Don’t let 2012’s most-reported scams work in 2013
Ted Hubert

The work-at-home scam was the most reported during 2012, according to the Better Business Bureau. Many have some characteristics in common.

Some attempt to scare you into preserving your reputation. An e-mail explains a complaint filed against you, then promises to help resolve the problem.

You are asked to provide information by a deadline. Intent is to find someone who will answer to protect themselves and their company.

The usual data is collected. The e-mail is not signed nor does it have a contact name provided. If they had signed a name, it would probably be someone easily recognizable.

Many mothers are attracted to work-at-home opportunities and some of these jobs are legitimate. But he BBB warns that high pay for little work in return is not realistic. Some companies are in the business of selling “start-up” kits. Asking for fees for materials and services upfront should send “red flags” Any legitimate company will gladly answer questions you have, concerning the job.

The BBB says watch out for e-mails with fancy advertisement and impressive websites that look similar to businesses that are well known. Advance fee brokers cannot charge advance fees to those applying for a loan.

Individuals with poor credit ratings are most vulnerable. Scammers target people needing to repair their line of credit and charge them for doing things the individual could do without paying this unnecessary fee.

Of course, e-mails and letters arriving at your home announcing your good fortune in winning a lottery from another country are scams.

The same is true of the “prize promotion” scam. These criminals ask for personal data rather than money.

Then charges made in your name keep piling up a tremendous debt.

Deceptive telemarketing is also on the list. You receive an invoice for business supplies or other items which is relatively inexpensive. A large amount would be challenged, but this smaller amount gets paid routinely.

Pyramid schemes are fraudulent and this practice cannot sustain itself for the long term. Assets are paid by new members investing in the plan. Soon, funds are no longer available and the newest members are left holding the empty bag.

“Debt Relief Service”scams work on the fact that buildings, parking lots, houses and driveways need maintenance. Traveling workers promise a quality job and demand money up front. You pay them and they disappear.

Sweepstakes round out the list of last year’s most prevalent. Needless to say, you will not get a fair return on money sent to release “sweepstakes funds” to you.

If you didn’t purchase a ticket, you should not expect to win the sweepstakes.

Maybe, if Milam County TRIAD members will help spread the word, the 2013 list will be altered.

Protect yourselves from financial harm. If you want to check out a business go to www.BBB. org.

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2013-06-06 digital edition

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