I recently read an article on scams . . . It’s a new year, but the same old scams . . . which can be found here, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28435684/
I totally agree with the author, Herb Weisbaum, that scams will continue to hurt the American financial situation in 2009. With so many people being laid-off or working harder to just get by, when the check comes in the mail and you are told you have won the lottery, or have been accepted for a new position with an overseas company, sometimes the red flags don’t go up quite as fast as they should.
The work-at-home and secret shopper scams are the ones that I believe will have the largest increase in them. So many people are out there now a days looking for some way to make some extra money. If there are no companies that are hiring in your area, the next best thing sounds like a work-at-home job where you can sit in pj’s and work on your own time from your computer and make money. If only it were that easy.
And the secret shopper scams are growing too. The one I see the most is the one that says you are being hired to evaluate a money wiring service, such as Western Union or Money Gram. The company that you are working for will send you a check for you to cash . . . you will need to have cash to wire if you are going to evaluate their customer service skills, right . . . so it makes sense in that respect. People have said that they are given forms that look legitimate to fill out and review the services. It is not until you have wired the money and are waiting for your next assignment that you will find out that the check that you cashed to get the money to wire is counterfeit, and then the bank will hold you liable for the entire amount. Now, a person who was already tight on money and looking for extra work to try and make ends meet is really in trouble because they could be out thousands of dollars.
There needs to be a raised awareness about these scams, or 2009 will be an even harder year for the people who fall victim to the scammers trap.