smartconsumer: Recognizing Scam Signals - Know

Recognizing Scam Signals

{What to Know} {What to Do}

{cartoon bad guy} {cat looking right} There are many types of frauds and scams. But all scams have things in common. Here are some very common scam signals. If you see any of these when you are in touch with a business, telemarketer, or person, you should be very careful, especially where they contacted you. If you see more than one of these, stay away.

In general, it is probably a scam if someone:

  • Makes you an offer that sounds too good to be true

  • Promises you that you can win money, make money, or borrow money easily

  • Asks you for money to enter a contest, win a sweepstakes or lottery, or claim a prize

  • Refuses to send you written information before you agree  to buy or donate

  • Refuses to give you a physical address or gives you a fake address

  • Refuses to give you the details of the offer before you make any payment or provides details that you cannot understand

  • Asks for your bank account or credit card number when you are not making a purchase with that account

  • Requests information such as social security number, date of birth, or driver’s license number without a valid, required reason

  • Contacts you to ask for information that the company already should have

  • Uses scare tactics or pressures you to act immediately

  • Insists that you wire money or have a courier pick up your payment

  • Asks you to make payment using a pre-paid card or has you buy a pre-paid card to make a payment

  • Refuses to stop calling after you’ve asked not to be called again

  • Gives you a check or money order and asks you to cash it and send some of the money somewhere

  • Warns you that you shouldn’t tell anyone else about the offer

Content Last Modified on 2/21/2013 2:32:59 PM