Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Some Rip-Offs, Tricks, and Scams . . . Continued

Be on the look out for several types of scams in your email.

  • For example the “Nigerian” (Other variation come from Spain, or England, or some other third world country) scam is one in which a foreigner, usually posing as a wealthy family member, or banker, or lawyer of the wealthy family, solicits a consumer’s assistance via email to help transfer millions of dollars from his homeland to the United States.

    In return, the foreigner agrees to reward the consumer with a percentage of the fortune. The foreigner, however, then requests sensitive information such as bank account numbers and pass codes. The scam has been operating on the Internet for years.

  • A similar online scam is one in which a consumer is informed via email that they have won an electronic sweepstakes. Before prize money can be sent, however, the consumer is required to pay the taxes on the winnings with a credit card number.

  • In another version of this scam, the consumer is told they need to purchase a product before the prize money can be released. It’s another scam designed to extract credit card information from consumers.

    Another common rip-off is the “Free Credit Report” scam. Usually, these seemingly generous email offers are tricks to separate the consumer from his Social Security number, credit card number, and other financial and personal information.

  • Another way Social Security numbers are extracted from consumers is via employment opportunity scams.
Words to the wise:
  • Remember that it is illegal for anyone to charge you or force you to purchase a product in order to collect a prize. And taxes are paid directly to the government, not to an individual or firm dispensing prize money.

  • Never submit your Social Security number with electronic job application, experts warn. Instead, contact the company directly through its Human Resources Department to determine whether the job offer is even legitimate.

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Behavior Management Expert and Maximizing Your Potential Mentor™ Etienne A. Gibbs is a life-observing author, engaging talk show host, humorous speaker, and successful trainer who teaches small business owners, managers, and employees how to speak, think, and perform in ways that will help them shine. In the end, they maximize their critical thinking, speaking, and management skills.

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