Other Scams to Watch Out For

spam.jpgBesides phishing, various other scams also arrive in your inbox. Here are brief descriptions of some of the most common.

The "Nigerian" Scam also called "Advance Fee" Scam

The email is requesting help to get large sums of money out of a foreign country. They promise you big profits in exchange for your help. Before you receive any money, you'll have to provide money to cover transaction and transfer costs and attorney fees plus you'll need to provide them with your bank account numbers. The "Nigerian" Email Scam from the FTC has more information.

Advance-Fee Loan Scam

These emails promise that a loan or credit will be approved even if you've been turned down many times already. But in order to get this loan you have to pay a fee. Advance-Fee Loans from the FTC has more information.

Work-at-Home Scams

These emails promise a steady income with just a little work in your spare time. Common schemes are envelope stuffing, email processing, assembly or craft work, and medical billing. You may have to pay a "fee" for materials, instructions, or equipment. Fall for any of these offers and you'll probably be out money instead of earning any. Work-at-Home Businesses from the FTC has more details.

Foreign Lotteries

These emails either promise great odds or indicate that you've won money in a lottery in another country. You will have to pay to get your prize or collect your winnings. International Lottery Scams from the FTC has more details.

Check Overpayment Scams

Someone responds to your ad or online auction posting, offering to buy your item. The catch is that for some reason, the check you'll receive is for more than the purchase price. They want you to wire them back the difference. Fake Checks from the FTC has more information.

Counterfeit Check Scams

These scams are another version of the Nigerian or advance fee scam.

Debt Relief

These emails tout various debt relief schemes such as bill consolidation (without borrowing); stopping credit harassment, foreclosure, repossession, tax levies and garnishments; or wiping out your debts. The catch is that most of these emails are actually offering bankruptcy services, but they don't mention that fact. Bankruptcy should usually the last resort when dealing with financial problems. Debt Relief or Bankruptcy? has more details.

Investment Schemes

These emails offer so-called investments with high rates of return with little or no risk. Usually there is little detail about the investment but lots of details about how much money you can make. Investment Risks from the FTC provides tips to help you spot these fraudulent pitches.

Foreclosure Rescue Scams

The objective of these scams is to steal the at-risk home instead of saving the home. The most common of these scams are: phony counseling or phantom help, bait-and-switch, rent-to-buy schemes, and bankruptcy foreclosure. Mortgage Relief Scams from the FTC and 5 Tips: Avoiding Foreclosure Scams from the Federal Reserve Board describes these scams in more detail.

These sites describe these and other scams.

Test your scam knowledge with the quiz: Spam Scam Slam — Don't be Fooled. It's from OnGuard Online.

 

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