Watch Out for These Signs of Fraud

by Miranda Marquit · 1 comment

One of the things that can really put a damper on your efforts to get more for your money is a scam. There are a number of schemes out there, from phishing, to advanced fee loans, to health products, to the chance to get in on something early, you could find yourself parted from your hard-earned money before you realize what is happening. Even the smartest people sometimes fall prey to fraud. You can, though, reduce the chances that you will be taken in. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

Your Gut Offers a Warning

Your intuition might be more right than you thought. If there are warning bells going off in your head, it’s a good idea to listen to them. If you think that something is too good to be true, it probably is.

Contact Information is Scarce

Another tell-tale sign of a fraudulent scheme is the difficulty in finding contact information. You might be able to correspond via email, but it is hard to find a telephone number or address. In some cases, a fraudster might have a phone number, but it’s difficult to get a physical address. If you are having a hard time finding contact information, it might be a sign that you’re dealing with a fly by night operation.

You Receive an “Official” Envelope from a Company You Don’t Recognize

Watch out for the envelopes that appear in your mailbox from “member services” or as some sort of “alert.” These types of offers are rarely something totally above board. While it may not be fraud per se, it still might be an offer that comes with hidden fees and extra charges. If you don’t recognize the company, be extra careful.

Your Online Research Raises Red Flags

A good idea is to enter the company name, or the promotion name, into a search engine. You can also add the word “review” after the name. Look at what people are saying about it. If there are a lot of complaints about the promotion, or if it is referred to as a scam, it is a rather obvious sign that you should steer clear.

You Have to Make a Decision RIGHT NOW

High pressure tactics can be another red flag. If the person trying to hook you tells you that you have to make a decision immediately, or that the offer won’t be available after 48 hours, you could be looking at a scam. Most legitimate companies and opportunities don’t just disappear immediately.

Another thing to beware of is the idea that you are among a select few chosen for this “opportunity.” It it requires a fast decision because you will lose your place, or if it is so exclusive that you are being approached because of some “unique” quality, be careful. Chances are it’s a fraudster appealing to your vanity.

You Have to Wire Money to a Third Party

Paying huge up front fees is always a tip off to a scam. However, it’s an even bigger tip off if you have to wire money to a third party. And you should run screaming the other direction if you have to wire that money to a third party in another country. Most legitimate businesses will accept a credit card, which protects you to some degree from fraud, and which can be traced. Once you wire money, it’s gone.

Be on the alert for signs of fraud. If it seems fishy, stay away. Don’t let your fear of “missing out” sway you into doing something you’ll regret even more.

This post was shown at the Totally Money Blog Carnival.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

scamreporter February 21, 2011 at 3:48 am

Good information and update over these fraud and scams .Infact people should aware of high pressure sales tactics which can certainly result scams

Thanks for information

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