Online scams are everywhere, and spotting one can save you thousands. You would be surprised how many people fall for scams, and the amount of money that is lost daily. To keep from being one of these victims to online financial scams, there are a few rules to remember. Here are some of the top online financial scams, and some ways to avoid them.
The search for a dream job
With the sluggish economy unemployed people and parents that want to stay home and support their kids at the same time often turn to the internet to make some cash. Scammers know this and have created many “dream jobs” that are only there to rob you.
Within this category there are many scams. It’s fairly easy to identify these scams if you simply just protect your personal information. Go into any potential online job as a scam, and if anyone asks you to plug-in personal information for a background check, it’s probably a scam. Another way they swindle people is by having you set-up a direct deposit so they can pay you. They get all your bank account information, and the rest is history.
In these situations it’s important to remember that if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. Do as much research as possible, and usually a simple Google search will give you the scam details. I never give out any personal information, period! I was always taught that if a job required me to pay out money, or ask for personal information, then it wasn’t risk the odds of it not being a scam.
The significant other you never wanted to meet
I’m sure we all have former flames that we regret meeting, but there are some suitors on dating sites that you really never want to cross paths with. These profiles are simply scams in the form of an eligible bachelor/bachelorette. They will form an emotional relationship with you, and then play the “damsel in distress” card to ask you for money.
Never give out money to someone you have not met, and if they really need help, give them the information to help with their situation without shelling out cash or credit information.
The mystery shopper
This job does really exist, which is why the scam is brilliant. There is so much mystery surrounding this job, and it can be tough to distinguish the real one from the scam. The scammer will send money order checks and ask you to deposit into your bank account, grade the bank, and then tell them the bank and time.
If this ever happens to you, the best way to see if it is real is to take the money orders to the postmaster and ask if they are real. My other rule is to make it clear that as a mystery shopper you will not shop banks, or give out personal information.
Don’t let a tragedy become your own
Tragedies happen every day, and donating is now easier with crowd-funding sites, so knowing exactly where your money is going is even more important. Scammers set-up fake accounts, and have you send donations.
The best way to avoid this is to research your cause. Make sure the foundation is reputable, and if there is a question then try to find a number to call. One piece of advice I follow is to never donate through email.
Does your computer have a virus?
The answer is probably not. Do not click on any pop-up saying your computer is infected, and that you need an anti-virus. Most computers either already have their own anti-virus installed by buying one, or downloading on their own time. By clicking on the pop-up, and following the steps, the scammer will insist they need remote access to your computer. What this really means is that they are taking your credit card information.