Financial Scams

Avoid Common Scams

Most of the current schemes are re-packaged versions of the same old scams. Some of the common ones involve a lottery scenario or a sure fire investment. However, new twists might be fronted as a loan modification, an instant employment offer, or a mystery shopper. The old caution still applies, if it sounds too good to be true, back off.

Recent Scams

Here are a few recent scams to avoid if you encounter them.

 Canadian Lottery Scam

  • Letter indicating grand prize winner of large sum of money
  • Requests personal banking information
  • Requests payment by victim as “taxes” or "surcharges”

 Mystery Shopper Scam

  • Online notification for employment or letter through mail
  • Requests personal information
  • Suspect delivers counterfeit check for victim to deposit

 Nigerian Scam

  • Online notification for help or by U.S. mail
  • Requests personal banking information
  • Instructions for wire money transfers to suspects

 Loan Modification Scam

  • Online, mail, and television
  • Requests pay up front for services to assist victim
  • No assistance rendered

 Investment Scam

  • Safe, secure, and high rate of return guaranteed
  • Upfront investment with monthly payment returns of interest
  • Interest payment stops after one to three interest payments made to victim

 Injury Scam

  • Usually targeted to elders
  • Phone call to victim regarding a family member being involved in an accident or acting like a family member in need of quick money
  • Suspect requests money for medical bills be wired through Western Union to a specific location
  • Keep accident information confidential
  • None of the information is true

Protect Yourself

Make a few personal rules for yourself, including:

  • Check personal credit every six months to monitor activity.
  • Use passwords on accounts rather than mother’s maiden name or social security numbers.
  • Mail bills and checks from a post office rather than your home mailbox if it is not a locking type.
  • Don’t reveal banking or personal information online or on the phone.
  • Don’t respond to online job advertising through email.
  • Never rely on phone reports about family. Call back to them directly for verification.
  • Don’t open bank accounts as part of an employment process.