopes that just once, their luck will be so good that they can stop worrying so much about life and lead a well-deserved retirement lifestyle.
You have Won the Lottery: These scams tell you that you have won something that sounds really great, like a large sum of cash or a new car. They may even offer you a choice of prizes. They also need you to give them your information or send money so that they can ship it to you. Watch out for these dream crushing scams. They can be very costly and painful.
The Unexpected Prize Winner: These work two ways. Either you win the prize by answering a trivia question or you are told that you submitted in some other way online. You win, the only thing that they need now is your credit card number to process your prize or prove who you are.
SMS Trivia Scams: Speaking of trivia, watch out for the sms trivia scam. They either do not tell you how much you will really be charged or the prize you win requires your information and turns out to be what you are not expecting. They ask you to vote using your cell phone's texting operation. The chances of winning are astronomical but the cost of playing is as well.
You really have to be on your toes to spot some of the ingenious mobile phones scams out there. The caller my act like they know you and since it is not basic human nature to be suspicious, you could get taken out of the embarrassment of not remembering them. These scams also come in disguise so be careful.
Missed Call Scams: If you receive a missed call message the best thing that you can do is delete it on the spot. If someone really missed you, they will leave a message or call back. When you call the number of the missed call, you are charged an enormous amount of money for the call. That is very sneaky and in some places, perfectly legal. Most of the time, the scam calls are untraceable.
Disguised Text Messages: These scammers will text message an entire list of numbers with a message that sounds perfectly normal. Most of the numbers texted will respond to the text with either a casual answer, thinking that it must be one of their friends or asking who it is that is texting them. In either case, when the text is returned, the number is charges an exaggerated amount of money. Delete these as well.
You Have Won: Like the scam above, they tell you that you've won their contest. Text back and get charged. They may even play the scam out further in an attempt to con you twice with the same scam by obtaining your information to claim you prize which you will either not get or it is not what you expect.
Money transfers are never a good idea. There are a million and one ways for you to be scammed with money transfer request scams.
Cheque overpayment: The Cheque overpayment scam works very well for scammers because you believe that you are actually making money. They send you a check for whatever it is you have sold them or service they signed up for but the check they send you is for way too much. They ask for a refund of the difference and they are insistent that you send it immediately to help them avoid problems. The trick is that you send them the difference before you find out that their check is actually no good. It usually takes a bank a week to verify the validity of a check; it takes a scammer about two minutes to cash yours.
Please Help Me Scam: This scam targets lonely or elderly people who have a big heart. You will get an email from someone who needs your help to get out of a country that is treating its citizens poorly. Even worse, they need help getting their children or a loved one out. They get you to agree to transfer their money from a foreign bank. You think you are being kind and doing this poor family a great service but what you are actually doing is laundering their ill-gotten gains for them. Shame on you!
Up Front Payment: A simple scam that makes you pay for something that does not exist. The website looks perfectly legit and by the time you realize you are not going to receive anything, the website is gone.
The Internet is an amazing tool that allows us to do things that were thought of as impossible just a few years ago. In 1980, if you told me I would be able to talk to, see my brother on a screen, and send him files through the air or that I could earn a living without changing out of my pajamas, I would have thought that you might have missed your medication that morning. Unfortunately, the Internet also opened our homes and invited scammers to come on in and make themselves at home. Here are a couple of examples.
Stores and Auctions: These amateur sites can be rigged to take you to offsite locations where you are not even purchasing from the site you started from even though it looks like you are. This can happen with or without the original sites knowledge.
Expired Domain Name Fraud: Watch-out for emails that direct you to a website to renew your soon to be expired domain name. Always check with your original contract or provider.
It's FREE: Any free offer on the Internet should be suspect. Free offers, shares, vacations, or anything else that seems too good to be true is probably too good to be true or has a catch that you will be very displeased with. Any free offer that requires a credit card number is probably not free.
Key-loggers and Spyware: You visit a website that is run by a scammer and suddenly your computer is an evil machine that is bent on your destruction. Spyware will hide in your files and watch every move that you make. Key-loggers record the keystroke so that con artists can get your passwords or account info and use it against you. Protect your computer with anti-everything.
The Anti-Scammer: The anti-scammer will sell or give you antivirus or anti-spyware software that is not real and is, in fact, spyware or a virus.
Rather than give you more examples of scams that you can look up for yourself, here are a few ways that can help you protect yourself from becoming a victim. The thing to remember is that no matter how many scams are exposed or how many safeguards that we can come up with to prevent them, scammers are coming out with new and more resourceful ways to take you for a ride and get your money. Within a few minutes of meeting you or one or two online conversations, a real expert con man will know exactly what scam will work on you and why. They will use your weaknesses and your strengths against you. Caution and preventative measures are your best protection.
You have been warned, don’t be another victim. Memorize these tips.