Consumer Scams and Hoaxes
Consumer Scams and Hoaxes
In today’s modern world there are many methods that predatory people will try to take advantage of you -- the consumer. Most of these instances will happen through email or by phone. There are countless stories of innocent people being reeled in by the promise of success and money and many are left bankrupt and hurt. One of these scams that people have come to recognize is the rich will or inheritance from a foreign country. You’ll receive an email stating that some distant relative (who happens to have millions of dollars) has passed away and you are the only person left to inherit these millions. Sounds a little too good to be true, right? That’s because it is.
These people tell you if you give them your bank account information they will wire these millions straight into your account. Then you sign a few documents electronically and you are an instant millionaire. What you are unknowingly doing by providing your bank details is actually permitting these individuals to withdraw money from your account or use your account/personal details for fraudulent charges. This scam has become very well-known these days, is well known to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies and is also known as the Nigerian Inheritance scam.
Also please be aware of a well-known credit card scam: you’ll receive a phone call supposedly from a recognized bank and credit card company claiming that you have applied for a credit card online previously and now they’re calling to get more information. They explain that this is a secured card and you will need to make a payment of $200.00 to get it started. You then give your information over the phone and pay the bill but what you receive in the mail will be completely unrelated to your phone conversation. You’ll receive a large packet with time share information and fliers for credit cards, vacations and other various companies. When you call to voice your concerns, they will tell you they never promised a credit card, only an opportunity to apply for one. These are usually companies that you haven’t actually had any previous business with. Beware of calls like this one! You know if you really applied for a credit card online and don’t let them convince you otherwise.
So in order to protect yourselves, first please ensure never to provide personal details to anyone you don’t know and NEVER by email. Second, do NOT seek advice from anyone mentioned in the email, but DO seek advice from trusted friends, family members or legal advisors in order to ensure a well-reasoned decision. Third, a simple internet search for the exact wording of these “too good to be true” scenarios will often provide valuable insight. Fourth, regularly check your bank statements and your credit report to ensure that your financials and your personal identity are always intact and protected insofar as you are able. There are many morally bankrupt individuals out there preying on yet another victim and you don’t want to be the next one. If you believe you have been victimized, please contact your bank, financial institution, and/or relevant agencies straight away before incurring any more needless damage.