Showing posts with label Confidence trick. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Confidence trick. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Watch Out! Scams That Come Out For the Holidays

Gift Cards
Gift Cards (Photo credit: PersonalMoneyNetwork)
The holidays are an expensive time when people spend large amounts of money on their families, friends, or themselves. It is often helpful to find deals and discounts that save money. Buyers must beware, however, for the ever-present scammers and swindlers who will try and separate consumers from their money. Some scams are always around, but some come out just for the holidays.

The Charity Scam

Over half of American adults give to some sort of charity during the holidays, and criminals know that. Most of the charity scams are accomplished over the telephone in the form of cold calls. Scammers will call your phone, and state they are representing some sort of charity. They will say all the right things, and have all the right information; however they will not be affiliated with any charity. Eventually they will ask for your personal information, to include your banking or credit card information, and take you for as much money as they can.

Special attention should be paid to charities claiming to represent emergency services workers such as police, fire, and veteran's groups. Often, scammers will claim to represent these groups in an effort to garner additional sympathy from you. Even if the name of the charity they are using is legitimate, the callers may not be. If you feel like donating, contact the charity directly instead of responding to a received phone call.


This type of scam is more high-tech, but even more dangerous. These days, consumers complete a fair portion of their shopping online. When done correctly, you can receive discounts and additional savings by shopping online. When searching for cheaper prices online, look-a-like websites are set up to fool you into buying from them instead of the legit site. Make sure the online coupons you run across have details that distinguish it from others like it that are scams.

Often, the website itself will be an exact replica of the proper site, with the only clue to the scam residing in the address bar. The website will be slightly altered in some way, and if the link has been clicked from a search results page, it is very easy to inadvertently put in your credit card information into the fake site.

Fake Gift Cards

In recent years with the explosion of gift card sales, retailers have set up in-store displays of all kinds of cards. In most cases, you can buy more types of gift cards than the average store brand. It is not uncommon to happen upon a rack in a department store with many different gift cards, from restaurants to online retailers. It turns out that scammers have targeted these cards with frightening results.

Using a handheld scanner or by simply peeling off the sticker on the back, thieves copy the gift card information and place the cards back on the rack. They simply lie in wait for the cards to be purchased, and once they discover the card has been bought and activated, they use the pilfered card information online before you even get a chance to use it. Instead, you should buy the gift cards directly from the retailer’s website or at an attended customer service counter.

Scams have always been around, and the tactics will continue to change. It’s important to remain abreast of new techniques and ways to protect yourself and your money.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Top Five Ways of Avoiding Financial Scams And Abuse In 2013

Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)
All of us, irrespective of gender or age, are vulnerable to financial scams and abuse. And interestingly most of the time we are not even aware that we are being victimized by an imposter. However, all of us must take some stern steps to avoid such mistreatment. Let us start our discussion with a brief discussion on what is financial abuse.

What Is Financial Abuse and Scams?

Financial abuse is subtle form of fraudulent activity that is mainly perpetrated by someone on whom you trust blindly. It can be your financial advisor, tax consultant or even a near relative who has access to your earning as well as bank account details. They might access your account and steal or invest a negligible amount of money without your permission. When such actions are taken by a person on whom you have full trust, it is called financial abuse and scams. However, it is extremely difficult for the victim to understand that he or she is being exploited as the perpetrators always chose such victims who would not realize that is being mistreated or will not be able to protest.

The Target Group

It is generally seen that swindlers target the older persons for falling prey to their scam. Research conducted in this regard show that the old people are generally much more confident and optimistic when it comes to taking financial and other decisions. Moreover, it is also seen that their ability to analyze things quickly also declines to quite an extent. Thus, they are the target audience of the cheats. Therefore, all of us and specially the older people need to take certain solid steps to protect themselves.

Here are top five ways whereby financial scams and abuse can be avoided:

Share Your Bank Statements

According to Burton Copeland, While sharing the accounts details with one person is not a good idea, sharing it with many close associates and professionals can be beneficial. Make an effort to forward the e-statements to your old friends, grandchildren and your advisors as they will be able to detect the frauds or misappropriation, odd transactions or latest investments from your account which you might have overlooked. However, make sure you are circulating it among your close knit circle only as these documents are really important.

Acquaintance Is Important

Most of us seek the aid of many specialists to look after our finance. Therefore, you have a team of tax consultants, investment advisors and real estate advisors working for you. It will be a good idea to introduce them with each other as this decrease the chance of any fraudulent activity in your account. Since all of them would want to maintain a cordial relation with you for their future business, you will be hinted about any financial abuse by any one of them. However, if too many advisors are trying to convince you for a particular financial product, then you should make extra effort to review the product before buying it.

Beware of Promise of High Return

If an investor is promising you unbelievable return from a particular investment, then you definitely smell danger. Always remember that if the investment is genuine, then the return from it will be less but steady. So do not fall prey to such lucrative offers made by the investors or any other persons.

Avoid ‘Pocket Littering’

We always carry with ourselves some valuable and sensitive information so that we can access them easily. For example, the passwords or the ping numbers are stored in our cell phone or computers or wallets. Crooks can use this sensitive information to access your accounts and perform some illegal activities. Therefore, if you are using computer or mobile phone for accessing your accounts, then make sure to log out of the account and not let any other person know your password. Moreover, it is best to keep these vital numbers at your home only.

Do Not Take Decision in Haste

Another important measure that can safeguard you from financial fraud is not taking decision in haste. If an investor is pressurizing you to sign a deal quickly, then it indicates that he is actually trying to stop you from reviewing all the aspects of the investments. So be very conscious to avoid such problems. Moreover, all lawful financial products come with a detailed brochure stating all the terms and conditions. If there isn’t sufficient disclosure, then it is not a good idea to make such investment.

By taking these steps, you can avoid financial scams and abuse. It is a matter of being a bit more careful and cautious and does not involve any excess expenditure. So do not let any other person fool you with your hard earned money.

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