7 Ways To Know You Are Dealing With Con Artist

How to Spot a Con Artist
Look for commonalities. Most telemarketing scams share similar identifiers. The person on the phone will ask for information or request some things from you. Some common elements to look for in telemarketing scams are

  • You have won something, even though you never applied for or competed for anything.
  • You have to act immediately, or the offer will be invalid.
  • You have to give them money and information. They will want you to send a check, give them a credit card, routing number, checking account number, bank information, etc.
  • You dont need to check out the company or get advice from anyone
Know the set-up. You will receive some form of notification about an award, prize, lottery winning, or other money in the mail along with a check. Shortly after, you will receive a phone call from overseas explaining that the check was designed to cover fees, taxes or insurance on the award, prize, lottery winnings, etc. They will ask you to deposit the check and wire them money
Know the scam. When you give them a credit card number or deposit their check into the bank to cover the fees, taxes, etc., the check will turn out to be counterfeit or they have already charged your credit card, and there is no prize. Essentially, the overall goal of this scam is to get you to release money to them to secure your prize or award, when no such prize or award exists
Stop the scam. There are a number of ways you can avoid being taken by this scam. Some are far simpler than others, but the overall idea is that you should not ever release money, either through check, money-wire, or credit card, to someone who if offering you an award or prize. Think hard about this. When was the last time you won something and had to pay for it? Some simple ways to put an end to this charade are:

  • Just hang up the phone. This is hard when you feel you could be passing up free money. Just know that you wont be getting that prize or award any time soon.[5]
  • Ask the person to contact your attorney and your bank directly. Banks and lawyers know the ins and outs of these types of scams, can stop them immediately, and will alert the authorities about what is going on.[6]
  • Tell the person you need time to think it over and will get back to them. They will likely try to pressure you and tell you that you need to act immediately. Dont be swayed. They are liars
    Know the set-up. A prince, king, princess or some other form of royalty has just died in a developing nation (more often than not, Nigeria). The person contacting you, usually by email, will explain that they inherited some incredible sum of money, but they need some small sum of money to get the larger sum released by the bank (to pay taxes, liens, etc.). They are asking you to give them the smaller sum and promising to pay you a much larger portion back when they secure the money.[8]

    • A more recent variation of this set-up is the con artist telling you that he/she is a government official who is illegally transferring money out of Nigeria, and wants your help in his scheme. The 419ers do this because they feel they can keep you from alerting authorities to their scam by including you in their illegal plot
    Watch for the scam. After sending the initial email, the person will ask you to respond by wiring them the small sum of money, which they will, of course, pay back with huge sums of interest. Unfortunately for you, there is no large sum of money and you wont be getting your money back.[13]

    • Often times, the 419ers will string you along for more money. After you send the first amount asked for, they will contact you again and say that there was some problem with the bank and they need more. If you keep sending them money, they will keep asking for more. There is really no pretense under which you can bring these people to justice, so they dont really have anything to lose or fear by being too greedy
    Put a stop to it. Again, there are a number of ways to spot these scams, and a whole bunch of ways to avoid them. You can ignore the email or letter, pass it on to your attorney or banker, or send the letter to the FBI. You are fine as long as you dont release any money or personal information to these scammers

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  • Jennifer

    Anyway this kind of scam often happens to greedy people. How can someone ask you for money to give you money?