We all want to keep our hard-earned money safe. Read this list of five popular cons and give yourself the knowledge you need to protect your assets.
1. The Melon Drop
The key to this con is convincing the victim that he is at fault. This plays on the guilt you feel at the idea of having broken somebody’s treasured possession. The con artist will carry a box full of broken china or glass and deliberately bump into you, dropping the box to the floor. She will then insist that you broke her grandmother’s antique plate/girlfriend’s vase/boss’s award and ask you to stump up the cash.
2. Notarios Publicos
There are some con artists who pose as Notarios Publicos to immigrant customers, promising legal assistance with various immigration issues in exchange for a fee. Although this is Spanish for “notary public,” the title does not mean that the holder is a lawyer. In fact, he or she may have no legal authority at all. Someone who calls himself a “notario publico” may be giving you incorrect information, trying to get money out of you or aiming to steal your personal information. Stay safe, and if you use someone who works for the Board of Immigration to handle your case.
3. The Ring Reward
This con plays not on your goodness, but on your greed (so the con artist hopes). A pretty girl tells you she has lost her engagement ring, then gives you her number and offers you a killer reward if you find it and return it to her. Well, as luck would have it, someone comes up to you asking if you know who this ring he just found belongs to. As you can guess, the two are working together, and the ring is worthless. They are going to try to convince you to give the ring-finder money in exchange for the ring because you believe that you will get a much bigger reward later. Obviously, the ring is a dud. Give the guy the girl’s number, and leave them to it.
4. The Bank Examiner
We have written before about the dangers of identity theft, and an old con has been adapted to steal not just your money, but your private information. Originally a con artist would pretend to be a bank examiner and ask to inspect your money. The crook would then swap your real bills for fakes. Now, though, these bank examiners are more likely to call, pretending to be from the bank, and ask you to hand over your personal information. Although you can buy identity theft protection insurance, it’s great to be cautious as well. When looking at how to prevent identity theft in this case, always use a different phone from the one you received the call on, and call your bank to check if the claims are genuine.
5. The Scholarship
A variation on the Bank Examiner, this scam is aimed at students. A person claiming to be from your school or college will call, offering you a scholarship and asking for personal information to get the process in motion. Watch out! As tempting as it is to jump at a scholarship (tuition fees are a killer), if you really have been offered a scholarship, there’s no rush, and you can call the school back yourself.
So there you have it! Simple scams that won’t catch you unawares now. Share this article to keep your friends and family safe and aware.