Fall is here and while it’s many people’s favorite season, don’t let the cooler weather distract you from protecting your money. Here are some popular financial scams being perpetrated this year:
Someone from the IRS calls you and claims you owe income tax. If you don’t pay immediately, you will be arrested or be sued by the IRS. Why this is a scam: The IRS will always contact you by mail first. Also, they will never demand immediate payment, demand a wire transfer, or ask for personal information via e-mail. I have personally gotten a couple of these phone calls.
This scam takes advantage of a recent tragedy. If someone calls or comes to your door raising money for say, hurricane victims in Haiti, do not give immediately. Take the name of the charity and verify it on the National Association of State Charity Officials (http://www.nasconet.org/resources/). Keep in mind, if you are being pressured to give money on the spot, it is likely a scam.
Obama Student Loan Forgiveness Program
This doesn’t really exist, but is made to sound like the legitimate Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program created by George W. Bush. You will be offered the opportunity to consolidate student debt for a fee, but this is a service you can access for free by using a student loan repayment plan for federal student loans.
False Promises for Work-at-Home
Who doesn’t want to make six figures working from bed? These scammers offer the potential for big income, but first you have to pay a fee to access the program. You pay the fee, and there is no program. Remember, if you have to pay to do it, it’s not a job.
National Institute of Health Scam
Scammers tell you that you’ve been selected to receive a $14,000 grant from the National Institute of Health. To get it, all you have to do is pay a fee through iTunes, Green Dot card, or by giving your bank account number. News flash: The government doesn’t give grants unless you APPLY for them.
Sadly, these are but a few ways thieves are trying to get your money. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is!