Trust Me and Give Me your Money

Common Scams

There are a number of ways con artists try to take people’s money. There are so many, in fact, that some even have their own special name. Here’s a small sample of some of the more famous, generally still used, types.

Phishing is one of the most common email based scams. Basically, people will send an email that appears to be from a bank, or a credit card company, and will ask you to click a link embedded in the email, and ask you to log into your account. The link will take you to a page that looks identical to the login page of your bank. However, it is not part of your bank’s official website. Instead, it is a fake page that will steal your login information. The person who sent the email will now be able to take your username, password, pin number, or whatever information you entered into that website, and use it however he or she wishes.

These are unfortunately too common. But remember that your bank, credit card company, and pretty much every other company that you’d likely have an account with, will generally never send you an email with a link asking for you to login.

Likewise, any emails from Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, or anything like that saying that your account is going to be deleted if you don’t sign in using a link provided in the email, are almost definitely part of a phishing scam.

Ponzi Schemes are probably the best known. Here’s an example of a way you could do a Ponzi Scheme:

  1. Start a company
  2. Find your first mark
  3. Convince him to give you lots of money
  4. Give him ridiculously high returns
  5. Convince him to bring friends to invest with you
  6. Use their money to keep paying your first mark his ridiculously high returns
  7. Keep finding new investors and using their money to pay for your previous marks until your stash of new investors runs out

One of the most recent examples of a man who carried out a Ponzi Scheme was Bernard Madoff, who took in billions of dollars.

Check Fraud is another common fraud. This does not involve other people, but still is illegal. Here’s what happens when people forge checks:

  1. A person makes an illegal fake check
  2. The person then spends the fake check
  3. The person tries not to get caught

That’s basically all there is to it, but it can be extremely expensive and difficult to make believable checks. A former expert was Frank Abagnale, Jr.