Are You a Financial Scam Victim?

Financial Scam Victims

It is estimated that more than 25 million people find themselves as victims of fraud each year. This includes everyone from the elderly, to well-educated young adults.

The Federal Trade Commission found that the most-reported frauds involved weight loss products, prize promotions, unauthorized billing for buyer’s clubs or internet services, and work at home programs.

The reason scammers are so successful is not due solely to the naivety of the person targeted. It has to do more with scammers being so good at manipulating their prey.

Scams are rooted in money, whether it be saving it or making it, and scammers have a frighteningly keen awareness of this. The best of them structure their schemes knowing that there is wide swath of consumers who are willing to risk their hard earned dollars, no matter how far-fetched seems the scheme.

In this post, we’ll examine some of the factors that allow scammers to succeed in duping the unsuspecting. Because people are prone to fall victim to scams when they want to save or make money, we’ll also give you some of the tactics that should be considered as red flags in spotting scams.

Our goal in this post is to bring you key information in avoiding scams by recognizing them immediately. Furthermore, we’ll highlight for you the many red flags that you should understand in knowing when you’re about to be, or have been, a victim of a scam.

Preying on consumer desperation

Scammers are opportunists who often look to societal happenings as ways to line their personal financial coffers.

As noted above, there are some scams that are so prevalent that they have earned a place on several consumer watchdog and government lists. The tried and proven nature of these scams make them go-to practices for fraudsters.

Following the 2008 housing collapse, fraudsters saw that the level of foreclosures would rise. Fraudsters realized this was an excellent opportunity to swoop in on desperate homeowners with promises of helping them to save their homes.

Their scams have included requesting fees in advance with the promise to the homeowner that they would stop the foreclosure. In these cases, most of the homeowners never saw their money again, nor did they ever hear from the fraudster again.

Also, be aware that you are likely being duped in an advanced fee scheme if it has anything to do with Nigeria. So dubious and prolific in their nature, these schemes have made myriad warnings lists.

As explained by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in these schemes, someone pretends to be a Nigerian official or business-person. Know you could be, or you’re being, victimized if the person asks you to help them move money out of Nigeria in exchange for “high, hassle-free profits.”

Tell-tale signs of this scam include unsolicited mailings, faxes, phone calls, and e-mails.

Back to Top

Pay now and then we’ll get started

Advance payment schemes made the FBI’s “most common types of scams” list.

The FBI points out that these agreements can actually turnout to be legal if the so-called finder proves that they never intended to, or was able to, provide any financing.

That’s frightening considering that just as the scammer schemed to dupe someone out of their money, they likely covered their bases with another way to avoid being found to have committed a crime.

Back to Top

Don’t let financial jams make you vulnerable to scammers

When it comes to offers to help you get out of financial jams, there are red flags to be aware of.

Know that you’re likely being scammed if you are asked to sign a contract that entails a so-called “finder’s” fee. Too often victims learn that they are ineligible for financing only after they have paid the “finder” according to the contract.

Also, know that a scheme is in the works (or has been worked on you) if the offer entails nondisclosure or non-circumvention agreements.

The FBI notes that these types of agreements are designed to prevent you from independently verifying the bona-fides of the people with whom you’ll be doing business. Con artists often use non-circumvention agreements to threaten their victims with civil suits if they report their losses to law enforcement, according to the FBI.

Back to Top

That gut feeling

Perhaps the best type of scam detector is your gut. It’s that feeling you get when something just isn’t right.

That feeling, along with the offer being “just too good to be true,” can help many you avoid being scammed.

The website Scam Guard gives examples of these types of offers as including:

“money left to you from an unknown relative; being awarded a loan or grant you haven’t applied for; winning a lottery you’ve never entered; and being selected to receive a share in funds in return for using your bank account.”

Back to Top

Do this or else you’ll miss a great opportunity

Scammers will often place pressure on their prey to agree to their offer immediately, or it will pass you by. This often works as they know that few want to pass up a great opportunity when it comes to money.

The pressure tactic is largely seen in get rich quick schemes, such as investing. The fraudster will guarantee a certain return percentage, which is usually astronomical. Don’t let greed lead you to fall for a scam that will cost you money instead of earning you money.

If the person offering you the deal is eager that you comply immediately, without allowing you time to do your own due diligence, walk away.

Back to Top

In conclusion

We took a look at the FBI’s website on scams and we found this statement to be spot on.

The variety of advance fee schemes is limited only by the imagination of the con artists who offer them.

At the end of the day, there is rarely a perfect solution to a financial problem. If you’re credit is in a rut, and you’re looking for a company to help, make sure you’re working with one of the best credit repair companies for your situation.

