The Avanti Group LLC Recruiting & Leadership 10 Scams Aimed at Getting Your Money
If you receive an email purported to be from a Nigerian prince eager to share his fortune — well, surely you know by now that you are looking at some scam. But beyond such familiar frauds are more creative schemes concocted by swindlers eager to steal your identity or separate you from your hard-earned cash. Cindy Oetjen, a Marion County deputy prosecutor, monitors scammers’ tactics as part of her job. “They can be pretty innovative,” Oetjen said. Here are 10 types of scams Oetjen has identified:
Charity imposters Although they can strike anytime, these fakers pounce in the wake of tragedies to take advantage of people’s compassion. They claim to represent a charity or charitable cause, taking up collections they claim will benefit an ill child or grieving family or disaster-stricken community or some other object of legitimate concern. What to do: Check out lists of charities on charitynavigator.org or at bbb.org, the website of the Better Business Bureau. Direct your donations to charities you can find listed via such legitimate channels.
Cellphone scams Scammers use computers that call cellphone numbers and hang up after one ring. If you’re curious enough to call back, not only will you incur a $19.95 charge for an international call — since most of these scammers appear to be based overseas — but you’ll also be charged a certain fee per minute that also will show up on your bill. What to do: Don’t answer or call back a number you don’t recognize. If the call is legitimate, the caller can leave a message.
Emailers send messages appearing to be from familiar sources — Walmart, UPS, Fedex or a banking institution you use, for example. When you click on links, scammers can infiltrate your computer with a virus or attempt to coerce you into sharing personal information. What to do: Do not click on links emailed to you by institutions. Rather, go to the institution’s legitimate website or call a customer service number you find on your own. Don’t share personal information online via links you have been emailed.