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Recent & Common Financial Scams
Protect your financial and personal information by staying aware and informed. Below is information about a number of recent and common financial scams.
In this tough economic climate, there have been more and more scammers eager to take advantage of those seeking work.
When applying for jobs online, use reputable websites and remember that the old adage "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is" still applies. A recent scam has phony "employers" offering job candidates work but requires these applicants provide money upfront that the "employers" claim will later be refunded, or the "employers" provide a check for the applicants and request that they cash the check, forward a portion of the money to the "employer," and then keep the rest of the money for themselves as a signing bonus.
Don't fall for this updated version of what's commonly called the "Nigerian Payment Scam." The check provided to you by this scammer will wind up being fraudulent, and you will be out the money you forwarded along to the phony "employer" or the money you sent as an upfront payment for reasons such as credit report processing or equipment fees for a work-at-home opportunity.
Fraudulent emails known as phishing scams pose as your financial institution or other trusted business to try to obtain your personal and financial information online or by telephone. Learn more about phishing.
Nigerian Payment Scam
There are several variations of what is commonly called the "Nigerian Payment Scam." Scammers usually contact potential victims by email, explaining that they know of an international bank account containing millions of unclaimed dollars. If you claim to be the next of kin to the deceased owner of the account, the emailer promises to split the money with you. Variations of this story include a trust fund that the individual cannot claim from his militant government or an account held in a murdered family member's name.
Before the money can be obtained, the scammer will tell you that you must first provide thousands of dollars up front to pay for various fees. This email and its variations are scams. The email may even provide the address of an international bank where you can set up an account. The scammer then supposedly fills the account with millions of dollars to prove that it is not a scam. The bank and the money are not real and are used instead to gather your personal information for illegal use or to convince you to transfer funds to them yourself.