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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.
Although this type of fraud is not new, scammers have been increasingly using legitimate dating and social networking websites for "romance scams." Scammers will set up phony profiles on these sites, often with fake photographs and identities, and develop online friendships with other users. Once the scammers have gained the trust of their new online friend, they will request money for a variety of seemingly urgent situations. The scammer may claim that they need money to pay for a passport or airfare so they can travel to visit their online friend in person, or they may state that they need the money for an emergency and will pay it back. Any money sent to these scammers will not be returned or used for the purposes they claimed, and the scammers will often come up with different excuses for needing more and more money.
These types of situations occur on otherwise trustworthy and legitimate social networking and dating sites, so always use common sense when meeting new people online. Do not share personal information such as credit card and bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, passport information, or passwords with others. Be extremely suspicious of anyone you meet online who asks you for money, no matter what reasons they provide for needing the funds.