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The 5 most common scams (and how to protect yourself from them)

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Most people think they are too smart to fall for it. internet scams, But the reality is different. This is shown every year by the risk index of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a non-profit organization focused on advancing market confidence.

Shopping scams most often occur on websites where sellers and buyers interact (Photo: Getty Images)

BBB has incorporated more than a century of organizations from the United States, Mexico and Canada, coordinated under the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) in Virginia. Its proprietary rating system is based on a letter scale from “A” to “F”, which represents the degree of confidence with which a given business operates.

With the advancement of technology, scammers are becoming more cunning and the range of incidents is increasing, impacting not only personal pocketbooks, but also the national economy.

1. Online shopping scam

With a BBB Risk Rating of 30.9 and nearly 5,000 annual reports, Internet shopping is consistently among the top most common types of scams.

Shopping scams most often occur on websites where sellers and buyers interact, such as eBay and Craigslist. If you are the seller and agree to sell your item outside of the site’s routine checkout process (by cashier’s check or money order), the buyer may be running a fake check/money order scam. And if you are the buyer, you can never receive what you wronged and paid for.

The best strategy for stabilizing insurance is to exclusively use websites and online marketplaces that offer buyer and seller protection and now accept trades outside of the usual checkout process.

2. Investments

Investment scams had a BBB risk index of 25.6. Contacts with scammers are usually by telephone and the payment method most requested by them is bank transfers.

Scammers put a lot of effort into being convincing. In the most basic version, you will be convinced to invest in a project, company or loan, but when you try to withdraw your money, you will discover that what you invested never existed. Another common type of investment scam is Ponzi schemes.

According to the US government, the best advice is to be aware of anything that sounds “too good to be true”. Don’t give in to pressure to invest right away, and don’t completely trust the investment professional, even if they seem “nice, trustworthy, or have professional degrees.”

Rolled scroll of the 100 US dollar bill on a hook.  A concept of hosting someone in various fields/market/trade, i.e. finance, forex, forex, stocks, equities, bonds, derivatives, equities, etc.

Don’t give in to pressure to invest right away (Photo: Getty Images)

“Do not feel obligated to invest, even if the professional gave you a gift, a lunch or reduced his fee,” says the website of usa.org.

3. Job offers

BBB has this type of scam with a risk rating of 24.6 and found that the primary means of contact for scammers is email. They occur when scammers pose as legitimate companies that are recruiting or hiring.

After receiving your application, they will hire you almost immediately, often without a proper interview, and ask for your bank information to set up direct deposit or charge you for training. Be aware of any unusual hiring procedures, such as a job offer without an interview.

4. Advance installment loan

With a BBB risk rating of 22.7 and over a thousand reports annually, the targets of these scams are financially unstable individuals. The most common contact is by telephone and the most requested payment method is the prepaid card.

In this scam, a loan broker promises you a substantial loan, regardless of your credit history or score, after you pay an upfront fee, or “insurance.”

As soon as you do, the broker will be gone, as will all the money they promised you.

As the finance website Stacker advises, real lenders will never guarantee a loan before checking your credit history and will never accept strange forms of fee payments like gift cards, prepaid debit cards or wire transfers.

5. Counterfeit check/money order

Scammers using this method, which has a BBB risk rating of 21.3, will contact you via email with a well-crafted message that can be difficult to identify as a red flag.

The woman is very stressed managing her accounts on the computer

Real lenders will never guarantee a loan before checking your credit history (Photo: Getty Images)

Typically, the victim is sent a check for much more than they expected. The scammer will then ask you to deposit the check and pay the difference back, saving them the hassle of canceling that check and sending another one.

Counterfeit checks often take weeks to be discovered, and when the check bounces, the extra money you thought you had plus the difference you transferred to the missing scammer.

Another unsolicited check fraud is when a check is sent to you for no reason. By cashing in, the victim may be authorizing the purchase of items or signing a loan they didn’t ask for.

Best of all, if you receive a check that’s much larger than you expected, you’ll return it immediately.

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