There are so many money scams out there in today’s society. Unfortunately, people fall for them every day. People are looking for easy money. Sometimes they need to be educated more on a topic, and they fall for a scam. I don’t want that to be any of you. In today’s post, I will discuss a few money scams you should watch out for. I’m sure there are a few that you’ve heard of.
There’s a money scam where someone emails you saying that you’ve won 5 or 10 million dollars. A light bulb should go off in your head. Nine times out of 10, you never played any foreign lotteries. You should delete the email immediately. In the emails, they ask unsuspecting people for their social security numbers 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 sending 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.
Another popular scam is when you receive an email from someone 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 you must pay some fee upfront to receive the money. 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.”
Employment scams are a common trap that many job seekers fall into. These scams often involve fake job listings requiring potential employees to pay a fee upfront for training materials, background checks, or other necessities. The scammer might also send a check to the victim, asking them to deposit it and then wire a portion of the money back for various reasons. However, the check is fraudulent, and the victim is left to cover the funds they wired back when the check bounces.
Remember, legitimate companies will never ask for money upfront or send you a check before you start working. If a job offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always do your research and trust your instincts.
I answered a Craigslist ad like this 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 have been growing in numbers over the past few years. A phishing scam is where you receive an email claiming to be a company. An example would be receiving an email 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 to access your funds.
I receive a few phishing emails every couple of months. I delete them quickly because I knew they were scams. My PayPal account was created with a Yahoo email address, meaning all legit emails should come to my Yahoo inbox. This phishing email came to my Google email account. Also, there were some misspelled words in the email too.
Pyramid schemes are very popular money scams. 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 few years ago was Wake Up Now. They were a company that sold health and financial services. I 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.
Investment fraud is rampant, which can leave unsuspecting individuals high and dry. It’s a game of smoke and mirrors where the fraudster promises high returns on investments that don’t exist or are grossly misrepresented. One common tactic is the Ponzi scheme, where the fraudster uses the money from new investors to pay off the old ones, creating an illusion of profitability. The scheme collapses when there aren’t enough new investors to keep the cycle going.
Another form is the pump-and-dump scheme, where fraudsters inflate the price of a low-value stock they own by spreading false and positive statements about the company. Once the stock price has been pumped up through these false claims, the fraudsters sell off their own shares at the inflated price and then stop hyping the stock, causing the price to plummet and leaving other investors in the lurch.
Romance scams are a heart-wrenching reality in the digital age. It’s a cruel game where fraudsters create fake profiles on dating sites, and woo their victims with sweet words and promises of a future together, only to disappear once they’ve drained their victims’ bank accounts. They play on the emotional vulnerability of people looking for love or companionship.
The scammer might claim they’re abroad and need funds to travel to meet the victim, or they’re in some financial difficulty and need assistance. They might even send gifts and write love letters to make their act more convincing. The bottom line is, if your online love interest is asking for money, it’s probably a scam. Keep your heart open, but your wallet closed.
Fake charities are a particularly insidious type of fraud that prey on the goodwill of people wanting to help others. These scams often emerge after natural disasters or during holidays when people are more inclined to give. The fraudsters behind these scams create convincing facades, complete with websites and call centers, to trick people into donating. They might even use names similar to well-known charities to confuse potential donors.
However, the scammers pocket the funds instead of going to those in need. Before donating, it’s crucial to research the charity, check their registration details, and ensure they’re a legitimate organization. Remember, a genuine charity will never pressure you to donate immediately.
Rental scams are a growing concern in the real estate market. These money scams typically involve fraudsters advertising properties they don’t own or have no right to rent. They lure potential tenants with attractive prices and ask for a deposit or rent payment upfront. The fraudster disappears once the payment is made, leaving the would-be tenant out of pocket and without a place to live.
Some scammers even go as far as to create fake lease agreements and keys, making the scam seem more legitimate. Verifying the property and the landlord’s identity before making any payments is essential. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Always trust your instincts and do your due diligence.
If you want to make some legit extra money, you can try some of the side hustles listed below.
Flipping Items Online
If you have things you aren’t using at home, consider flipping them. Clothes, electronics, toys, and board games are a few things that you can flip. You can use several platforms, including eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Mercari. If you want to sell only clothes, you can check out Poshmark.
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 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.
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.
Jason Butler is the owner of My Money Chronicles, a website where he discusses personal finance, side hustles, travel, and more. Jason is from Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah State University with his BA in Marketing. Jason has been featured in Forbes, Discover, and Investopedia.