What are some of the most common scams?
Fraudsters are constantly devising new ways to scam you. You’ll be able to avoid danger if you know what to look out for it. Scams and thefts can take many different forms. Understand what to look out for to protect yourself, your home, and your assets.
- Scams involving charities
A charity scam occurs when a crook impersonates a legitimate charity or invents a name for a charity that seems legal to defraud you. Scams like this are more common around the holidays, as well as during natural disasters and emergencies like storms, wildfires, and earthquakes. When charity phones to beg for money, be wary, especially if they claim to be following up on a gift pledge you don’t recall making.
- Scams involving debt collecting
The majority of debt collectors will contact you to collect on legal obligations, according to Richard Schueler. Scammers posing as debt collectors, on the other hand, try to trick you into paying for debts you don’t own or for which you’ve already gotten reimbursed.
- Scams involving debt settlement and debt relief
Debt settlement or relief organizations frequently advertise that they will renegotiate, settle, or otherwise alter the terms of a person’s debt with a creditor or debt collector. Dealing with debt settlement companies, on the other hand, can be dangerous and can lead to you becoming even more in debt, according to Richard Schueler.
- Scams involving foreclosure relief or mortgage loan modification
Scams involving foreclosure relief or mortgage loan modification are attempts to defraud you of your money or your home by falsely promising to save you from foreclosure. Scammers may demand upfront payment for their services, promise a loan modification, or ask you to give over the title to your home or sign documents you don’t understand.
- Scams targeting grandparents
It could be a scam if you get a call from someone who sounds like a grandchild or relative, and they beg you to wire or transfer money or send gift cards to assist them out of difficulty.
- Scams involving impostors
Imposter scammers pose as someone you know or trust, such as a sheriff, a local, state, federal government employee, or a charity organization, to persuade you to contribute money.
- Fraudulent mail
The claims in mail fraud letters appear genuine, but they are not. A letter urging you to contribute money or personal information now in exchange for something of value later is a classic warning indicator. Prize mailings, sweepstakes victories, vacations, and other promises to claim valuable stuff are all examples of postal fraud.
- Scams involving the use of a money mule
A money mule is someone who takes money from scam victims and moves it around. While some money mules are aware that their actions help criminals, others are unaware that moves aid fraudsters. Money mules get frequently recruited via job advertising on the internet or social media that promise money for little effort. People may pledge to help a love interest they met online or over the phone by donating or receiving money as part of a romance scam.
- Scams involving mortgage closings
Homebuyers reaching the end of their mortgage loan are the target of mortgage closing scams. The fraudster sends the homebuyer an email appearing as the homebuyer’s real estate agent or settlement agent, attempting to steal the purchaser’s closing funds—for example, their down payment and closing expenses (title company, escrow officer, or attorney).
- Scams involving lotteries and prizes
Scammers may call or email you to inform you that you’ve won a reward in a lottery or sweepstakes, then demand upfront payment for fees and taxes. They might pretend to be from a federal government agency in some situations.
- Romance scams
A romance scam occurs when a new love interest dupes you into falling for them when all they truly want is your money. Romance scams can begin in a variety of ways, most commonly online. Scammers may also spend time getting to know you and building trust before asking for a loan or access to your finances. Consider who you connect with online and what information you disclose. Don’t give a new love connection personal information like your bank account, credit card data, or Social Security number.