Don't get scammed by fraudulent schemes

This may sound strange coming from me but, I don't know who to feel more sorry for, the people who fall for the get-rich-quick schemes or those who perpetrate the scam. Why entertain the thought of feeling sorry for the schemers, well, what frame of mind must one be in, to think up such an awful ideology and bring upon their fellow human beings.

To most of us it isn't rocket science [my favorite term] when it comes to fraud. But, there's a segment of society that has a problem with having too much "blind faith"

Being the pessimist that I am, I trust nothing or no one; if someone tells me that the sun is out, I'll go look for myself to make sure it's true.

I wish more people would have a small part of my pessimism, it would save some people money, especially senior citizens who fail prey to these bottom-feeding miscreants who have no problem taking what little money they have.

The first thing that should always come to mind when receiving an e-mail, or a phone call, or a letter through snail-mail, concerning "free money" is, nothing is free.

E-mail scams:

Lottery winnings--e-mails claiming you've won a lottery you've never entered.

Bank verification notices -- unsolicited emails requesting you click on a link to verify your personal information. [No authentic bank does this]

Free vacations -- e-mails claiming you've won a free vacation in a contest you've never entered.

Extortion e-mails -- e-mails that contain personally identifiable information that might differentiate your e-mail from the general e-mail spam campaign. These e-mails suggest threats of violence. CALL THE POLICE!

Snail Mail scams:

Telemarketing [yes, under snail mail] -- when you receive a postcard of letter describing an appealing offer. To take advantage of that offer you must call a 900 number of toll-free 800 number. When you call, the telemarketer has a convincing sales pitch.

Illegal Sweepstakes Information -- sweepstakes must follow certain laws and if they don't they are illegal. Read More

Chain Letters -- A chain letter is a "get rich quick" scheme that promises you that your mail box will soon be stuffed full of cash if you decide to participate.

Government Look-a-like Mail -- A brown official looking envelope in your mail. It looks like government mail but isn't, it's usually a sweepstakes solicitation.

Home Improvement and Home Repair Fraud -- If someone mails you a brochure offering to do an expensive job for a much lesser price and requests that you pay in advance.

Phony Inheritance Scam -- A notice that you've received an inheritance from a long-lost relative you've never met. [you've never met them before because they ain't your relative]

Receipt of Unsolicited Merchandise -- If you receive a pen or key chain or a tie you didn't order, don't feel guilty! The company is banking on you being the type of person to feel guilty and will call to offer and pay for it. It's yours, don't feel guilty and don't call, keep it!

Prison Pen Pal Money Order Scam -- No brainer folks! If you know of no one in prison then why send them money. If you are one of those lonely ladies out there, just be aware that there's a mail fraud where prisoners write you attempting to gain your trust then, BAM! they ask for money.

Fraudulent Health and Medical Products -- Mainly aimed at senior citizens. Key words to watch out for "instant cure for arthritis," "loose weight without effort," "grow hair fast," "look years younger" Don't fall for it! Read More

There are more scams out there and the list grows by the day. The best rule of thumb to go by is if it sounds to good to be true then, it isn't. Short-cuts aren't always best sometimes they can get you lost in a bog that you will have a hard time of getting out.

If you have a senior citizen in the family or know of a senior citizen please, keep an eye on them and talk to them. Many seniors think they know of good deals when they hear or see one.

For more information on other fraudulent schemes please, visit the following websites U.S Postal Inspections

and the FBI

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