Money Scams and How to Avoid them

August 26, 2021
money scams


A dishonest or fraudulent scheme that tries to defraud others of their money or valuables. Dishonest groups, individuals, or companies use it as a confidence tactic. A scammer, trickster, or swindler is someone who pulls off a con.

During an offer or negotiation, a fraudster can, for example, present someone with incorrect information. What looks to be a get-rich-quick scam is actually a ruse. If the con artist succeeds, the scam victim loses his or her money.

Scammers defraud their victims or money laundering scam. The trickster’s target is known as a mark. There are two types of scams that are going around the world: “Online Scam” and “Offline Scam”.

Online Scam

Internet crimes can exploit the internet to defraud unwary victims. Scams on the internet take various forms, including emails that try to fool you into providing financial information, pop-ups that contain malware, and social media posts designed to start bogus love relationships.

Scams on the internet are always changing and can take many forms. The word refers to someone who uses internet services or software to scam or exploit victims, usually for monetary gain. Many effective online scams have the same outcome: victims either lose their own money or do not receive the funds promised by the scammer.

There are 8 different types of online scams

scam alert

Scams that ask for money up front

A spam letter is sent to a list of recipients by a scammer. The con artist poses as a representative of an estate or finance company, such as the “Chief Auditor of Lloyds Financial Services,” who is attempting to locate a will’s beneficiary.

Because the recipients of the letter have the same last name as the deceased, they are offered the chance to claim a portion of the estate in exchange for “legal expenses.” Another popular variation of this scam involves a “Nigerian prince” requesting money from the recipient in order to “transfer” funds.

How to avoid them:

  • Responding to an unsolicited email or letter is not a good idea. Also, don’t click “unsubscribe” on a spam email. It verifies your address and makes you a spam target. Delete the email immediately.
  • While some con artists are out for your money, others are looking for assistance in laundering their illegal riches. Never agree to send money to someone you haven’t met.

Scams in online auctions

One type of online trade fraud targets persons who sell items at auction, such as cars. The con artist poses as someone who is interested in purchasing the auctioned item as a gift for someone else.

The con artist claims he wants to buy the car but is unable to do so because he is out of town on business. The seller receives an email from PayPal claiming that the money has been received. A small amount for delivery fees is also included in the payment.

To complete the transaction, the scammer requests that the seller provide the additional funds to a “shipping business.” Inadvertently, the merchant sends money to the scammer (who promptly disappears). The original money is never received; it turns out that the PayPal email is a hoax.

How to avoid them:

  • If you’re purchasing or selling something through an online auction, be aware of overseas traders.
  • Avoid merchants or buyers that insist on using a service like Western Union to send money. Once money has been transferred, it is difficult to cancel the payment.
  • Scam detection measures are in place on reputable auction platforms. If you’re selling or purchasing something on an auction website, don’t finish the transaction outside of the site.

Phishing Scam

One of the most popular types of scam is phishing emails. Scammers “phishing” (fishing) for victims by sending official-looking emails, hence the name. When a recipient clicks on a link in the email or answers, the scammers may gain access to the user’s personal information without their knowledge.

Scammers send an email posing as a financial institution or other reputable organization. These emails attempt to persuade the receiver to divulge personal information. A popular ruse is to pretend or fall victim that their account has been hacked and to refer the receiver to a bogus but official-looking website where they may “repair” their login information. In truth, the account in issue is fine, and the website is simply saving your login information for later use by scammers.

How to avoid them:

  • Do not click on any of the email’s links.
  • Do not respond to or forward the email.
  • Inform them if your email account has a “Report spam” or “Data Breach” feature. This also prevents that sender from sending you emails in the future.
  • Delete the email right away and block their email address.

Scams involving computer hacking

This is a catch-all category that encompasses items of questionable value purchased online, as well as dangerous internet advertisements and computer hacking. Traditionally, a computer hacking scam would start with a spam email containing an appealing link.

The receivers’ computers were infected with spyware when they clicked on the link. Scammers, on the other hand, are increasingly exploiting social networking platforms to propagate malware and phish for personal information.

More than half of all social media attacks are caused by fake gift cards and survey frauds. Scammers usually place an ad on a social media site that says, “Click here for a $100 gift card.” When consumers click on the link, they are tricked into providing personal information in exchange for a fake coupon.

How to avoid them:

  • Even if the communication comes from a friend, don’t click on odd links in emails or social media messages. Scammers propagate malware by emailing links to a compromised account’s contact list.
  • If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of an online advertisement, don’t click on it. If you’re really interested in the ad, look it up first on Google.
  • Download the most recent security patches for your browser and operating system on a regular basis, and keep your antivirus software up to date.

Call for computer “assistance

Scammers claim to be from “Microsoft” or another “computer service business,” and inform the recipient that their machine is infected with a virus or has some other significant problem. They’re aiming to dupe the user into granting them remote access to the computer, which the fraudster then exploits to gain access to personal information like credit card details and bank logins.

