Unscrupulous people are often looking for ways to get money from hard working people like yourself. Here are some examples of some scams out there.
Unexpected Money or Winnings:
You get a call, email, or letter stating you won money, you received an inheritance, or the government or bank over charged and you are eligible for reimbursements. Many people may think, “Well not sure if this is legit, but what do I have to lose other than time”.
Typically they will collect personal information from you like your address, bank account number, social security number, etc. They will typically keep coming up with fees you need to pay to get the money. They will sometimes pose as attorneys, accountants, etc. in other countries. They will sometimes even provide legal documents. In the end, you have given them money and they now have enough information for identity theft.
Typically, this type of scam is most popular after a natural disaster. These criminals will contact you letting you know about all these people in need and that they are doing such great things to help those in need. After you donate your money to them it goes nowhere but to the criminals. You can be contacted by people on the street, emails, phone calls, letters, or through the internet for fake charities.
Hmmm why is dating listed here? Well a surprisingly popular scam is someone will meet you online via social media, dating website, etc. They gain your trust and then will say they have a relative that is dying and needs money, or they will have merchandise shipped to you that was ordered via stolen credit cards /identity theft. They will ask you to send this stuff to them in another country.
Buying and Selling Scams:
For buyers, there are scams in classifieds, in internet auctions, etc. You need to be watchful for these. Be watchful for much lower prices from a seller compared to others. It could be stolen, or a very common practice is selling counterfeit goods as legit goods. This is very popular in clothing, jewelry, electronics, and computers.
Rental properties that the “landlord” needs a deposit or first month’s rent before you can see the property.
This involves scammers sending out an email or letter saying you owe something for a service that might even be for a company you are working with. In the letter, they will state they are doing administrative duties for a popular business and you need to send them the money. For sellers, watch out for someone that is interested in buying a high ticket item like a car without even looking at it. An overseas buyer that wants to purchase something that is easily available anywhere and shipping costs would normally make it too expensive to ship for legitimate buyers. Buyer pays more for the product than asked for and then wants you to refund the difference. Make sure your check clears the bank before sending out a product.
Remote Access Scams:
This has become a very popular scam. Someone calls you and claims they are from Microsoft, or some reputable computer company. They then claim that the reason they are calling you is because they noticed there is a problem with your computer. They will ask you to give them access to it. Then, the best case scenario is they tell you that there is multiple problems with your computer and you will need to pay them money to fix it. Worst case scenario is they do that plus they install malware on the computer that will monitor keystrokes to get passwords of bank accounts etc. and then you are hit with identity theft.
Jobs and Investments:
There are lots of job or investment scams out there. Be careful about jobs that require you to purchase supplies or starter kits from the “employer”. Another scam is that you find out that there is a foreign company that needs a presence in the United States so they will have the payments come into your bank account. Then they will be transferred to the foreign bank account. You would be able to keep a “commission” for this. What ends up happening is they steal all the money in your account and start using your money for money laundering or all kinds of illegal activities and they will be tied to the person being scammed.
Freight Forwarding Scam:
You might find out about making money forwarding freight to a different location outside of the United States. What often happens is this “company” will use stolen credit card numbers that they were able to convince credit companies or the merchant that the owner of the credit card address has changed to the person being scammed address. They then send all the merchandise to your home, and then you ship it to them. Besides participating in illegal activities the person being scammed will be contacted by debt collectors trying to get the money back from the stolen credit cards.
Attempts to Gain Personal Information:
Besides being hacked and having your information stolen that way. Another popular way for scammers to obtain personal information is by something called phishing.Phishing is huge problem. It is generally done on the internet, phone, or by text message. What will happen is, for example, you will get an email from a popular credit card company, bank, PayPal, etc. that states your account needs to be updated. It looks like it is coming from your credit card company and it has a link to click on to login and update your info. This link then goes to the scammer’s website. This website looks like your credit card companies site. You use your username and password and it logs into the site. What actually happens is it just records your username and password no matter if it was right or not, and then goes to the next step. You will then see a form of information that needs to be filled out with your address, social security number, etc.