5 Fraudulent Schemes to Avoid

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There are so many fraudulent schemes out there in today’s society. Unfortunately, people fall for them every day. People are looking for easy money. Sometimes they aren’t educated enough on a topic and they fall for a scam. I don’t want that to be any of you all. In today’s post, I will be discussing a few scams that you should watch out for. I’m sure there are a few that you’ve heard of.

Send Money Up Front

Below is a picture of an ad that I saw in one of the hallways at my old job.

Hope nobody actually sent the $4 in.
Hope nobody actually sent the $4 in.

I used to work at a university, so I’m pretty sure that whoever put this up was trying to target a gullible first-year student. If you ever see an ad asking you to pay money to receive any type of job information ignore it! It’s 2020 guys. All legit companies have information on the internet. I’ve also seen similar fraudulent schemes on craigslist where the ads were asking people to wire them $20 for a job list that featured opportunities for actors and modeling. Don’t fall for it. If something seems fishy, it probably is. Trust your instincts.

Lottery Scam

I get spam emails a couple of times each month saying that I’ve won 5 or 10 million dollars. A light bulb immediately goes off in my head. I think to myself that’s nice, but I didn’t play any foreign lottery. The e-mail is instantly deleted. In the e-mails, they ask unsuspecting people for your social security number or other personal information. That should be a red flag. The sad thing is that some people are so money hungry that they forget common sense and end up send people their info. Once they do that their identity is now compromised. They could potentially lose a lot of money falling for this fraud scheme.

Fake Inheritance

Another popular scam is when you receive an e-mail from someone that is claiming to be a long-lost relative. They then go into details telling you that someone died and that you are next in line to receive an inheritance from them. The first red flag is that the currency is always foreign. The 2nd thing that happens is that they tell you that to receive the money you will have to pay some type of fee upfront. Then they inform you that you will receive your money in a couple of days once you do that. This is another one of those too good to be true deals. You will not receive a damn dime from them, and you will be out of the money you spent for the “upfront fee.”

Money Order Scam

This next scam can be found on sites like craigslist a few times a month. It’s the money order scam. It’s one of the oldest fraudulent schemes around. With this scam, a person will send someone a money order for an item or a service. The money order will be for a higher amount than what the item or service is. The scammer will then want you to deposit the money order and subtract the cost of the item or service. Then they want you to wire them the remaining amount of money to them. Those money orders are fake. The bank will find out and alert you. Your account could be in the negative and possibly closed due to fraudulent activity.  I answered a Craigslist ad similar to this before just to see what would happen. I didn’t even do the so-called job, but they sent me a bogus money order within a week. I’m not going to lie; the money order looked legit. I could see how some people would fall for it. I wasn’t about to do anything stupid, so I trashed it the next day.

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams have been growing in numbers the past few years. A phishing scam is where you receive an e-mail claiming to be a company. An example of that would be receiving an e-mail from someone claiming to be at PayPal. The email will state that you need to update your account. They will provide a link that they want you to click on. Don’t do it! They are trying to steal your login info so that they can access your funds. I received a few phishing e-mails this year. I deleted them quickly because I knew they were scams. My PayPal account was created with a Yahoo e-mail address meaning that all legit PayPal emails should come to my Yahoo inbox. This phishing e-mail came to my Google e-mail account. Also, I noticed there were some misspelled words in the e-mail too.

Bonus Scam: Pyramid Schemes


Pyramid schemes are very popular fraudulent schemes. They have been around for a while. They involve getting people to sign up for a service or a product, and supposedly you make money when more people sign up under you. One popular pyramid scheme from a couple of years ago was Wake Up Now. They were supposedly a company that sold health and financial services. I can remember logging on to Twitter and Facebook and seeing everybody and their mother trying to get you to sign up for that BS. This year it’s crickets. I guess all those Wake Up Now people left the country and retired to the Virgin Islands or something.  Another company that I personally think is a pyramid scheme is Herbalife. A few individuals have claimed to make money with Herbalife, but I doubt it.

As you can see these money scams come in different shapes and sizes. If you see an e-mail or an ad containing any of the schemes mentioned above delete it ASAP!

If you are looking to make some legit extra money, you can try some of the side hustles that are listed below.

Flipping Items Online

If you have things that you aren’t using at home, you should consider flipping them. Clothes, electronics, toys, and board games are a few things that you can flip. There are several platforms that you can use including eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Mercari. If you want to sell only clothes, you can check out Poshmark.

Sign for Poshmark today!

Freelance Writing

If you like to write, you can make money doing it by freelancing. There are two places where you can promote your services. Fiverr is the first place. You can create an account and let people know what kind of writing you do. In the beginning, you’ll start off making $5 per order, but if you’re good at writing, that amount will grow quicker.

The next place to set up an account is Upwork. You can make more with Upwork in the beginning. Also, you can have a chance to work with people long term.

Online Surveys

An easy way to make extra money is with online surveys. Below are a few survey companies that you should sign up for. They all offer some kind of bonus.


Opinion Outpost

Survey Junkie 

Check the post below for even more ways to make money.

40+ Side Hustle Ideas to Try This Month

Do you know of any other fraudulent schemes to avoid that are out there? Have you fallen victim to any of them?



  1. Ha! I cannot even tell you how many millions I’ve inherited…from Nigeria! I think it’s fantastic that you are warning folks, but it’s hard to believe that people still fall for this. But you are 100 percent right… they do!

