It never ceases to amaze me as to what a con man/woman will come up with to keep from having to earn an honest dollar. If they spent as much time doing honest work as they do working an angle, they’d probably have more money than all of us, but there’s something in their DNA that just won’t allow that. Here are 10 Cons You Should Be on the Lookout For:
- THE JURY DUTY CON. If you pick up the phone and are forcefully told that you have missed your jury duty, hang up. Immediately! The con works like this. The “mark” will be called and threatened with jail time for missing jury duty. In order to get out of this “jail time”, the recipient will be told to wire money via Western Union or through the use of a prepaid debit card. This is a scam with a capital S!
- THE UTILITY PAYMENTS CON. Once again the “mark” will be called by someone claiming to be with the local utility company, usually the power company, claiming that their services will be cut off immediately if they don’t purchase prepaid debit cards to pay the outstanding balance. If there’s any doubt at all, hang up, find the number of the utility company on your own, and call them to see if there is a balance or not. Regardless, no utility company is going to demand payment in any particular way.
- THE IRS TAXES ARE DUE CON. This one has been going on forever. In fact, I just received a recorded call last week trying to pull this very scam. The con works like this. You answer the phone and an ominous sounding voice claims to be from the IRS and saying you will be the recipient of a lawsuit if you don’t call a particular call back number immediately. If you hear this, hang up and have a good laugh to yourself. The IRS will never call with collection demands such as this con does.
- THE READER’S DIGEST CON. This con prays on peoples greed and always hoping to win a prize. The con man/woman calls the “mark” claiming to be from the Reader’s Digest prize department. They advise the person who answers the phone that they’ve won thousands of dollars and all that needs to be done to assure it’s payment is a small handling fee to cover taxes before it will be dispersed. Don’t fall for this one!
- THE COMPUTER REPAIR CON. This is one I received 5-8 times a week. I answer the phone and a guy with a strong Indian accent, always, tells me he’s from the computer department and is calling to help me fix my computer. I always tell them I don’t believe in computers, would never own one, and think they are evil. Just my way to break up the boredom of a day on occasion. It always throws them for a loop as they keep asking, “You don’t own a computer?” They just can’t believe it and it makes my day for them to call.
- THE RESHIPPING CON. This con preys on those trying to make a little money or looking for a work-from-home job. Con men will place an add making it look as if you can make easy money either receiving packages and reshipping them, or by depositing checks, keeping a “commission” and sending the con the rest. The packages for reship are usually stolen merchandise which have been gotten through illegal means, while the check depositing con is usually accomplished with counterfeit checks. Don’t fall for either of these. One legitimate work-from-home job I know of involves reviewing websites for http://www.usertesting.com. You can make $10 per test for 10-15 minutes worth of work. You won’t get rich, but it’s a legitimate way to make a little extra cash.
- THE HOME REPAIR CON. 15! That’s the number of calls I received from home repair businesses last week who, “Were going to be in my area next week,” but who couldn’t answer a few simple questions. The latest spiel is that they work for their dad’s home remodeling business and are a small business trying to compete. I always ask where their office is, the exact address, and what their hours are. They never know the answer to those, even though they “work” for their “dad’s company.” Right. Make sure you report all of these calls to http://www.donotcall.gov as I do.
- THE ALDI COUPON CON. Facebook is alive and well with scams, believe me. If you see a coupon for $75 at Aldi on Facebook, disregard it. This “anniversary coupon” link will send you to a phishing site that asks for your personal information and requires you to sign up for credit cards or enroll in subscription programs.
- THE CREDIT CARD SKIMMER CON. My wife was actually the victim of this several weeks ago. Cons are installing skimmers within self-checkout lanes at grocery stores and self-serve gas stations. Once they have all of the collected data from the skim, they make fake credit cards and start spending away. Charges that we were made aware of by the credit card issuer were to Dominos and Lone Star Steakhouse in 3 states we haven’t been to in 10 years, at least.
- THE FACEBOOK AIRLINE TICKETS CON. Who doesn’t want a pair of free airline tickets? And if it’s on Facebook it must be legit. Right? Not so fast my friend. These are cons that prey on the fact that Facebook has an air of legitimacy, but it’s not that hard to get fake ads approved. You click on the ad, put in your personal information, share it with your friends, and the tickets never show up, but a con now has enough information to pretend they are you. Stay away from these!
Be on the lookout for these 10 cons and you won’t become a victim of them.