We’ve always wondered if a conman added up his/her time—all the planning, research, set up, etc., it takes to scam someone, if you couldn’t probably make more money honestly with the same insight and effort? But alas, here we are. And the scams keep-a-comin’. Here are the hustles that are being used very frequently today:
Grandma Scam: An email (with law enforcement letterhead), smartphone call (from the same area code) or a text is sent to a “grandma.” It is from her grandchild, and guess what, the grandchild is in trouble. She’s in Panama Beach, Florida, or some other trendy vacation spot, and she needs cash fast to get out of a serious jam. “Please don’t tell mom and dad.” On the phone the girl is crying and upset so it’s hard to make out her voice. Confirm the true existence and whereabouts of your grandchild before sending any money.
Negative SEO Extortion: Any website owner can fall victim to this scam. You receive an email that is bluntly blackmail. “We will do NEGATIVE SEO to your website by giving it 20,000 XRumer forum profile backlinks (permanent & mostly dofollow) pointing directly to your website and hence your website will get penalized & knocked off the Google’s Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) forever, if you do not pay us $1,500.00 (payable by Western Union).” Contact local law enforcement if you receive an email like that.
Real Estate Con: You are contacted digitally about the land you own. Doesn’t matter where you live, your land is “worth hundreds of thousands of dollars!” The person contacting you will say they have inside info on a new development that is happening or mineral rights or natural gas or whatever. They send you a check for the property. The catch is that you have to pay closing costs, anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. Their check bounces, yours does not.
If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Contact your state’s attorney general for more information on trending scams in your area.