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Is there an easy way to spot money-making scams?

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Author's Note: Is there an easy way to spot money-making scams?

I've received my fair share of e-mails from African consulates promising that, in exchange for a small sum, they will be happy to relay my multimillion-dollar inheritance. Once I even received a check, an actual paper check, in the U.S. mail from a scammer. It was made out to me and included instructions. All I had to do is deposit the $5,000 and relay $1,000 to the sender. Like some scams, this one not only targeted unsolicited recipients, but threatened to turn them into criminals, too. Thankfully, I steered clear of launching a money-laundering career. I do have to admit, though, I stared at that check a long time ... wishing it were true.

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Sources

  • Better Business Bureau. "Scam List." (Nov. 15, 2012) http://www.bbb.org/us/scams
  • Caregiver Stress. "What to Do if You've Been Scammed." July 9, 2012. (Nov. 15, 2012) http://www.caregiverstress.com/senior-safety/con-cheat-seniors/reporting-scams/
  • Federal Trade Commission. "Bogus Business Opportunities." November 2011. (Nov. 15, 2012) http://business.ftc.gov/documents/inv02-looking-earn-extra-income-how-avoid-bogus-business-opportunity-offers
  • Jamieson, Dave. "The Culler of Money." Washington City Paper. July 17, 2005. (Nov. 15, 2012) http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/cover/2005/cover0617.html
  • Maranjian, Selena. "Avoiding Job Scams: How Not to Fall Victim to the Con Artists." July 7, 2012. (Nov. 15, 2012) Daily Finance. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/07/02/avoiding-job-scams-how-not-to-fall-victim-to-the-con-art/
  • Texas Attorney General. "What to Do If You've Been Scammed." (Nov. 15, 2012) https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/scammed_list.shtml

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