Using the internet is easier than ever these days. This means all different types of people, good or bad, may be using the internet. You need to be careful when you are using money online. Here are 5 financial scams that happen online.
1. You just won $1,000,000 and other email “winnings”.
Emails are easy to come by these days as people willingly give their email out without batting an eye sometimes. You may give your email out for a shopping rewards clubs, mailing lists, to play online games, magazine subscriptions etc. What you might not realize is how your information is used. Next time you sign up for a rewards club or mailing list see if the company will share your email with other companies. Some companies buy lists of emails from other companies and that may be the cause of your spam. Regardless if that is the case or not spam that states you just won a lot of money is a scam. This is especially true if the email states that you need to wire money first so you can claim it. If it’s too good to be true it is. The best way to handle this is to not even open the email and to just delete it the second you see it.
2. A so-called “charity”.
Donating to charities are awesome and a very nice gesture but unfortunately there are people out there who pretend to be a charity just to scam people out of their money. Do your research. Check to see if the charity you want to donate is a real charity. To be on the safe side only donate to the top well-known charities like St. Judes. Be very careful when you get emails asking for donations. Don’t let a sad story take over your emotions. Have a clear head when you are donating money so you don’t feel guilty that you aren’t helping someone in “need”. You’ll feel better when you absolutely know that the charity is real and the money will go to the people who really need it.
3. A very distant relative is in jail and you were the only they could reach.
You get an email saying your cousin’s grandson is in jail and needs money to get bailed out. Wait just one second. First of all get all the information you can. How is this person actually related to you? If they can’t tell you that then it’s obviously a scam. Save all the emails and go to your local authorities with the emails. You do not need to deal with this person trying to rip you off. People like playing with other people’s emotions and that’s why this trick might be made on an elderly person. Older people may not have the greatest memory and may believe someone trying to convince someone that they are a relative. If you’re ever unsure talk to authorities as soon as possible.
4. Loose 20 pounds in one week with these magical pills.
Again if it sounds too good to be true, it is. First of all it’s not healthy to lose that much weight in a week so that is your first red flag. There are many diet scams online because a lot of people are looking to lose weight. It is a money making industry and when you are desperate you need to use common sense. I would’t recommend any pill online even if it says just a 2 pound weight loss per week because you don’t know if the pill is safe. Not only will you lose out on money but you are also at risk of putting your body in danger. You don’t know where these pills were made or what they officially contain.
5. Give me $500 and I’ll tell you the secret to becoming a millionaire.
There are some people out there that offer advice on improving your life either health wise or financial wise. Most of them give you advice for free. The ones that do charge money usually give out books or programs that they can use online. There are also many people out there “claiming” they will tell you the greatest advice you’ll ever hear, all you have to do is send them $500 or whatever amount they say. Be careful with this. You shouldn’t have to pay for advice. There are many reputable sites and people out there that give great advice for free. Most of the time if people are asking for a high price for advice it’s a scam. Maybe they will give you advice but in all honestly it’s probably something you could easily find somewhere else on the internet for free.
The best advice to give for all these scams, and other ones you may come across online, is to use common sense and think if it sounds too good to be true, it is. If you aren’t sure you can always research yourself on such sites like Ripoff Report or by checking government websites and talking with authorities.