If you’re low on funds, stay on-guard and shield yourselves from potential online (or offline) scams. On that same note, there is rarely a perfect way to become rich with little effort unless there’s some kind of illegal activity going on.

Check the legitimacy of the person/company making the offer through a search on the Internet. Add scam to the end of the name, and see what comes up. If there are plenty of results, ignore the offer.

Go to websites, like those of the FBI, FTC that have a wealth of information on the latest scams making the rounds. They also provide ways to report them if you have been a victim.

And with all offers, keep with the rule of thumb that says:

“If it is too good to be true, it probably is.”

4 thoughts on “Financial Scam Victims

  1. I feel like I am the victim of some type of real estate foreclosure scam and I am not sure what to do. I took my concerns to a former attorney and they also agreed things were fishy. He told me to go to the cops, so I eventually did, but I couldn’t get past the receptionists. There are so many things that are very suspicious and I would just like to figure out if they legitimately own the note for my house and I don’t know how to do this at this point. I only have a month before the hearing to set the auction date and I am freaking out.

  2. We are being scammed by my Husband’s first cousin and his business partner.

    In 2003, my husband had a serious head and neck injury so debilitating he could no longer work. His cousin had a real estate development company. He pitched to us that his company could use the money from the sale of our house to provide us with a retirement.

    We bought a less expensive home, left California, and moved to Washington state. In 2005, they said if we took out a 2nd on our home they could give us a lot more money monthly.

    We did it. I waited for new documents they kept saying were in progress or in the mail. They never came.

    We were consistently socializing with his Cousin who assured us his partner was just overwhelmed. Then we got a call saying the downturn in the economy meant they would have to return our money. Meanwhile, if we could lend them as much money as possible ($75,000.00) they would return it in 3 months as his partner had a hot new property he wanted to flip.

    None of the money ever came back. We found out the new hot property was a lie. They were going bankrupt on a campground and were hoping to save it. We got in touch with their contractor who had invested in it too, and he said our relative’s partner told him he “would never pay us back.”

    We have been destitute since 2009. We cannot afford a lawyer. They wiped us out (I think on purpose). They threatened to sue us for usury when we asked for our money back. A real estate attorney looked at the documents and said that was ridiculous. They wrote the documents, came up with the interest amounts, and then personally guaranteed the repayment. They also told us the loans were secured by Storage units, so no matter what happened we would be secure. When I asked what happened to the storage units, they said they sold them a long time ago.

    My husband’s cousin has now sold his control to his partner and moved into a mansion on a golf course in Panama. His partner has his assets in his wife’s name.

    My 70 yr old husband has become very child-like after the injuries, and cannot believe his cousin would screw him over. He falls for scams all the time. Although we have asked repeatedly for more info, the partner won’t answer the phone or emails.

    We had first tried to get help and info in Washington state where we now live. Washington state sued them for illegally doing business in Washington and received a judgement against them but, that didn’t help us. It just made them more antagonistic. Although, the investigators said their investigation uncovered fraud.

    Since they refuse to keep us informed, we again called Stockton’s Assessor’s office to find out about the latest news on the last piece of property that they are developing and they again got mad and said we are not allowed to talk to the Assessor. As far as I understood, anyone could ask about any real estate.

    They have lied about so many things. For example, I learned about his cousin moving to Panama from a search online. When I confronted him, he said that was a lie, and “who told me that?” I emailed him the link. He himself posted it online with his photo attached to the comment!

    He said they needed to sell the mansion in Panama because they could not afford to move into it. Yet, on Facebook, his wife posts pictures of the fabulous sunset views from their house.

    We feel the purposely targeted us because my husband’s physical and neurological deficits, and the fact I was a preschool teacher and did not have any financial savvy.

    We cannot afford dental work, or maintain our property. Our friends have paid our property taxes and supplement our groceries. We cannot go on like this.

    My husband has macular degeneration, chronic venous insufficiency, congestive heart failure, and has lost 30 lbs. Plus, we both had stress induced heart attacks. We are living on credit. We took our S.S. early because we went from $4000.00 a month to zero! We bring in approx. $1200 a month on S.S.

    We both do part time work, but it is an erratic income at best. Is there anything we can do? Is there no one who will help us?

  3. Is there a way to collect my money back. They said it’s a 14 day process. It’s this week. Still nothing.

  4. I received a text message that stated my loan had been approved with loansarea (dot) net. I had never applied for a loan with them but they had my cell phone number listed, but a different person. I went to the website and was going to post something about them having the wrong information but my gut tells me this is a scam and they are looking for me to provide them my personal information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *