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Monday, August 23, 2010

Common Scams

“I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principles of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale” - Thomas Jefferson
Here are the top 10 International Scams according to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
1. Asking for money to be wired
This is a scam red flag! Wiring money is like sending cash: there is NO protections against fraud and no way to know who received the money.
2. Money requests from "friends", persons in need, businesses you did not order from.
Don't send money to strangers or unsolicited businesses.
3. Asking for info by phone, text, or email.
Never give personal information to someone contacting you. They could be lying about who they represent. Never use links supplied by email.
4. You won a foreign lottery!
Playing in foreign lotteries is illegal.
5. Please deposit this check and wire me some money back immediately.
Famous scam. The check may take many days to clear before bouncing and you will be fined for the bad check. Meanwhile the money wired is gone forever. (see #1)
6. Unauthorized charges
Always check your credit card statements and bills for "Extras" that may have been added without your permission.
7. Donating to a "fake" charity
After a natural disaster, stick to established charities like the Red Cross. Don't trust just anyone offering to collect your money.
8. Miracle Health Product!
Buy drugs only from licensed U.S. pharmacies. Otherwise, you could end up with products that are fake, expired, mislabeled, or dangerous.
9. There is no such thing as a sure thing
Stay away from anyone promising a low-risk, high-return investment opportunity. This is a contradiction of the financial market. The only true "low-risk" is FDIC insured bank accounts with terrible rates. Higher returns ALWAYS require higher risk and a chance of losing money.
10. Dealing with a fake business.
With VoIP and P.O. Boxes it is easy to create fake companies that disappear with your money with no way to find out who has it. Only deal with reputable companies with real addresses.
Bottom Line
If a deal sounds too good to be true, it is!