Monday, January 16

FoolProof Top 10 Scams: Beware of the Red-Lipped Batfish Trick!

You're pretty "foolproof," right? You don't fall for those obvious scams that make you look and feel like a fool, do you?

When you look at FoolProof's "Top 10" list of scams, some of them seem too irrational for anyone to fall for, but they do. These scams are on our list because young people often fall victim to them, no matter how silly or irrational they seem.

Let's take a look at the list.

Have You Ever Fallen for One of These Scams?

  1. Phishing & Pharming Scams
    Phishing is an act where scammers fish for financial information. Scammers send millions of emails, creating high odds that someone will "bite." Pharming is a scam like phishing, but much harder to detect Pharming is where scammers automatically redirect you to fraudulent Web pages where they then try to get your financial information. Many people fall for these scams at one time or another.

  2. Nigerian Scams
    Here is one example of the Nigerian Scam: you're selling something online and an enthusiastic buyer sends you a check for more than the cost of the item. Following this, the stranger asks you to wire back the change. When you do wire the money, the stranger's check bounces, and you lose the money you wired back. This is just one example, there are thousands of versions out there.

  3. Pyramid Schemes
    In a Pyramid scheme you invest money in a fictional product or service that is advertised to make you rich. You then, in turn, have to sell the product or service. The problem is, the scammer becomes rich in the process, while money is being taken from you and your friends and/or family.

  4. Credit Card Hacks
    Want to know a good thing about all the publicity on credit card hacks? You're probably being more attentive to the protection of your own personal and financial information. You are paying more attention, right?

  5. ID Theft
    A scammer uses your name, personal information, and credit to purchase products and services, and you get stuck with the bill.

  6. Charity Scams
    You get a visit, letter, email, or phone call from someone saying something like, "I'm a Greenpeace Volunteer and need your help to save the red-lipped batfish" (Yes, there is a red-lipped batfish). You're an animal lover so you donate 50 bucks. Well, was the representative legit? How do you know where your money ends up?

  7. Job Scams
    Job scams aimed at young people are exploding. The scams are slick and scary, and they work. Have you seen the ads, "This guy makes $100/hour!" or "Earn $3,500/month by working from home?"

  8. Money Flipping Scams
    Do you use any social media sites? If you do, you've probably already been targeted by money flipping scams. Have you fallen victim for the scam offering you a quick turnaround on a money trick on Facebook?

  9. (Online) Car Buying
    Say you're in the market for a used car. Even if you do your research well you could still fall victim to a variety of car buying scams, both online and offline, that could potentially cost you thousands of dollars.

  10. Cowdsourcing/Crowdfunding Scams
    In crowdsourcing or crowdfunding, legitimate individuals or businesses use an online platform to seek small sums of money from a large number of people. Unfortunately, scammers have found these platforms, too.

Here's a Bonus Scam

Gadget Hacking
Do you use a smartphone? If so, be cautious. More and more smart gadget users are getting hacked while surfing the Web or using an app that connects to the Internet.

The scariest reality about these scams: If you have been taken by one of these scams, you may not know it for months, or maybe even years. Scammers often trade information with other scammers and they don't always use the information they obtained on you right away.

Don't let these scams happen to you. Follow our scam updates, articles, and resources each month. You can also check out the resources below for more information.

Cheers, Will

For More Information

Check out these additional resources:

FoolProof Education

FoolProof Education is a highly interactive, self-grading group of online lessons called "Modules." The Modules teach consumers of all ages about money, financial responsibility and the realities of the free enterprise system.

High School, College & Homeschool Curriculum

Closely alligned to the Common Core standards and state personal financy literacy recuirements.

Educate Yourself, a Friend or Family Member

Choose from a wide variety of topics. Start and stop and continue at anytime.