Continuing with our thread from last week, we finish off our focus on the top scams to be wary of in 2011. Last week we addressed job hunt lures, debt solutions, not-so-free trial offers, time share resellers, and work from home secrets. This week we urge you to be wary of:
- Itinerant home repairers and roofers. Better Business Bureaus across the country received complaints from consumers who answered a knock from a door-to-door salesman or itinerant worker who eventually failed to deliver on promises to fix their roof or do other work to their homes.
- Lotteries and sweepstakes. The victim receives a letter in the mail or a phone call from someone
pretending to be with Reader’s Digest, Publisher’s Clearing House or a phony foreign lottery. The
catch: A winner must first wire hundreds or even thousands of dollars to cover taxes or some other
bogus fee. The victim wires the money, but the prize never arrives.
- Identity theft. A person can become a victim of identity theft in both low-tech and high-tech ways,
including theft and mail theft, e-mails, phone calls, text messages, or as the result of a corporate data breach.
- Advance-fee loans. Victims are told they qualify for large loans but must pay upfront fees — often
more than $1,000. The victim wires money to the scammers but never receives the loan.
- Overpayments. These typically target small-business owners, landlords or individuals with rooms to rent and sellers on classifieds or sites like Craigslist. The scammers overpay the amount requested and then ask the victim to wire the extra amount back to them or to another fraudulent entity. Ultimately, the check is forged and the victim loses the money wired back.
The old cliché holds true—the best defense is a good offense. When it comes to identity theft, best practices suggest shredding is the highest level of defense for personal information. For more information about our on-site shredding service, check out www.hvshred.com