Avoiding Scams And Con-Men

August 15, 2020
Making A Claim Against Your Own Insurance Peel Law Firm
Scams continue because crooks can gain your confidence. That is where the “con” in con-men comes from. Here are some to beware of, and make sure you warn the vulnerable, who maybe an “easy mark.”

Common Scams Debunked

The "Nigerian e-mail scam" the mark is asked to help liberate some money from the country. Usually this “prince” (or barrister, a brigadier-general, banker, etc.,) is in exile or some such tripe. They had added awful grammar that helpfully removes most people who are savvy enough to escape the trap and leave the much smaller percentage who are easier marks. They just need a portion of the money for “taxes and court fees”. Right.

Grandparent Scam: Mimi gets an e-mail from their “grandchild”, saying that they were traveling overseas and have been arrested and require money wired, and asks the victim not to tell the grandchild's parents, as they would "only get upset." There will be no way their phone works. But they will seem to know a lot of details but just ask them what kind of dog Bruiser was (or any fake thing). Any money wired out of the country is gone forever.

“Advertise on your Car:”  Marks respond to this silliness on a Craigslist ad. They actually are led to believe that a business will pay them to slap a sticker on their faded 1982 Camry! Then they do get a check made out to them from the company so hiring, for an odd amount ($1,963.83) and are told to keep $500 and send a check for the rest onto some booking firm. Of course, the check is fake, but clears initially, so the mark sends a check for $1463.83 out from his checking. It all reverses on the mark.

Mystery Shoppers: Answering an ad for this, the mark is sent a check for a larger sum than a mystery purchase he is required to make, with a request to deposit it into his bank account, use a portion for a mystery purchase and fee, and wire the remainder through a wire transfer company such as Western Union. Again, it all reverses on the mark.

Facebook Messenger: In this one, a “friend” will ask how you have been. Then, after small talk, will provide a link that might help you get funding. Of course, it is just a “phishing” scam.

Phishing: scammers send an email pretending to be from a company, such as eBay, a bank, or Visa. It is formatted exactly like email from that business and will ask the mark to "verify" some personal information such as credit card numbers at the website, to which a link is provided, in order to "reactivate" his blocked account. The website is fake but designed to look exactly like the business' website.

Missed Jury Duty/IRS Scam: Essentially this is the pay up or be arrested phone call. Tell them to arrest you. Even if the faked caller ID identifies as the local sheriff.

Business Scams: An official looking, a personalized invoice arrives at the bookkeeping department. Even though it might even say, 'THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED ABOVE UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER, “ it often gets paid without a second look. A yellow page directory, or Who’s Who listing is common. Businesses often either mistake the solicitations for invoices (paying them) or mistake them for a request for corrections and updates to an existing listing (a tactic to obtain a businessperson's signature on the document, which serves as a pretext to bill the victim). Relatedly, a "Final Notice of Domain Listing" from an entity calling itself "Domain Services", will threaten your website’s listing if not paid as soon as possible.

Here are some Warning Signs:

  • Secrecy: (“First, I must solicit your strictest confidence in this transaction; this being utterly confidential and top secret”).
  • Flattery: (“You have been recommended by an associate who assured me in confidence of your ability and reliability in prosecuting a business transaction of high net value requiring maximum confidentiality.”)
  • Affinity: Christianity, lodge membership, military ranks, etc.
  • Urgency: You are pressured to act now before it’s too late (“Get Back To Me Urgently!”)
  • FOMO: Fear of missing out. (“Someone is going get this money.”)
  • Reassurances: (“This is 100% risk free” or “I know this sounds too good to be true, but…”)
  • First Money: Ponzi schemes will often take in $10,000 check and return $5,000 a month later claiming that is profit for you. The mark then gives it back with more money, never to see any of it again.
Should Christians Sue? Read our article here

Mr. Peel seeks justice for those injured in truck, motorcycle, and car crashes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Mr. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.

Mr. Peel and his staff are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. The environment was inviting and not intimidating in the least. They make you feel like they truly care about you and your case. Mr. Peel answered any questions I had without making me feel like a burden or a dummy. I would definitely recommend him for your personal injury law needs.
Rachel M.
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