Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Frauds and Swindles


  • 1.wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain:"he was convicted of fraud"


  • 1.use deception to deprive (someone) of money or possessions:"a businessman swindled investors out of millions of dollars"


  • 1.a fraudulent scheme or action:"he is mixed up in a $10 million insurance swindle"

It seems, in this world of ours, that there are many, many people out there trying to separate you from your money. Most people and businesses are doing it the right way and trying to get your money by offering you something you need or want. The oil companies try to persuade you that their gas is better for your car or their oil will make your engine last longer. Restaurants offer you a great meal with price and convenience. Walmart offers you everything you need to run your household from toilet paper and food to camping gear. Online shopping offers you a great deal and shipping right to your door. You make your own personal decision on where to spend your money based on questions of "What do I need?", "What do I like?" and "What do I want?".

On the flip side of this is the evil, criminal element that tries to get your money by giving you an inferior product or no product at all. There are countless frauds and fraudsters out in the world. My career in law enforcement exposed me to many fraudulent schemes over the years. When I first started working in the early 1990's the big fraud was the "boiler room" operations that operated by mail and phone. A victim would be sent a postcard or letter advising them that they had won fabulous prizes or cash. All you had to do was call a 1-800 number to claim it. Once they got you on the phone they attempted to collect fees for taxes or shipping and then sent you nothing at all. If the heat got to intense from law enforcement they would vacate their room and move to a different city or state and start all over again. Next came the Nigerian scams where you were notified that a large sum of money needs to be moved by a Nigerian prince and that you would be paid well to help facilitate getting the money out of that country. 

There are frauds that involve winning your love or friendship which is employed by prisoners or internet prowlers who profess their love for you and slowly drain you of funds. They love you but need money to pay for a plane ticket to come see you. Then they need money to pay customs officials for some made up reason. They give you a thousand excuses that cost money and they dearly need your help. My wife was friendly to a lady at a local hamburger restaurant and she kept telling her of her latest online love and how they were going to marry her and were building her a brand new house. She was in the middle of sending him payments to total $5000 so she could get the new house. No amount of talking with her would convince her it was a fraud. Then she continued to tell us about previous frauds and how she was paying her bank payments on several of those frauds. 

Some of the latest scams involve crypto currencies. I read a news article about scammers setting up brokerage style websites where you could buy a wide variety of crypto currencies and then buy and sell on their website. The issue was that you could send them money, buy the crypto currencies but you could never get your money out. Eventually, the sites just disappear as well as your money. There are fraudsters who swoop into a storm damaged area and take cash up front for debris removal, roof repair, etc. and then never show up to do the job. There are fraudsters on the internet who will sell you something with cash up front and then never provide the product. One of the most recent internet frauds, that I saw, was the selling of pets. Never give anyone cash through the internet based on a photo. Another recent scam involved fraudsters selling or renting out vacant homes that they did not own. They break into a vacant house, change the locks and the rent it out and collect cash on a monthly basis until they are found out. One woman in Detroit had bought a vacant home, was promised a title, and then remodeled the place. She was later evicted by the real homeowner. It is crazy what these fraudsters come up with. 

At the bottom of this blog is a list of scams that are listed on the AARP website, a great source of information.

There are fraudsters everywhere, so beware. Do your homework before you spend your money. Retirees are especially vulnerable to fraudsters. As retirees age they become a huge target of fraudsters hoping to take advantage of your trust. Look out for yourself and if your parents are still around look out for them. These fraudsters pray on those that are older and may be more trusting or those that are at stages of dementia and have reduced capacity to understand these scams.

Have you been the victim or target of a fraud? Have you heard of any unusual scam that we all need to know about?

I've got to close this out for now. I have to call a guy back about my car warranty!

No comments:

Post a Comment