Plays Well With Others


It always amazes me when I read or hear about a story about someone that fell for an email scam, like those Nigerian scams that clog our inboxes. The other evening Wifey™ and I were watching one of those news specials on people who’d fallen for the Nigerian scam and even cornered a few of them in the act. Most of us would think that it’d be impossible to get anyone to fall for that, but there a lot of technologically illiterate older people that really believe that they can make some money this way. They give their life savings to these people hoping to strike it rich and in the end, they end up with nothing. It’s sad.

As a blogger, I feel like, aside from writing entries about my boring life, sometimes I need to use this forum to write about things that might help bring awareness to an issue—on the off chance that someone will google the topic and end up at this site. Recently I read an article on about the top ten scams of the year. Most target elderly folks that have a lot of time and little money, and are unfortunately trusting enough to believe that someone is trying to help them financially.

Fake Lottery Scam: Essentially the victim is lead to believe that they’ve won some kind of foreign lottery. The scammer makes numerous phone calls and forms a bond with them convincing the mostly elderly “winners” that they’ve really won and that they just need to pay some fees or taxes in order to collect their prize. The fees can range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands, including one case where an elderly man paid over $300,000. Of course, you can’t win a prize you didn’t enter but try telling that to someone who truly believes they’ve won. And typically, once these types of scammers get their hooks in, they become aggressive enough that an elderly person just pays up because they are afraid. Often they won’t tell anyone because they are ashamed. Tip: Contests don’t charge fees to collect prizes.

Phishing Scams: These are fairly straightforward. The scammer will send out emails trying to trick individuals into divulging personal information like account numbers, passwords and social security numbers. The emails might appear to be from the individuals bank, paypal or another online payment service and might read that the account has been suspended or that the individuals password has expired. Once a special link is clicked it might even appear to send the individual to the real website, but in essence is a fake site used for the purpose of collecting information to steal money. Tip: Don’t click on links in emails. If you need to change a password go to the website directly and do it through the website.

Phony Job Scam: Scammers are collecting resume information from job search sites like and then offering jobs to the job seekers. Typically the job has nothing to do with the type of job the person is searching for and is instead a “courier” position. Essential, the “courier” would be responsible for receiving large checks, depositing them in their accounts and immediately wiring the money to a third party. Of course the large checks are fake, so the money wired is the “couriers” own money. Tip: Typically if you’re offered a job through an email and without an interview, it’s probably some kind of scam.

Negative Options Scam: This ones a bit tricky. Essentially these are typically run by legitimate businesses and occur when you make a purchase on their website using your credit card. The scam comes in that you will be offered a free gift or some other kind of reward unless you opt-out, or uncheck the box. Most people don’t realize it and end up accepting these types of offers and become enrolled in some kind a travel club or a subscription to a magazine for a year. Tip: When making purchases online, make sure to read everything before sending the order and double-check all of the check boxes to make sure they represent exactly what you want.

Nigerian 419 Scams: As I mentioned above, these are one of the most popular and successful email scams. The email is received from a wealthy, dying person wanting to get their money out of the country. If the victim chooses to help out, they would receive a sizable percentage of the fortune. Essentially, the victim will have to send the scammer money or bank information to cover fees for the transfer. According to the news program we watched it wasn’t just elderly people that fell for this one, but some very sophisticated business people as well, including doctors, lawyers and politicians. Tip: Anyone offering you money on the internet is probably a scammer.

Pump and Dump Scam: These emails explain how they have a “hot tip” on a company’s stock. The scammer would buy millions of shares of this company’s stock prior to sending the email out. Once the victims start buying shares of this company’s stock, the price begins to climb. The scammer then sells their millions of shares at the high price, causing the remaining shares to plummet in price. Tip: Don’t take investment advice from an email “hot tip” or from anyone else you don’t personally know. Also, speak to a financial advisor before risking your money in the stock market.

Fuel Savings Devices: This scam preys on people inate desire to want to save money in a rough fuel economy. As gas prices went up, scammers sent out emails claiming to have devices that would help cut individuals fuel costs. Some sold “fuel pellets” while others sold magnetic devices that would increase mileage. In the end most of these devices had no effect or caused damage. Tip: The only way to save money is to drive less and to keep your car properly maintained.

Grandparents Scam: This is kind of sad and is aimed at elderly people. The scammer calls up an elderly person and says something like “It’s me, Grandpa”. The elderly person will think it’s their grandchild. The scammer then explains that they are in some trouble and need a little bit of money and add, “please don’t tell my mom”. The grandparent then sends a few hundred dollars, thinking they are helping their grandchild. The reason is works is simply because most grandparents are willing to do anything to feel necessary in their grandchildrens lives—and this is a way to help out.

Oprah Ticket Scam: Victims have been receiving email or letters stating that they’ve won ticket’s to the Oprah show or had been offered a tour package that included a taping of the show. The email or letter asks for personal information, which could be used in an identity theft scheme, or for the individual to wire money to an unknown third party. Tip: The Oprah Show doesn’t sell tickets or travel packages.

Craigslist Scam: Basically this targets people renting out a room or a house. The scammer contacts the homeowner asking to rent their room and offers to send an expense check to cover any costs. The fake check would be for several thousand dollars over the amount necessary. The homeowner would be instructed to deposit the check in their account, deduct any costs and then send a check for the remaining balance back. Of course, the homeowner would end up sending real money in exchange for fake money. Tip: If you are renting a room or home and if you have to take a check, let them know you have to put a hold on the check for a week while funds clear.

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.

3gp videos