While economists are reporting signs of improvement in the economy, it’s still tough out there for families trying to make ends meet. The fall and winter months can be even more financially challenging, between balancing the expensive holiday season and needing extra cash for repairs and replacements of everyday objects. This can set many families up to be victims of lending scams.
Scams have been around for a very long time, and they keep changing, creating the need for individuals to be careful about spending and investing money. One common scam is the advance fee scam. Scammers contact victims about obtaining a credit card or much-needed loan, but ask for a pre-payment fee, or advanced fee, in order to obtain the credit card or loan. Once that fee is paid, the scammer disappears, and the victim not only doesn’t receive a credit card or loan check, but is also out the money paid to “set up” the account.
What catches victims off guard is that the websites, documents and emails that accompany these phony offers appear to be legitimate. They might even look like they’re from the official lending institutions. And similar advance fee scams have run with the angle that the victim won something like a lottery or inheritance gift, and has to pay taxes or processing fees before the money can be delivered.
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