If you are not spending your own money, someone else may be spending it for you in a scam.  For those who made it through the IRS imposters (or did not), consumers have these trends in fraud to watch out for:

 

Nepal Earthquake Disaster Relief:  Turn a natural disaster in to a financial disaster by giving financial information to a fraudster instead of a legitimate charity.  This type of fraud is popular when there is a big event negatively affecting many people.

Avoid:

  • Unsolicited contact.  If you want to give, YOU contact the aid organization of your choice.  Do not give personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller or email sender.
  • Phishing names.  Watch out for organizations with similar names to legitimate charities.
  • Bogus charities.  Research the charity through Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at FreshFromFlorida.com and also contact the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance at (703) 276-0100 to check for complaints.  Additionally you can learn about a charity’s status at IRS.gov (look under Charities and Non-Profits topics).

 

Weight Loss Promises:  Waist reduction could become wealth-reduction if you believe in bogus celebrity endorsements on this email spam.  This spam scam usually appears to come from a friend (with a little help from hacked email and social media accounts).

Avoid:

  • Unhealthy foods and lack of exercise…obviously, and beyond that be careful about opening links or attachments—make sure you know who sent them.
  • Beware of anyone who says you can lose more than a pound a week without diet and exercise

 

Foreclosure Rescue:  Make a bad situation worse by buying into a bogus foreclosure rescue relief.  Distressed homeowners become more distressed when they find they have made payments to someone who has only pocketed their money without any regard to the homeowner’s foreclosure.

Avoid:

  • Guaranteed fixes.  No one can guarantee an outcome in a legal proceeding.
  • Up-front fees to stop a foreclosure or guarantees a new mortgage.
  • Pressure to sign over your deed to someone other than your lender.
  • Advice to stop talking to your lender or your attorney.

 

Debt Threats:  Targeted to St. Johns County residents, this email scam threatens arrest if a default loan is not paid off.

Avoid:

  • Sending money to someone other than your creditor or loan servicer.