(MoneyHippo.com) – Scammers will go to nefarious lengths to trick people out of money or sensitive information, which they might use to steal directly from their victims’ accounts. Sometimes these individuals assume a victim’s identity, spending their cash, taking out loans, and creating a tangled financial mess that can be difficult to unwind. The best way to avoid getting taken for a ride is to avoid the scam in the first place. But it’s hard to know what to look for with technology advancing and thieves becoming more creative. Look out for these three top ruses.
- Crypto-romance: An individual feigns romantic interest in their victim to establish a relationship in this scam. When the target lets down their guard, the perpetrator convinces them to download an app to invest in cryptocurrency, but the accounts are fake. According to Steve Baker from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the app might show the user their balance is increasing, but in reality, the scammer is just siphoning the funds. Experts call this a sophisticated scam, and it’s even fooled seasoned investors.
- Puppy or other animal sales: Scammers know people look for four-legged friends to bring into their families daily. So, they create or participate in social media groups where people are looking to adopt a pet. The crook pretends to have the perfect pup the victim is looking for, requesting payment in advance and promising a meetup to deliver the new companion. But the scammer takes the money and doesn’t show because the dog never existed. Experts suggest it’s best to adopt in person and always see the animal before making any payment.
- Investments: To grow wealth, many financial advisors encourage people to invest their money. Scammers take advantage of this advice by targeting people wanting to grow their personal wealth. The individuals offer investments in products or businesses and promise significant returns. Many times, the product or company doesn’t exist, and the criminal is simply stealing the investor’s money. Always thoroughly research any potential financial deal before diving in head first.
Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never provide your personal information or give your money away to anyone before meticulously investigating the matter. A few extra steps involving calls or online searches to vet the opportunity might save you headaches, both financially and psychologically, down the road.
Copyright 2023, MoneyHippo.com