I am SO SICK of all the scams that are going on out there.
My husband and I are currently in the process of finding another place to rent. We’re looking for duplexes or homes but we’re on a bit of a tight budget. So far, all but two of the places that I’ve found on Craig’s List have been scams. What is with that?!
Usually the red flag goes off when they ask for your credit report and to click on the link that they’ve added in the email. Well that’s pretty much a no brainer for me that it’s a hoax. However, those have stopped being sent and now the emails that I’m getting back are from people who are ‘off doing God’s work in Africa’ and they’re going to be gone for several years so once I fill out the application they’ll send me the keys to the place. Oh, but I’m able to drive by it! HA! It started off that you could spot the scams if they didn’t list the address on the post but now they’ve even started listing the address and having pictures of the place inside. They’ve wised up, but I hope the public has too.
A person I work with’s Grandma actually had someone call and pretend to be her grandson. The person calling was hysterical saying he’d gotten in a car accident and was in jail and the police wouldn’t let him get any medical attention. He needed money for bail and even had another man acting as his lawyer talk to the Grandma. She hung up the phone fully ready to go to the nearest Western Union and wire money but the only thing that made her stop was that the man on the phone called her ‘Grandma’ and she’s usually called ‘Noni’ or ‘Nona’.
It’s just awful the amount of scams that are around now. The internet, while it’s brought us access to a vast amount of information and knowledge, has also brought more hoaxes and, it seems, more gullible people.
Every single time one of those (^) pops up, no matter what company, IT’S A SCAM! Don’t click on it. There is never a ‘maybe it’s real this time’. Every time it’s a scam. EVERY TIME.
It just makes me really sad that people try to take advantage of other people. What makes them think that they are able to skip getting a job and manipulate people and take their hard earned money?! I understand they need money and they are probably desperate. How can a person feel good about that? How can someone find something that dark inside of them that would allow them to do this to another person?
I know this is going to sound like ‘duh’ advice but people are still falling for this crap so here it goes:
Never under ANY circumstances, give out your personal information (SSN, Account number, Credit Card numbers) if you are not absolutely positive that they are who they say they are. If you didn’t call them yourself, there is no way of knowing who they are. It doesn’t matter if their caller ID says they’re Master Card and they say their Master Card. Tell them you will call them back and then find their toll free number on the back of your card (or your statement) and call them from there.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. ‘Make $2000 a week from home!’ Sounds amazing, but so does super powers and flying just by flapping your arms. That’s because, in this world, it’s NOT REAL. I don’t care how bad you want it to be true, it’s not. Don’t buy into it.
When renting or buying, if you can’t meet the person face to face don’t trust it. This stems the scams from my rental experience of ‘I’ll mail you the key once I get your deposit’. They will NOT mail anything to you once they get your money.
Most important of all…think logically. The biggest and easiest way they get your money is by tapping into your emotions. Advertisers do this all the time.
Why do you think those ASPCA commercials that Sarah McLachlan endorses are so effective? Or the Christian Children’s Fund showing pictures of emaciated kids who don’t have enough to eat? Because they were designed to do that. Advertisers have found out that the most powerful tool is emotion (I should know. I have a Bachelors Degree in Advertising).
The people who create these scams know this too. Above all else, they want your money and they will do anything to get it. They will act like all your money is gone; they will act like everyone you love is dying, they will act like the world is ending…whatever it takes to get your information.
That is why it’s so important to think logically about what is going on. Put your emotions aside for just 5 minutes and think about the situation from all sides. If it’s real, then do what you need to do. But if it’s fake, you’ll be glad that you took the time to think about it.
The Better Business Bureau has a write up of the most popular scams here. If you’re not used to scams, take a second and read it. It could save you a ton of time and money. If you have any doubts, step back (or hang up the phone) and think; talk to someone you trust and see what they think. The best thing you can do, is take just a few minutes to think about it. That’s what can make the difference between falling for a scam, and figuring out it is a scam.
Most importantly always remember to Do Unto Others. Treat others as you want to be treated.