[15/02/2011] Stay away from these scams
The “discount health plans” scam
While most of the cons in the past were happening when people met face to face, today the vast majority of the fraudsters are using the means of modern communication to swindle their victims out of their hard-earned cash. The phone scams, which often target the elderly are on the rise and the con artists have become more brazen and crafty. One of the schemes, which seems to be working well for them is making phone calls and selling discount health plans that cover medical services at highly reduced prices. The callers typically claim that they work for the government or a government agency, try to convince their marks that getting health coverage is mandatory, and would find any excuse not to send any details in writing.
The “relative in trouble” scam
This is a popular scam, which is quite easy to fall for and often targets elderly people. A phone call is made to the “grandma” or “grandpa” claiming that the caller is a friend of their grandson and the grandson is actually in jail after committing a petty crime and needs bail money. Then, the caller asks the grandparents to wire the money for the bail lawyer. At times, the swindlers take this a step further and pretend to be the grandson and often call sobbing and crying, which helps them disguise their voice and prevent the “grandparents” from asking too many questions. The scam has numerous variations and you might be asked to wire the money, meet a “lawyer” and give him the cash, or give the cash to a taxi driver who is sent to your address and who would pass the money to the “lawyer.” If you receive a distressed call from a relative or a “friend” of your relative, who is asking for money, then you are most likely being conned. Try to keep your wits and ask a few questions, then hang up and call the relative that is in trouble in order to find out the truth.
The lottery scam
This is a popular scam, which has its Internet and phone versions: you receive a phone call, delivering the great news that you have won a substantial amount of money and all you need to do in order to get them is pay tax or transfer fees. At times, this could be taken even further and the swindlers could try to extract some personal information such as social security, credit card numbers, or bank account details. The scam plays on the greed of people, but is actually easy to spot since lotteries do not call the winners, do not know who has purchased a winning ticket, and do not take any money from the winners. Often, to put additional pressure on the “marks,” the caller claims that unless the fees and the taxes are paid quickly, the money would be awarded to another ticket holder.
The sweepstakes con
The sweepstakes con is almost identical to the lottery scam con, the only difference being that sweepstakes holders do indeed contact you if you win a prize. However, if you have never entered a sweepstake and yet you receive a telephone call, claiming that you have been randomly selected based on your phone number, then you are probably being conned. The caller would, again, ask you to pay a small fee or taxes, might demand personal and bank accounts’ details, and try to put pressure on you by saying that unless you pay the fee in 24 hours, the prize would be awarded to somebody else. Often, they would ask you to pay the money and keep it a secret, which is far from what a genuine sweepstakes sponsor would ask for, as they want to generate publicity.
The Ponzi schemes are as popular today as ever – the scammers make random phone calls, send invitations by mail, or email thousands of people, looking for new victims. The schemes vary, but typically, they promote “investment opportunities,” which promise substantial returns; often, the callers would put additional pressure on the victims by claiming that they have to act swiftly and make decisions on the spot, and would also claim to be working for or with respectable organizations or agencies. If you receive such a phone call or you are contacted by a stranger, who comes to you with a similar offer, you should never make any investments without running a background check or consulting your bank or investment manager.
Other articles from this category:
[15/02/2011] How CYTT works?
[15/02/2011] Does it really work?
[15/02/2011] Valentine’s Day scams
[12/03/2011] How you can complain about financial services
[12/03/2011] Payment fraud – know your rights
[12/03/2011] What is Phishing?
[12/03/2011] What is Malware?
[12/03/2011] What is Spear phishing?
[12/07/2011] How to write a Complaint Letter
[03/04/2012] How to fight a case in a small court
There are no comments
Please log in before you add a new comment
Not a member yet? Click here »
Forgot password? Click here »