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How many people had parents who fell victim to selling Mary Kay products at home "parties," designed to both sell makeup and trick others into joining a pyramid scheme--where people "work on their own time" but still end up owing thousands of dollars to the parent company for continuing to buy product.
What else are common schemes people still submit to?
Here were some of those answers.
Warning Number One
Those phone calls that claim your social security number is suspended due to criminal activity
My own mom fell for this unfortunately.
Tips to avoid this kind of scam (if you live in the US):
- Your SSN will never get suspended.
- SSA/FBI/IRS will contact you directly through mail not by phone.
- Scammers are experts on phone spoofing; the phone numbers may look legit but they're not calling from them.
- Don't panic if a scammer does have your information; it was all obtained through hacking a website where you filled out a form. Be sure to clear auto form fill data. Always have strong, hard to guess passwords
- Never confirm any personal data even if it's 100% correct over the phone (they want you to verify this)
- Pay attention to unusual background noise. (Our scammer played a blaring siren noise after transferring the call to the "police" during the entire conversation. My mom only figured out it was a scam when she heard background noises of an Indian street)
- No one will call saying you're going to be arrested. Arrests only happen in person with an arrest warrant signed by a judge.
- Government agencies do not take payments through gift cards nor ask for the codes and pins when you deposit money on them.
- Gov agencies won't stay on the line with you the entire time you're withdrawing and depositing money especially past business hours. At all.
- Always have antivirus software; viruses are the common way to steal your data and scam you.
Not gonna lie, I attended one of those pyramid scheme meetings at my friend's insistence and man it was filled with low-income people and the whole thing was clearly targeted at them. Felt really bad seeing how they were being sold dreams of earning a lot of money and stuff. Such a scam.
Hey babe! ❤️❤️🙋 I've just come into some really 💕great💕 opportunities with this amazing team of women, and since that opportunity is still available of course I thought of you ;) They're looking for hard working ladies💪💁 who want to empower each other by starting their own businesses! 😮 I know that sounds scary but just wait until you see the paycheck at the end of it 😍💲💲😍 You can be your 👏own👏boss👏 and take control of YOUR finan- lol just kidding could you imagine 🙊💓💞💕💓💖💝♥️💘
Mobile games which are designed to be bad so they can frustrate you enough to buy their currency. Failing that, the game will feature spam-clicking until you run out of energy, which will spawn a "buy more energy" pop-up, hoping you will buy lots of it by accident.
Spin To Win!
These Facebook posts imitating real companies saying you'd win whatever they're offering, despite the page being created hours ago and the only post being said giveaway. The comments are always tragic to read.
I have several clients that fell for the scam where when you do a password reset on a bank web site and they text you a code to complete the password reset and the scammer calls you for the code. If you receive a code via text, never tell it to someone else.
A Pastor Can Be Scammed Too
Jim Bakker. My nephew, who is around 22 or 23 now is a youth minister, when he first started doing minister training or whatever it's called he went to a camp that Jim Bakker and his son own and trained there for like a year. He's so young that he probably hadn't even heard of what the Bakkers are most famous for (being con artist pieces of crap) and I never talked about them around him because he was an adult choosing his own path. But man did I hate it. To this day he's still good friends with Jim's son.
Everybody Suddenly Cared About COVID
Having to share at least your email address (+ permission to mail) with any company that you want to purchase a product from or interact with, just so they can spam your inbox with garbage marketing campaigns. Sure, you can unsub, use a non-primary email address, etc. but I still hate it. (..may be biased because I work for one of the worlds largest big data marketing agencies).
Not Fundraising, Just Funds
Door-to-door magazine sales. No that kid is not getting sent on a camping trip if you will just buy subscriptions to Boys Life and Wine Aficionado. Most of the time they are a traveling troop that goes city-to-city, pulling the same scam each time.
Honestly, just door-to-door sales in general are usually a scam. Don't trust the guy trying to sell you a new roof, or a driveway resurface, or a spanking new Hoover vacuum at your front door. Need a new roof or driveway? Call your insurance company and get a list of reputable companies. Even if you aren't filing an insurance claim, they will happily give you the name of several companies that can be trusted.
This Is Just A Dumb One
Maybe not the biggest scam, but...
I'm going to pay you for (insert item here that costs $700) with this check for $1000 that my company gave me which I'm endorsing over to you. In turn, you give me $300 cash and the item, and the check should clear in a day or two. Nice doing business with you, stranger from the internet.