There are a lot of giving people in this world and there are just as many people willing to exploit that kindness. In the technological age, scammers have access to even more ways to trick or dupe innocent people out of their money and/or property. Read below for some of the more common scams.
Transfer of Funds Scams
One of the oldest known online scams, this was originally known as the Nigerian scam since the first ones were sent from Nigeria. In this ruse, a wealthy family or individual (sometimes even royalty) needs help moving their fortune out of the country. They promise to send you money to help them but first you need to help them cover some of the fees needed for the transaction. Those falling for this are out those fees once the scammers disappear.
Fine Print Scams
These didn’t originate online but they are rampant. If you remember those music subscription plans where you could get 12 cassettes for 1₵, the fine print always had details where you were automatically signed up for a subscription where you had to purchase a certain number of additional cassettes for “normal” price—usually higher than the price in stores. This is the same deal. You are offered an amazing deal on cheap products, but you end up being charged for a subscription.
If you are not familiar with a company, it always good to do some homework—google reviews and see if anyone else has had issues with them.
Online Dating Scams
In the digital age, you can find love online. You can also find scammers who are willing to convince you that you have found love. Once they have piqued your interest, they start asking for you to wire money or send them things. There are some red flags to look for:
- The person claims that they are in love with you, even if you have never met in person.
- They promise to visit, but always have an excuse when the time comes.
- They will insist on communicating off the dating site or privately in a VERY short time.
- They will ask for money citing an emergency such as a bill or even ask for funds to fly to see you.
- If you offer to pay for something directly (like a plane ticket), they will have an excuse on why they need cash.
I know most people think this will never happen to them, but it is common, and these scammers tend to prey on people who are lonely, including the elderly and those recently widowed.
Fake Debt Help
In an upcoming blog, we will talk more about companies like this. You receive an email from a company saying they can get you out of debt for cheap. They claim to settle all your debts with the creditors for you. What they don’t tell you is that often the creditors will not (and do not have any obligation to) settle with these companies. When negotiations fall through, the company keeps your monthly payment and says they never promised anything.
False Surveys and Lotteries
These scams usually come in emails but can also now be found on social media such as Facebook or pop-up ads. They will either say something in the vein of “YOU HAVE WON” or “take this survey to win.” They promise if you enter some information, you can collect your prize.
If they ask for sensitive information such as your address, account numbers, or Social Security number, do NOT fill it out. This is where a lot of identity theft happens. And if they say they need this information to “confirm it is you,” it is still a scam.
Debt from Internet Scams
This wraps up part one of our Internet Scams blog. Have you fallen for any of the above? Are you in a massive amount of debt as a result? We don’t judge here at Lam Law Firm. Set up your free initial consultation with us to see if bankruptcy can help you get a fresh start. Call us at (843) 695-7700 today.