Sneaky Scams: Be aware!

Winter 2005 CSANews Issue 57  |  Posted date : May 25, 2007.Back to list

Here are just a few more illegal schemes to be aware of, whether you're online, on the telephone, or at your front door.

Reloading
Also known as "sucker lists", this type of scam has to be one of the worst! Reloading schemers target victims from pervious scams, promising to help in the restoration of lost monies. These fraud artists normally claim that they work for a government agency, private company, or consumer organization. Their "job" is to help recover lost money, product, or prizes – for a fee, of course. And therein lies the scam. You pay the fee, and you never see your money again. To learn more about reloading, check out Reloading Scams at www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/tmarkg/reload.htm.

Online Auction Fraud
First it was door-to-door fraud artists. Then they started calling us. Now, they appear online while we're surfing the net and buying purchases. Online auction fraud occurs when online items for sale are misrepresented, and when items purchased are never sent or never paid for. When using online auction sites, such as eBay, be aware of all the different methods scammers may use to steal your money. Visit Internet Fraud Tips at www.fraud.org/tips/internet/onlineauctions.htm for more information.

Pyramid Schemes
These schemes are a real pain in the neck. This is because the "investment" aspect of these schemes seems entirely obtainable. You pay the money as a new member/participant, and as you move up the "ladder", subsequent "investors" will give YOU money (or gifts, etc.). Seems simple enough. The truth, however, is that when you do the math (see http://members.impulse.net/~thebob/Pyramid.html) the money you'll make in return is nominal (if you make any!) There are many types of ridiculous pyramid schemes, such as "elevator schemes", chain letters, and gifting clubs. The best thing to remember is this: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

For more information on pyramid schemes, visit the RCMP website at www.rcmp.ca/scams/pyramid_e.htm. Another informative website is the Pyramid Scheme Alert at www.pyramidschemealert.org.

You CAN fight back!
If you think you've come across a fraudulent activity, whether it is online, on the telephone, or in person, call PhoneBusters at 1-888-495-8501 or go online to www.phonebusters.com