Anti-Scam Knowledge Base
Victims are informed though an unsolicited communication that they have won a large lottery prize or sweepstakes and are told to pay a small amount to cover taxes and/or processing fees. The check bounces and the victim is left responsible.
Online Relationship Scam
The fraudster will create a fake relationship with the victim who believes it's real, perhaps through online communication. At some point he or she will request money from the victim for a number of reasons such as travel, medical, etc. In the end the fraudster is only attempting to gain funds and not a relationship.
The scam is based on the Emergency scam. The fraudster will contact grandparents and impersonate either their grandchild or a person of authority such as law enforcement, a medical professional or attorney, describing an urgent situation or emergency that requires money to be sent immediately.
Internet Purchase Scam
The victim inquires about a product, auction item or service advertised online. The fraudster uses a number of tactics to make the victim believe the sale is legitimate, but once the victim sends the money, he or she will not receive the purchased item or service.
Rental Property Scam
The fraudster advertises a rental property usually at a considerable discount, which enables as many replies or inquires as possible. The fraudster goes to great lengths to make this property look legitmate and might include pictures, floor plans, etc. Once the victim expresses interest in the property, the fraudster will ask the victim to send money for a deposit, to verify funds, or other legitmate sounding reasons but the property never existed.
Mystery Shopping Scam
The fraudster contacts the victim through an employment website or the victim responds to an ad about an employment opportunity to evaluate a money transfer service. The fraudster sends the vvictim a check to deposit and instructs he or she to use the funds to send a money transfer, keeping a portion for their pay. The victim sends the money, the fraudster picks it up, and when the check bounces the victim is left responsible.
The fraudster will either make you believe they are someone you know or are acting on behalf of someone you know who is in need of money for an urgent situation or emergency, such as the need for bail, fines, medical expenses, etc. Social media is often used by the fraudster to gather personal data to make the situation seem more legitimate. A personal email account may also be hacked to contact potential victims.
Advanced Fee/Prepayment Scam
In this scam the victim sends money to the fraudster in advance of receiving a certain product or service. The vicitim is often asked for a small fee in advanced to obtain a new credit card or to secure a loan.
Fake Checks Scam
Fake checks are used for many of the scams explained. These checks can be used as a part of the Employment Scam, Internet Purchase Scam, Mystery Shopping Scam, etc. Remember not to use funds from a check deposited in your account until it officially clears which can take a weeks.
The fraudster will send a check to the victim who has accepted a "job". The check can be for up front expenses such as a credit check, application fee, or supplies. The victim will be instructed to deposit the check and use the money for any of these expenses and then send the remaining funds back to the employer (who is the fraudster). The check will bounce, and the victim is left responsible.
Domain Expiration Notice
Although not technically a fraudster, an Internet Domains company will send you a mailed letter marked"As a courtesy". They offier domain renewels at extravagant pricing. Tricking the not so computer illterate, into renewing the domain name with them, at an extravagant cost with no added service.
eBay Shipping Scam
A fraudster will watch eBay listings. Upon completion of a sale to another party, the fraudster sends a message to the seller. Message in summary will say that they just bought the item, but need it shipped to a different address. Of course, this is from a different user account than the actual purchaser. Thus, an item is shipped to the fraudster and the real purchaser never receives their items and gets a refund.