4. The fake-check scam as payment
Buying things online has now been made easier. However, there are a lot of things to look out for. This mostly happens to free classified ads sites like Craigslist.
For example, you are trying to sell something on Craigslist, a bicycle for $300, let’s say. You hit paydirt almost immediately:
“Send me your address, and I will mail you check right away for $1,500 to cover the bike and shipping to me in Germany. Deposit the check, and then send $450 by Western Union to my shipping company.”
You already might have doubts with the transaction. However, a few days later, you actually do get a money order or certified check in the mail.
See sample image below:
Here is where you get screwed over. There is actually no buyer for your item. The check would end up us a forgery and by the time you find out, you would have already have wired real money to the scammer. You would end up losing your bike and $450.
These scammers target the greed in people. Three big clues that you’re being targeted: (a) The offer is for more than you’re asking; (b) you’re supposed to send your item to another country; and (c) you’re asked to use the other guy’s shipping company.
If you’re going to buy anything online, pay by credit card (because if it’s a ripoff, the bank pays instead of you). And compare the price with the same kind of thing on, for example, Amazon.
5. The you’ve-won-the-sweepstakes scam
Too many times that we receive email messages saying we have won an overseas lottery or sweepstakes. And you would wonder, how you could have won at all.
Here’s where they rip you off. They will ask for your mailing address and for sure, in a few days, you will be receiving a check with a huge amount indicated on it. The interesting part is that they would ask for money to cover for processing fees and taxes that they call it.
The check ends up as fake, and the money you send over to them as processing fee and taxes is the amount they have scammed you for which makes them the winner of the said sweepstakes instead.
Similar cons: “You’re pre-approved for a credit card!” “You’ve landed a great job!” “You’re invited to a great investment!” “You owe money on a debt you didn’t know you had!”
See sample below:
6. The Nigerian email scam
Believe it or not, there are still a lot of people who still fall for this type of scam.
Most of the time it is an email scam which goes something similar to this:
“I am Mr. Paul Agabi,” it says. “I am the personal attorney to Mr. Harold Cooper, a national of your country, who used to work with Exxon Oil Company in Nigeria. On the 21st of April, my client, his wife and their only child were involved in a car accident. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives.”
Ever wondered why would you be the eligible one to receive the huge amount of money? But because of greed, people decide to correspond with the scammer. And they think to themselves that they can use their account to get those millions out of the country to their bank accounts. Come to think of it, it might be money laundering, or something else… however some people tend to ignore it.
Once you proceed corresponding with the scammer, he will be asking for money for processing and supposed to be bribes for government officials. Compared to the amount you are supposed to receive, it would just be a couple hundred bucks, so you end up sending them the amount.
A week later, there’s another problem — he needs another payment, this time to take care of taxes. You send it. Come next the legal fees and others. The list goes on and on. You’d never lay hands on the said money. They would just ask you to send more until you realize you got duped.
See example below:
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