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Avoid Being Scammed Online

 

NIGERIAN SCAM
The Nigerian check cashing scam (also known as the "419" scam, after the section of the Nigerian penal code which addresses fraud schemes) involves the receipt of email correspondence offering a job opportunity, often transferring funds internationally. The scam artists usually attempt to reassure the victim of the legitimacy of the position by offering apparently legal contracts, forged or false documents bearing company letterhead, false letters of credit, payment schedules and bank drafts.

Once the scammer has obtained the trust of their victim they will begin the actual scam. Checks, money orders or wire deposits will be sent to the victim for "processing". The victim will be asked to cash the check or money order (wire deposits will send the money directly to the victim's account) and send a percentage of the funds back to the scammers. The need for the "middle man" is often explained as being a way around international fees or taxes, and sometimes the need to obtain payments from PayPal or another online payment system. Once the funds are sent back to the scammers (usually the victim is told to keep a percentage for themselves, as payment for their services) the victim's bank or financial institution learns that the check/money order/wire transfer was fraudulent. The funds are then subtracted from the victim's account and they are made liable for the lost money.


RESHIPPING
Reshipping scams are often targeted at work at home moms or other people trying to supplement their income. These scams begin with an employment offer, usually via email, to the victim. As with the Nigerian scam, these "employers" offer legitimate looking contracts and other documentation to make them appear legitimate. Once the victim's trust has been obtained, packages are shipped to the victim's residence with instructions to reship the packages to another address (often the victim is asked to repackage the goods). Once the package has been shipped from the victim's residence (or using a service such as DHL, FedEx or UPS) the victim is "guilty" of receiving and shipping stolen property. This often leads to a visit from police, as the return address or shipping receipts lead back to the victim.

WORK AT HOME SCAMS
Work at home scams are varied and can be more difficult to detect than the other scams described here. They come in many different forms and change regularly. The following are some of the most common:

Envelope Stuffing Scams - These scams usually incorporate a "registration fee" to be paid before work can begin. Once this fee has been paid the "employee" is asked to post an ad in a local newspaper or other media, using their own contact info. This ad is often the exact same ad that the "employee" responded to! Once the “employee” receives a response to their ad, they will ‘stuff’ an envelope with information/instructions on how to start and mail it to the new applicant. Your fees will be calculated based off of how many responses you get for the ad you placed.

Medical Billing – Advertisements for these pre-packaged businesses always contain an initial financial investment. The advertisement or solicitation will explain that only a small percentage of medical claims are transmitted electronically and that the market for medical billing is wide open. However, the medical billing industry is a very fierce one and revolves around several large and well established firms. Because competition is so prevalent, few consumers who purchase medical billing business opportunities are able to locate clients to generate enough revenue to profit, and usually can’t even earn enough to recover their initial financial investment.

List of Work At Home Jobs – This work at home offer allows you to purchase a list of companies hiring for work at home positions. These lists are rarely updated and often yield a list of worthless leads.

MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING
Also referred to as Pyramid Schemes, these marketing ploys involve recruiting new members to earn money. There are legitimate MLM businesses operating (often called Network Marketing). These are based on selling products or a service, however the business is in danger of performing illegal activities when the process of finding new recruits becomes more important than the product or service itself. At that point the Federal Trade Commission may consider the business a pyramid scheme, in which case any and all employees are guilty of fraud!

PHISHING
Phishing scams are cleverly hidden attempts to get your account information. These emails are sent with legitimate looking header information, company logos and formatting and often claim that there is an urgent need for you to login to your account. Any time you receive one of these emails, please be sure to check the destination URL on the link contained within BEFORE attempting to login or submit any information. These emails are cleverly disguised to appear as though they were sent by a legitimate company, however the links contained within lead the recipient to a false website. These false sites are usually identical (or very similar) to the site the recipient thinks they are traveling to. Once the recipient has logged in, the site owner (scammer/phisher) has their login information and can use it to their advantage. Sometimes the sites will contain fields to be completed, often requesting that the victim update their banking information or other sensitive information.

 


 

If you are victimized

Keep careful records of everything you do to recover your money. Document your phone calls, keep copies of all paperwork such as letters and receipts, and record all costs involved, including the time you spend

If the company refuses to refund your money, contact

Your LOCAL BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU at: http://lookup.bbb.org

The U. S POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE at: http://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/

FEDERAL TRADES COMMISSION http://www.ftc.gov

DIRECT MARKETING ASSOCIATION http://www.the-dma.org

NATIONAL FRAUD INFORMATION CENTER http://www.fraud.org 1-800-876-7060

 

If You are a Business Owner Or have a Family, You Need This.  If you can afford the High cost of Health Insurance and Auto Insurance, you can Afford Some Legal Protection.

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