Frauds and Scams

Be aware of the different consumer frauds and scams

Foreign scams

Foreign scams often involve a letter or email that claims to be an investment opportunity.

Telemarketing scams

  • Telemarketing is the sale of goods or services over the phone.
  • Some telemarketers are annoying, but harmless. Others are selling scams.
  • Signs of telemarketing scams include claims that you have won a prize, such as sweepstakes,
  • Travel packages, magazine subscriptions, or gym memberships.
  • Check out the company before you agree to anything.
  • Do not share your credit card or banking information with a telemarketer.

Advance fee scams

  • These are scams where some kind of service or benefit is offered, but you have to pay before receiving anything.
  • In many cases, you end up paying and getting nothing in return.
  • This is common with guaranteed loans, debt consolidation, and credit repair services.
  • A non -profit credit counsellor will not ask for fees in advance of providing a debt management program.

Debit card fraud

They all involve stealing your money and banking information. Common scams include:

  • stealing your card and PIN
  • setting up devices to jam your card in ATMs
  • “skimming” which means using a device that can find out your banking information through the magnetic strip on your card.
  • Fake ATMs that collect your card and PIN information.

Credit card fraud

  • Some scams use your stolen credit card to make purchases.
  • Some use the card to steal your identity and open more credit under your name.
  • Review your credit card statements to make sure that all the purchases are yours.
  • If your card is stolen and you report it right away, under law you can only be held responsible for up to $50.

Toll-Free, text Message and international call scams

  • These are scams where you are charged a fee for calling or text messaging a number.
  • Often TV ads will urge you to call or text for a product or service.
  • But it is not always clear that there can be costly charges just for making the call.
  • Some phone numbers might seem like they are local, but they are in fact international.

Calling card scams

  • These scams target people who often make long-distance calls.
  • Many of these scams have large fees up front when you buy the card.
  • Or they may charge you for a certain number of minutes, but cut your calls off before you have used your minutes up.
  • Buy calling cards only from companies you know and trust.

Work-at-home

  • Some jobs are advertised as opportunities to make money while you work from home.
  • But in many cases, you never get paid for your work.
  • Common types of jobs that fall under this scam are envelope stuffing, data entry, assembling crafts, and posting ads and flyers.
November 12, 2014
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