No one wants to be a victim of scam artists. The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to be aware of what scammers are doing-what their goals are and what techniques they are using to achieve these goals. So far in 2017, these are the 10 most common scams to be aware of.
- Internet Merchandise Scams – You make an online purchase, but it is never delivered, it is not what the seller claimed it was, or it is defective.
- Phishing/Spoofing Emails – You receive emails that look like they represent a company, organization or government agency and they ask you to enter or confirm your personal information.
- Fake prizes, Sweepstakes, Free Gifts, Lottery Scams – You won a prize lottery/gift and in order to claim it, you have to pay a fee to cover handling costs. You get an unsolicited email or phone call that you have been or are being entered into a drawing, followed by another call that you have won and must send money to cover administration fees and taxes. Genuine lotteries never ask for money or notify winners by email.
- Fake Check Payments – You sell something online and are paid by a phony check. You are told to wire the money back to the buyer. If you try to cash the check because it looks real, you could get arrested for passing a counterfeit check.
- Recovery/Refund Companies – You are notified that you owe money on a debt or you receive an offer to recover money lost on a previous scam.
- Loan Scams/Credit Fixers – For an upfront fee, you can get a business or personal loan, even if your credit is bad, or you can get your credit repaired.
- Computer Performance Scams: Equipment /Software – You are offered technical support to fix computer problems (usually nonexistent) for a fee. This may result in malware, spyware, viruses, etc. being installed on your computer.
- Scholarship, Student Loan and Financial Aid Scams – Scammers offer a customized search for scholarships and educational loans for a fee, then they provide worthless lists.
- Online Dating Scams – offers fake profiles, followed by requests for money for some emergency.
- Facebook Fake Friend Scam – You get a “Friend Request” from someone who is already your friend. Then you get a request to send money to help that “Friend”.
Scams need to be reported immediately to the proper authority-local police departments, the IRS, the FTC, the Better Business Bureau, credit card companies and other businesses whose names are used in scams.
Raskob Kambourian Financial Advisors is an independent, fee-only comprehensive financial advisory firm registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We offer expertise, competitive pricing, and personalized financial services to meet your “Life Planning” needs.