Heart-to-Heart Connection

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How Scam Artists Work

Nothing in life is free. We can’t get something for nothing. We know that. Yet fraud is rampant.  Scam artists don’t go away.

Why?

  • Scam artists are friendly and charming
  • They talk and act like one of us (until they get our hard earned dough)
  • Scam artists prey on human weakness – greed, loneliness, insecurity, poor health, and ignorance

Tactics

  • Pyramid Scheme – yes the Ponzis and Madoffs. People pass money to those above them in the pyramid (their recruiters) and wait to receive money from their recruits. There’s never enough money to repay all the investors.
  • Business and Internet Scams — prey on people’s ignorance of the rules of business and accounting.
  • Stock Market Scams – the scam artist owns several worthless stocks and invite (actually hard sell) victims to invest. When the value of the stock increase, the scam artist sells their shares and disappears.
  • Online Sales Scams – Cons asking customers to pay for shipping cost (much higher than the product) before sending the merchandise.
  • Home Improvement Cons – A roofer might get half way through the job and then demand more money. The contractor might have a clause in the contract allowing him to put a lien on the house and foreclosure for missed payments. Also beware of cheap materials, shoddy workmanship, and unnecessary replacements.
  • Loan Scams – debt removal services provide homeowners with (worthless) certificates. Certificates invalidate homeowners’ mortgage or other debt in exchange for a large fee.
  • Mortgage Refinance Scam – Scammers prey on people who are already in financial trouble. He wants easy foreclosure on the homes.

How to Avoid a Scam

  • You never get something for nothing
  • Guard your personal information
  • Don’t accept solicitation
  • Ask lots of questions

If You’ve Been Scammed (this happens even to the most street-wise)

  • Contact the authorities
  • Contact your local TV stations
  • Provide documentation – receipts, contracts, phone records
  • Expose cons and their tactics.  Minimize the number of potential victims

Full Story (see also Deception Detection)

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January 15, 2009 - Posted by | Attitude, Citizen, Collaboration, Education, Introspection, Mind, Money, Spirit, Stress | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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