Some scams that are prevalent in the United States and Canada are listed below. You may see them in the newspaper, online, or on a street post.
Buying Scams: You want see in ad in the local newspaper or online for a car. It is a great deal that seems too good to be true. You call them to say you want to see the car and they said it is out of state but they will send you the pictures online. They guarantee money back if you aren’t 100% satisfied. They promise to deliver your car to your doorstep after you pay for it in cash. The car never shows up.
Selling Scams: You are selling something online from a local newspaper agency which is legit and you can make a lot of money. Some people may contact you saying they are interested in whatever it is you are selling and most of the time they are genuine. However, be careful when people come to pick up the merchandise. If you are a women never let them come to your house when you are alone. Instead bring a friend and meet in a public place for the exchange. In some cases there have been muggings and even rape, although it is rare.
I have been contacted more than once from someone “out of state”. They want whatever it is you’re selling without looking at it in person. They say they are going to send a check and to mail it immediately when you receive the money because they are in a rush. You send the merchandise after you see the check and in about 10 business days the bank says the funds didn’t go through. Never accept a check, cash only.
Or the person out of state will say that he is really interested and is sending more money than you requested. When you receive the money you are supposed to send a third party a portion of the money and keep a small fee for yourself. In 10 business days after you send the extra money to a third person, the funds from the check you received didn’t go through. Again don’t ever accept a check or even a money order (it could be fake). Or you can accept a check, but don’t give them the product until about 14 business days to make sure it is going to clear with the bank.
Work at Home Scams: Wouldn’t it be great if you can make a ton of money doing close to nothing or for a small investment? It sounds appealing so call the ad you see on the street post, online, or your local newspaper. They may say you get paid if you can get other people to “Stuff envelopes”. You have to pay for the ads and they only way the people get paid is to get their own ads. There really isn’t any envelope stuffing involved, just a scam. Oh, and you have to pay a small fee to get started.
If the ad is vague about what you would actually do and promises wealth it is too good to be true. If the ad requires a fee for more information, keep looking and be careful sometimes the “fee” is a number you have to call and will be billed a lot of money for it. If it promises you a lot of money for only a few hours a week, it is too good to be true. Be aware if there are experiences necessary to do the work; and they conveniently offer training you can buy. Also be aware if they are pressuring you into acting immediately or on impulse. Ask yourself, if it is that easy to make money why are they bothering for you to help them instead of keeping the money for them?
Craftsmen Scam: Somebody wants to pay you to make merchandise. However, you have to buy the material from them and maybe even a sewing machine. It may cost thousands of dollars for you to get started. They promise to it back when you are finished, however your work is never up to standard. And you are stuck trying to sell it on Ebay.
Personal Shopper Scam: Do you love to shop and want to get paid for it? I have seen ads for this all over the place. You give out your name, phone number, address, savings and/or checking account number and bank routing number. He tells you that once he as your information he give you a shopping list and instructions on where to mail it. In return he will “wire” you the money into your bank accounts after you have mailed him the merchandise. He never actually wires the money to you, but you bought him a list of items and shipped it to him. If you see some money into your account, then it is most likely from another person getting scammed. This is like a Pyramid Scheme where he may tell you to tell other people to shop for you. If you accept money or merchandise from people in this way, it is illegal and it will be easy for the police to track you because of your bank account.
Investment Scam: A guy you meet seems like he has a lot of money and says it is from a new stock that he invested in. You too can get in on it if you give the money to him directly, usually in cash. He tells you the investment is doing great but never gives you the paperwork, or if he does, the paperwork looks like he made it because he probably did. He used you cash to buy things for himself and if you find out he says he is just borrowing it. Most likely he disappears before you find out and you will never see him again.
Investments are a good thing and can make you a lot of money even in bad economy. If you want to invest in something go through a well-known company. Write a check to the company, never to a person and make sure you get a receipt. You should receive statements monthly and you should be able to check your investment online every day. Make sure you read the fine print and understand a lot of investments are for retirement and you may not be able to withdraw your money before retirement age without a penalty. Being an accounting major and dealing with the stock market for many years I can give you advice on who to go through or what kind of investment to invest in if you are interested, contact me. And no I will not ask you to pay me and I am not affiliated with any
Pyramid Scheme and Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) Schemes: You really can make a lot of money MLMs. You get a commission on the product you sell and you get a percentage of what the people underneath you sell. You have to requite the people who sell underneath you. The higher up the pyramid the more money you make. I do know of a few people who make ton of money doing this type of marketing, but they either started it, or got in at the beginning and they actually sell a product that people like and buy.
A Pyramid Scheme is when the company only offers a product to make it look legitimate. You make money when you can requite other people to recruit more people by buying a book on how to recruit. Only the people on top of the pyramid make money and the rest spend a lot of time and ads in trying to recruit other people who aren’t buying into the scam. Pyramid Schemes are illegal in Canada and some states of the U.S. Is It MLM or a Pyramid Scheme?
If you have been a victim of a scram in the US contact: The Better Business Bureau.
The Federal Trade Commission. Call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
In Canada contact: The Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus. Call 416-644-4936
The Canadian Competition Bureau. Call toll free 1-800-348-5358.