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.
Internet Payment Scams
You may encounter payment fraud when selling items online. Typically, a buyer interested in purchasing your item will offer to overpay by a cashier's check or wire and request to have the remaining funds returned to them. The check or wire they send is fraudulent; no funds exist to cover the payment or the money you returned to the payee via your personal check.
Thieves can steal your mail from your mailbox, including checks you have issued to pay bills. The thief then uses a chemical to wash the ink off your check and make it out to themselves for a much larger dollar amount. If you live in community-based housing, such as an apartment complex, you may be especially vulnerable to this type of fraud.
Avoid this scam by dropping your mail off directly at the post office or in a secure mailbox, or use electronic Bill Payment to eliminate paper payments.