Scams

The Scam Channel describes the wide variety of tricks people use to steal money. Learn how to spot a fake and how to protect yourself from fraud.


People are being bombarded by telemarketing calls with numbers that look local, but aren't. The FCC is cracking down on these scammers.

Setting up a funding site for a nonexistent sick boy is child's play for these criminals. The real money is in laundering stolen credit cards.

Online shopping offers plenty of amazing-looking deals. But you know how it goes: If something seems too good to be true ...

Life's hard enough for a small business, and dishonest people looking to scam hard workers out of their profits only make things worse. Learn what the red flags are.

Whether by tampering with the bottle or the liquid inside, wine fraudsters have fooled billionaires and wine connoisseurs alike into thinking an unremarkable bottle of merlot is really an exceptional vintage. Here's how they do it – and why.

If smartphones were called computerized wallets, maybe people would be more careful with these devices that give thieves access to your bank accounts, credit cards and whereabouts with just one swoop. How do you protect yourself from identity theft?

Who among us hasn't seen an Internet ad advertising a book or scheme to make lots of easy money? Some schemes are easier to see than others. Here are some ways to spot the scams.

During a recession, people are trying to find jobs and hold on to their homes. It's the perfect time for scammers to exploit the fears and concerns of those affected by the poor economic climate.

In 2008, more than $1 billion was stolen via ATM skimming. So exactly how does it work and how can you protect yourself?

It doesn't take much skill to steal, but printing and using fake currency requires some finesse. Counterfeiting has become something of a lost art over the years, and you're about to meet five of its best practitioners.

Ponzi schemes may not seem so bad. You invest some money, and when more people join, you get your investment back -- plus returns. The problem? For one, these schemes are illegal. And you only win if you're not in the bottom rung.

Money scams have been separating people from their cash for hundreds of years. In this gallery, see some of the most ruthless scams of the 20th and 21st centuries, and learn what you can do to protect yourself.

Sure, the guy or gal in the modest business suit seems as honest as Abe. You think you could trust him or her with your life. But could he or she be skimming the books or dabbling in other forms of white-collar crime?

Here's a great investment opportunity: All you have to do is get five friends to sign up. When they pay to join in, you get paid. Sound too good to be true?

Have you ever gotten a chain e-mail that promised riches if you just sent $5 to everybody on the list? The person who began that e-mail is a con artist -- someone who lies, cheats and fool people into thinking they've happened onto a great deal. Learn about basic cons, how to avoid being conned and what to do if you're a victim.

Money laundering is a crime that disguises where money came from -- usually because its source was illegal. How can money start out dirty and wind up clean?

Smell that? It's the waft of smoldering company documents: a product of 'cooking the books.' Turns out, this isn't a filling meal, though. Find out why companies inflate their profits and what can happen as a result.

Do counterfeit bills really feel different from valid bills? Some people claim they can spot a fake just by handling it.

A Philadelphia man managed to put more than $800,000 worth of counterfeit $50 and $100 bills into circulation between 1998 and 2002. How can you spot a fake?

Practiced pickpockets are nimble and intelligent -- and they look just like everyone else. You'll be amazed at how easily they can rob you without you even noticing.

How many companies have tried to sell you "better" long-distance rates on your home phone? Do the offers sound too good to be true? Find out how to tell the scams from the real deals.

Counterfeit detector pens use special chemicals to spot a fake. How do they do it?