Scammers may phone and try to persuade the potential victim to purchase and install their “security software.” Although this program has a high price tag, the deception is that it can generally be found for free.

How to avoid them:

  • If you receive a call claiming that your computer system is infected with a virus, hang up right away. Microsoft will never contact you without first contacting you.
  • If you’re unsure, contact a local computer repair shop or law enforcement.

Schemes of wagering

These normally necessitate the purchase of software which may cost thousands of dollars or any equivalent currency that allows you to forecast the outcome of horse races or lotteries.

Despite the fraudster’s claims, it is impossible to accurately forecast the outcome of random events like horse racing. Betting software is frequently promoted by demonstrating how much money you would have made if you had invested in the previous year. Of course, when the fraudster knows which horse won every race, it’s easy for them to show that you could have made a fortune in hindsight is a lovely thing.

How to avoid them:

  • Stop participating in betting scams, especially if the website is not trustworthy or legitimate.
  • Don’t be fooled by adverts on the internet promising large sums of money if you participate in a betting program.

Employment scams

These can appear anywhere, from the empty pages of a newspaper to your email inbox. They allow you to work from home at your own speed while still earning a lot of money. In most of these scams, you will be asked to pay money to a PO box or to forward your credit card information in advance. You never see your money again, and you never hear from the company.

How to avoid them:

  • Never send out personal information by email or phone, such as your social security number or bank account number.
  • Never accept payment in the form of cashier’s checks or money orders.
  • Never cash a check that contains “additional” funds, and never buy gift cards or mail barcodes at the behest of an employer.

Holiday scams

If you’re looking for an inexpensive mid-winter vacation, be weary of telemarketers offering discount hotel or travel coupons. These con artists are always on the go, luring victims in with phony offers of an exotic trip at a bargain price.

How to avoid them:

  • While there are genuine companies that provide holiday vouchers, you should never buy any without properly researching the company. 
  • It’s also a good idea to double-check whether the vouchers will be accepted by the organizations on the other end. We’ve received numerous calls concerning issues with these scams.

Offline Scam

It entails a physical transaction with a person who promises you good-to-be-true advantages. Although you’ve certainly heard enough of advice on how to avoid internet fraud, it’s also crucial to be aware of frequent offline frauds. The following are some of the most typical types of offline fraud.

Types Offline Scam

offline scam

Loss or theft of wallet or purse

You’ve misplaced your wallet or it’s been stolen, and your first reaction is to be concerned. But fight the impulse. Follow these procedures to avoid becoming a victim of a fraud if your wallet has gone missing.

How to avoid them:

  • Contact your debit card’s issuer or the treasury department.
  • Get in touch with the bank that provided your checkbook.
  • Make contact with your credit card company.
  • Set up fraud warnings with the credit bureaus on a national level.
  • Take into account identity theft prevention.

Friends who have access to information

Many people fear doing business with friends because of the risks associated with confidentiality. The problem, unlike a poorly placed patio, cannot be rectified by re-doing the installation. When financial data is involved, this problem is common.

How to avoid them:

  • Don’t give out information unintentionally.
  • Make a point of emphasizing your history of secrecy.
  • Keep your identifying information hidden.
  • Separate information into categories.

Employees with access to information who are corrupt

The effects of corruption on society are well documented: it is a political and economic barrier to democracy and the rule of law; it depletes a country’s wealth, often diverting it to corrupt officials’ pockets; and, at its core, it creates an imbalance in the way business is conducted, allowing those who corrupt to win.

Corruption can become so entrenched in a company’s culture that it becomes “the way things are done around here.” This is especially true for corporations that use agents or operate in countries where anti-corruption regulations are poorly enforced and where facilitation fees are considered the norm for conducting business.

How to avoid them:

  • Check the company or the agent’s credentials.
  • Examine the company’s performance or the reviews.

Stolen paper mail

For identity thieves, the mail can be a lucrative target. What is the definition of postal theft? When someone steals, takes, or abstracts your mail, it is considered a felony. Mail thieves might go through your mail looking for cash and checks, as well as personal information that can be used to perpetrate identity fraud.

How to avoid them:

  • For your mail, use the letter slots inside the Post Office or pass it to a letter carrier.
  • Pick up your mail as soon as it arrives.
  • Do not leave it in your mailbox for more than a few hours.

Definition of terms

Nigerian prince –  These frauds, sometimes known as “Nigerian letter” scams or “foreign money exchanges,” usually begin with an email from someone claiming to be royalty from another country.

Con artist – Scammers or Fraudster


The scam is not a crime with no victims. Scams can be a devastating event for victims, their families, caregivers, and communities, with real and irrevocable consequences. Those that rely on government services (such as the elderly, weak, sick, and underprivileged) are frequently the ones who suffer the most from Scams.

Scams can have a terrible effect on these victims, increasing their vulnerability, deprivation, and inequality. Scams can also leave victims with long-term mental and physical scars. Individuals and businesses lose out on opportunities as a result of scams.