    1. I’ve received hundreds of those e-mails claiming to have inherited money from Nigeria. It’s a shame.

  2. Some of these scams have been around so long, it’s hard to believe people are still falling for them. The people I really feel sorry for are the senior citizens who fall victim to this and lose all their savings.

    1. I feel bad for them as well. Most don’t know any better.

  3. I also consider all those direct sales companies to be scam’s as well. Partylite, Pampered Chef, Kirby Vacuums, 31 bags, Avon, etc. I feel like the companies mostly scam the sellers and scam the buyers who usually just buy something because they feel guilty for the seller. I know for a fact some do a lot of BS basically forcing the sellers to buy their brochures at high retail prices and require you to buy more than you need every month. It’s obviously part of their profit. If anyone chimes in, I’m not really interested in the .05% of sellers who actually make a tiny profit that they think is huge. Hate all those companies with a passion.

    Years ago I did get a Money Order Scam. Supposedly a large corporation wanted my particular Buell Motorcycle shipped far away and gave me too much lol. They even called me on the phone when they thought they were close to a deal, kind of funny. I didn’t do it obviously.

    A new one is where you find an amazing deal on a car near you, you answer and they tell you it’s a relative of theirs and the car is on the other side of the country. Obviously the question is: for a $3000 car, why don’t they just sell it where it is located and not have to pay the extra $1000 for shipping. Pay $3000 and they’ll ship it too you. There are even some of these scams on ebay where the scam artists do a lot of research so they get legit pictures and there really is a guy in that area with that car, but he’s not selling it. Then they pull off the ad from ebay, say they sold it but the deal fell through, email you directly and ask if you want to do a sale without ebay and claim it will still have ebay payment protection. Most scams are pretty obvious when you think about it.

    1. That car scam sounds ridiculous. I hope too many people don’t fall for it.

  4. Yeah there seems to be a lot of scams out there. Unfortunately they seem to target vulnerable people. A lot of the phone scams go after senior citizens, and some are very successful at it. It’s terrible knowing that people are getting taken advantage of.

  5. I read a post or magazine article recently about a guy who spent months responded to scam emails. The responses were enlightening and entertaining to say the least.

    1. I think he had too much time on his hands lol.

  6. I still get the original princess trying to hide her families money scam.
    Recently, which is sad, been getting some scams about trying to help Syrian refugees.
    It is bad enough, they are trying to cheat you out of money, I do understand that. But to use a tragedy like being a refugee fleeing from a war torn nation, is despicable, makes you wonder if there is anything left of these con artists which is human.

    1. It’s apparent that these con artist do not care about anything except the next dollar. It’s sad.

  7. Our most current experience is the phone call where Microsoft is calling us with updates or HP is calling to sell us cartridges. Can I tell you how quickly we hang up? And we’re on the Do Not Call list–also a joke.

    Good post to help us stay aware.

    1. I don’t even want to get started on the “Do Not Call List”. It seems that once I signed up for it I started getting MORE phone calls.

  8. So many con artists and many vulnerable people who fall foul to the scams.

    The stories I have read over the years.


    1. Yeah it’s sad that people still fall for these scams.

  9. I often track down former Nigerian Secretaries of Finance who are being held against their will but have luckily moved millions into offshore bank accounts. Rather than help myself to a share of their money, I plan a daring raid involving way too much explosives. Strangely enough, many of these Secretaries seem to have escaped on their own without my help and are now living right here in the U.S. I should probably check the “already free” aspect before I use the explosives.

  10. Thx for this post, Jason. I had a personal experience with a spam this week, as I had rec’d an e-mail from Home Depot offering a sale price on an item we wanted. When I clicked on the link in the e-mail to take me to that specific item, it showed a higher price than was shown in the e-mail so I called Home Depot. They told me that the e-mail was from a scammer who, when you went to order the item, would then gain access to my card number and personal info. I was shocked, as the sending e-mail was from homedepot.ca and not from some spammy e-mail address. Man … you REALLY have to be careful these days!

    1. Wow, that sucks! You definitely have to be careful.

  11. The latest scam here are from people claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency – I believe the same thing goes on in the States re the IRS. This scares people and many give out information they shouldn’t, usually the most vulnerable people.
    This is good stuff Jason – people need to be aware.

  12. I saw a Pickles comic where the wife is so thrilled that she has the opportunity to help a Nigerian solve his money dilemma. I hope that that helps people realize that it is always a scam. It’s quite amazing that people still fall for it but if they didn’t I guess it wouldn’t keep surfacing.

  13. I get phishing scam emails all the time. One of the ones I’ve seen a couple times in the last couple weeks appears to come from Yahoo and says my email is because the memory is full. If you click on the sender’s name and see the address it is clear it isn’t from Yahoo. Also get these emails all the time using bank’s name. Some of the them look pretty sophisticated and use the bank’s logo.

    1. I’ve also received e-mails similar to those as well. I delete them asap.

  14. Scammers have gone to an extent of employing technology to make sure that they lure most of their victims to believe that they are genuine. Last week I received a call from a normal line but on redialling, I was shocked at how they had tweaked that line so as to look exactly the same as the company’s line. Luckily, I contacted the company via their original contact and they managed to block that line.
    Can you imagine the height of technology that is?

  15. Lots of money scams out there. I have been texted a few times claiming I won some fake lottery. I think you should watch “This is what happens when you reply to spam email | James Veitch”it is a good laugh. Thanks for the article, very important for people to be well informed and don’t fell to these scammers.

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