Saturday, 27 November 2010 21:09
If you’re like most people, you work hard for every dollar you get. Unfortunately, there are some people who are working even harder to take that money away from you. When people get ripped off by a scam artist, they often complain to the Federal Trade Commission, which uses the information to help you protect yourself. The FTC says that some current scams include:
Internet auctions. While most participants in online markets like eBay are honest, some scam artists are using them to steal, by never shipping merchandise that’s been paid for. Protect yourself by investigating the seller and paying by credit card or an escrow service.
Costly free viewing. Some sites offer free viewing if you provide a credit card number to prove that you’re an adult. Then they use those numbers to run up fraudulent charges. Don’t do it – and if you already have, complain to your card issuer so they can stop the charges.
Pyramid problems. Multi-level marketing programs promoted online are often touted as ways to get rich quick. Some of them are really illegal pyramid schemes. Be wary of “opportunities” that expect you to spend a lot upfront or recruit others.
Bogus businesses. Emails offer the chance to “be your own boss,” but are often just new versions of old-time scams that demand money for business “secrets” that don’t exist or are unrealistic.
Travel tricks. Emails and faxes promise discount vacations. People who have been taken in discover that the trips or hotels aren’t as nice as what the offers detailed, or find themselves paying unexpected fees. You’re better off doing business with legitimate travel companies you know.
If you’re not sure about an offer or opportunity, check it out with the Better Business Bureau before responding or sending money.