4 Common Scams And How To Avoid Them

Believe it or not, there are people out there who want your money and will do sneaky things to get it. Crazy, right? There are some new and super tricky ways these scammers have come up with to separate you from your hard-earned cash, so let’s read up with a How Not To list from the Chicago Tribune and get prepared.

Census scammers: These con artists will prey on your willingness to be counted. If for some reason your 2010 census form hasn’t been received yet, there’s a possibility that a census worker could ring your doorbell. But make sure they’re who they say they are.

“If you get an e-mail from the Census Bureau that says we want information, that’s not us,” Kim Hunter, a media specialist for the Census Bureau tells the Chicago Tribune.

They also won’t give you any online forms or ask for your Social Security number. If a real census worker is on your doorstep, they will have a badge with no picture, and you can ask to see their driver’s license. They shouldn’t come in your house or ask for money.

Phone number switcheroos: After Toyota began recalling automobiles, they set up an info line for consumers – 800-331-4331. But some scammers out there set themselves up with a number that was close to that number, says the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Michigan.

Customers who reached that number were directed to call another 800 number and ended up being charged around $6 on their phone bill.

And when it comes to the phone, don’t trust Miss Cleo’s pals. As if you didn’t know — psychics can see your money in the future, so if you call one and they ask you to press a number, you’re most likely going to get charged big money for being sent to a 900-number. Check your phone bill and fight charges that shouldn’t be there.

There is no money waiting for you in a foreign land: As believable as it is that there are millionaires dying every day with no one to give their money to — okay, it’s not believable at all, and anyone who emails you to ask for help depositing millions is just going to steal from your bank account. Delete!

Know your family tree: We all like helping a family member in need and scammers know this. If someone calls you and says they’re your long lost third cousin from your Great-Uncle Jack’s side and they need money to get out of a jam, yeah, they’re lying.

Sneaksters will read obituaries to get names of grandchildren to try and bamboozle senior citizens, according to a March report in the AARP Bulletin. Now that is just cold-hearted.

Basically, you should keep count of your grandchildren, don’t wire money to strangers, be wary of anyone taking your money, don’t give out SSN or credit card info to someone calling you out of the blue, and stay away from email heiresses.

Beware of latest scams to separate you from your money [Chicago Tribune]

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