Avoid 5 personal finance scams to save substantial amount of money

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By: MarieGarcia
on 10th Mar,2011

So, you should gather knowledge so as to avoid being a victim of such scams.
Avoid 5 personal finance scams to save substantial amount of money

Many a times, you might have come across certain offers through e-mails or phone calls when you become skeptical about their reliability. Many people, who've responded to such offers by giving out their personal information or offering monetary help, have been ripped off. So, you should gather knowledge so as to avoid being a victim of such scams. Doing so will help you save a considerable amount of money and no need to mention, it will ultimately help you in better finance management. This article helps you acquire knowledge and in turn, you can avoid being a victim of such popular scams.

1.    Winning lottery scams - Have you ever received an e-mail stating that you've been a finalist in a lottery  and your chances of winning can increase if you buy some stuff? Such e-mails may also ask you to make an advance payment for shipping cost if you claim your prize. Before paying the amount asked for, you should know that buying merchandise cannot increase your chances of winning and do not pay shipping charges without verifying the offer. Make sure you don't give out your credit card number to such fraudulent people.

2.    Too good to be true travel deals - You might come across enticing travel deals at trade shows or fairs. You may also get such offers via faxes or e-mails. These offers usually tempt you to attend sales promotions, one of the most popular being time-share. However, you rarely get a trip for free or at a reduced rate. Most of the times, you'll find that you don't qualify for the offer because of any hidden or difficult-to-understand terms and conditions. You may avoid such offers as a business, which has to offer free trips, may not be worth considering. It is always better if you don't opt for the products and /or services offered by such a business.

3.    Victim of identity theft - This is quite a common phenomenon which many of you might be aware of. The imposters use several ways to steal other people's identity for their own monetary gain. The scammers may call you or e-mail you and use tricks in order to know your passwords, credit card numbers, Social Security Numbers, etc. Then, they may open credit lines by using the information provided by you and in turn, you may incur debt without even knowing about it. So, to avoid being a victim, do not reveal your passwords or any other personal information though e-mails. You should also be careful of shoulder surfing at ATMs.

4.    Fraudulent offers for donating in charity - A phone call may come to you asking you to help a current social cause. Before offering any monetary help, you should be aware of the fact that most of these charities are frauds. So, before responding to such calls, browse through and check the authenticity from popular charity websites to make sure that you're donating to a reliable organization.

5.    Grandparent scam - You may get a call from a person claiming to be your relative (may be your grandson), narrating a story and asking for monetary help. If you experience such a situation, make sure you check the person's identity before lending him/her the amount asked for. If a relative calls you for any monetary help, politely disconnect the phone and check by calling the person's cell-phone/home number whether or not he/she is really in need on money.

Apart from above, there is another popular scam that consumers often experience - a credit repair scam. When you get help from a credit repair agency, a scam company may ask you to apply for a new EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). The number of digits on such a number (EIN) is identically similar with that of a Social Security Number. So, you can use this new EIN to apply for a new credit file. This technique is referred to as file segregation. However, it requires no mention that such a strategy is actually a criminal activity for which you may have to experience strict penalties from the IRS.

So, it is advisable that you abstain from using such techniques to increase your score.  Instead, manage your finances and dispute incorrect negative items on your credit reports (if required) and it will automatically help you raise your score by several points.


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