Be Very Careful with Cashier’s Checks!
These are extremely easy to forge on pre-printed forms available anywhere like Staples, Office Max, etc. All the criminal needs is a laser printer.
NEVER send money to someone who has sent you a cashier’s check until you have verified with your bank that it has cleared. If the check is bogus, you can also be arrested for passing fraudulent documents. This is a rare occurrence, but it has happened and probably will happen again.
Do Not Use Money Transfer Services with Unknown Persons
We’re talking here about Western Union, MoneyGram, and Green Dot MoneyPak cards, or anything else like it.
If you send money to a criminal with Western Union or a similar service, it’s gone. You can’t get it back. If a criminal asks you to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak card and send him/her the PIN, do not do it. Your money will be gone, and you won’t get it back.
These services irresponsibly enable fraudsters all over the world to perpetrate their scams on vulnerable or unwitting people. They should be regulated in much the same was as pawn shops.
Do not believe everything you read on the internet, or in your email box.
Scams are rampant. Criminals all around the world want your money, and they will stop at virtually nothing to get it. An example received just yesterday.
Do not click on links in emails.
If you’re curious about a link in an email, type the address in your URL box directly, like this:
If you click on a link directly in the email, you may be redirected to a bogus site:
In this example, the link that looks like it will go to a legitimate Walmart site is actually taking you to a questionable internet marketing website that is being used by criminals.
Do not click on attachments in emails unless you know who sent them.
This email looks like it has attached a .PDF file. However, any attachment can be deceptive. TXT files, DOC or DOCX files, PDF files, XLS or XLSX files, and many others – all can actually be .EXE files in disguise.
If you do not know who is sending you an attachment, never click on it.
Never pay money to collect a prize.
This just goes without saying. You can’t win a lottery or sweepstakes you didn’t enter. Legitimate lotteries or sweepstakes, and there are precious few of these, will never ask you for up-front money to collect a prize. Again, never send money to a stranger hoping to get a large payout. If you do, you are being robbed.
There is no Nigerian prince or government official who wants you to help get money out of the country.
This is the “419” fraud, so named for the section of the Nigerian legal code that makes this sort of scam illegal. None of the above schemes will work if people avoid sending money to strangers using Western Union or MoneyGram or other methods. This also applies to “reshipping work” or “lonely hearts” scams. At some point, all of them will ask you to send money somewhere. Don’t Do It!
There are more ways to get scammed and one post can’t cover them all, but if everyone would follow these few simple steps, the incidence of fraud would decrease dramatically. Protect your loved ones. Educate them, or watch over their finances. Be careful out there.
The Old Wolf has spoken.