Thursday, April 2, 2009

Caveat emptor

Sounds too good to be true? Buyer beware...... Most likely it is.

Over the past eight years our economy has really took a nosedive. Thanks GWBush! Every day seems to bring new layoffs across America. With so many struggling today, the uncertainty of tomorrow weighs on us all.

Desperate and with little hope, many Americans have started looking to others means of employment and income.

Yes, it would be awesome if I could work from home. Be here for the kids, work when I want to.
Or perhaps a government grand. I could start up a small business, be my own boss. Unfortunately, %95 of these programs are scams.

That "How to submit your grant" CD that cost only $1.99? The one that never showed up and a month latter my account was drained CD that many Americans have purchased. Yep, that's the one I'm talking about. Along with millions of other scams.

You see, there are two kinds of people. Those that need it and get creative looking for new ways to get it. And those that know there's people looking for it and take advantage of them.
What do these people have in common? They both have a need to fill.

Why do scams work? Is it because people are stupid or gullible? NO, its not.

These people that pull off successful scams can be incredibly clever.
Getting your money is what they're thinking about. Constantly.
It's the same in all situation's that pose a risk to those who think of it "sometimes".

From 1-800 numbers to web sites. These people have their act together. Waiting for you to get online, pick up your phone or check your mail. Do yourself a favor, check it out first.

I received a call recently. The woman says she is going to mail me a CD. This includes all the information I need to write and submit a request for a government grant. It only cost's $1.99. Not a lot right, who can't afford that. But, I haven't asked for this information so why is she calling me? I say I'm not interested, at this point she tries to talk me into it. Telemarketers uh! you know how they are. I am forced to hang up on her mid sentence. A little while latter the phone is ringing again. Same person. The next day I receive several more calls. Now, I want to know who this is. This prompts me to conduct a reverse phone look-up. Los Angeles? HUH? I also get a name, not expecting much I punch it and the number in the search bar. Turns out these people calling me have been calling alot of people. They even managed to get the credit card Numbers of some of them.

I also found out that I can call the number back. Turns out the only way to stop them from calling you is to call them. Unceasingly and angry for an hour or two.

While I felt this was obvious, some scams may not be. Keep in mind the %95!!

Some of those that could fool even the most suspicious person include...

Fake downloads. A screen pops up warning that you picked up a virus. You must now download a anti-virus to get rid of it.

Fake web pages. They look like the real thing until you enter your information.

E-Mails. You open them up and out pops a virus.

Scholarship, Real estate, Health care, Lottery, Identity theft, Phishing scams, Hoaxes, Fraud, Work from home.

Now you don't have to freak out, here are a few things that you can do.

Always! Always check the company/person/site out before making a move.

If you are pressured to "Act Now!" without being able to think about it then DON'T do it.

Use some protection when surfing. Personally, I use Firefox Mozzilla's Web of Trust tool. I can see what sites are BS and which are authentic.

If you do get scammed, report it. There's likely no chance for you to recover your losses doing this. But you may prevent this from happening to others.