Types of Fraud and Scams and How to Protect Yourself From Them
Life is tough nowadays. You have to work hard to get paid. You budget your money and make sure that every penny is every expense you make. Losing your money at the drop of a hat because of an enormous expense will already make you feel bad.
How can you imagine losing your hard-earned money, not because of an enormous expense, but because of the reason that you have been victimized by scammers?
Scammers are people who like to make a living through earning the money that was earned by other people. They are good actors and actresses and marketers who know how to manipulate emotions to gain trust. Victims of their ploys usually end up getting depressed after losing some or all of their hard-earned money.
For this reason, scamming is a serious crime. Everyone has to be knowledgeable and make sure that they will not fall into one or more of their schemes. Scams take many forms. Sadly, scammers are clever in designing their ploys. Here are just some common types of scam where most people still fall into:
Receiving Fake Checks
It is an old but still an effective trick used by scammers. This is usually issued by scam buyers who will buy products through checks that will only bounce once it gets into your hands. Most of them will issue a check with a large amount of money written on it. There are no important details like the issuer’s phone number or address written on the check.
The scammer will reach out to you before it gets into your hands and will ask for a refund for the excess money. He or she will make some excuses for the large issued amount written on the check and will urge you to send a refund. The check will just bounce once you have it.
Retailers Who Sell Fake or Damaged Items
Retailers like these have gone widespread in big online stores like Amazon and eBay. They seem to be legitimate. They sell and mimic items at a price like their genuine counterparts. Moreover, some deliver damaged items, and you can’t ask a refund or replacement for it.
This type of scam includes fake online pharmacy stores. These fake stores sell fake prescription drugs at a low price. Some of them deliver expired drugs.
Freelance Job Scams
Freelance job scams have many forms. Scammers of this type are usually found in large freelance brokerage sites like Upwork and Freelancers.
Most often, they will ask the freelancer to be interviewed outside the freelance brokerage site because most of the freelance brokerage sites are secured with rules, policies, and tools to protect the freelancer. The scammer will send jobs, but in the end, the freelancer will never receive any compensation for all his or her job done.
Others will ask for an upfront payment as a form of “security”. The scammers will promise to give you an easy job with a huge compensation when you pay them first.
They post pictures of products that they don’t sell. These are just traps where you will be lured to enter your credit information. Sometimes they will ask you to send your money through wire transfer. You will never receive the product, and you will never hear anything from them ever again.
It is the most popular and oldest form of online scamming. It works by tricking you to click a link that will direct you to a fake genuine-looking website or malware.
Cloners are a type of identity thieves. They will use all the information about you to pretend to be you. They will use your name, your face, and other details to do their ploys. It is also prevalent on social media retailers, wherein the scammer will imitate the retailer’s legitimate social media page. The scammer will make transactions using the retailer’s brand name and identity to scam.
Fake brokers are not registered in Securities and Exchange Commission. They will lure you to invest on their platform with a promise of huge profit like it’s a sure thing.
A Canadian man had committed suicide after losing his savings and retirement funds because of this scam. He was victimized by an Israeli-based binary option broker.
This is one of the types of scam that are easiest to detect. The scammer will make a phone call or will send you an email asking you for solicitation. Of course, you will have to pay through wire transfer.
Scammers have also gone to dating sites to exploit the emotions and money of people. Commonly, the scammers are from other countries. They will say that they need money to process their passport or for wedding preparation. After receiving the money, you will never hear anything from them at all.
Fraud Recovery Scam
These scammers target scam victims by pretending to be a lawyer or law enforcer. They will claim that they can get your money back when you pay them. After receiving the money, they will vanish in thin air.
How to Protect Yourself From Them
Scammers are skilled artists and marketers. Some of them have bachelor’s degree. They are using their intelligence to design their ploys. For this reason, you have to be constantly updated about the different forms of scams. You have to be sensitive on the red flags that signal that you’re dealing with a scammer. Here are some of the red flags:
- Generic greeting on emails and letters.
- The web address is different from the real website.
- The copy is too salesy and pushy.
- Asks you to pay upfront.
- Poor reviews.
- Ask you to transact outside the legitimate website.
- Ask you to pay through wire money transfer.
Be a Skeptic
Skilled scammers are good in masking their malicious intentions, and they will not make it easy for you to unmask them. They will also toy and take advantage of your emotions and nature. It is usually a human’s nature of an upright person to be nice and polite. The scammer will take advantage of this human nature by being too forceful or by confusing you. Analyze the offers, and refer back to any presence of the red flags. Remember, you have the money, you make the terms.
Never Share Your Information
Don’t share your personal information with your relatives, friends, and significant other. Destroy receipts and remove your transaction history and details on your text messages or browser.
Scammers are intelligent in a bad way. There are other scams that are not mentioned in this article. For this reason, there are also several ways to deal with scams. No matter how you deal with it, you must remember to unmask them, be a skeptic, and never share your information.