The internet has offered us a lot of things that we wouldn’t have without it, but with the use of the internet we’ve also been exposed to many scams that we wouldn’t have had to worry about as a result. Today there are a lot of payment scams out there to be wary of, and you should be certain that you protect yourself as well as possible from all of them. It’s important to be aware of all of the payments scams that are out there and to continue to insulate yourself from them. Whether you are accepting or sending payment you should always use the same system, and remember that if something seems too good to be true or you don’t feel 100% comfortable with a transaction that you just shouldn’t go through with it.
Common Payment Scams
If you are attempting to buy something from someone and they suggest that you use a service such as Money Gram or Western Union to pay, you should be very leery. Of course, not everyone who suggests such a payment method is trying to defraud you of your money, but you should be sure that you are very careful. Many fraudulent sellers will tell you to wire the money as a “good faith” measure and then they will send the product to you. Others will try to tell you that they cannot access the funds that you send them until they receive a MTCN number from you, but this is not accurate. As soon as you wire the money it is gone from your account and if you put it in their name they can access it and never send you the product that you are paying for.
Other payment scams involve someone saying that they will send you a cashier’s check for a certain amount that exceeds what they owe or will pay you. You are to then deposit this cashiers check into your bank account and then wire them their share of the money. The problem with this is that the cashier check is usually fake and if you are allowed to cash it, you’ll later be required to pay back the funds while you have already wired the remaining amount to the other party.
If a seller of a product requests that you use an online escrow service you should be sure that you are dealing with a legit escrow company. There are many great online escrow options for you to choose from, but many of them are far from legit. You should look into the specific escrow company that the individual is requesting, or use an escrow but tell the individual you will only use your online escrow service so you know that you are not getting scammed by a fraudulent online escrow service.
Another of the more common payment scams that people fall for is one where the seller of a product asks you to make a partial payment for the goods that you are purchasing and then they will send the goods. The problem with this is that you are sending them the money and they will never send the product, so you are still out the money that you sent them. This is a very common payment scam that people fall for because they assume that the person is simply trying to build a trustworthy relationship.
If a foreign company offers you a job you should be very skeptical. Many foreign companies are offering jobs having someone else do their payment scams for them. What they will tell you is that they are unable to receive payments directly from their customers and that they will pay you a portion of the money for receiving the payments for them. This is a position that is often offered online or through an email and you should steer clear of it not only because you could end up losing money in the deal, but because you are likely getting involved in illegal payment scams of one sort or another.
Steering Clear of Payment Scams
As you can see, there are a lot of different payment scams to try to avoid. Of course, just when you think you know all of the scams that are currently out there, you’ll find that there are new ones. This is why you cannot get too excited when you are offered payment or you want to buy something. Instead, you need to stop and consider the request that is being made of you considering money. Is there anyway that you can lose out in the deal? You have to make sure that you are protecting yourself, your goods, and your funds at every turn. If you leave yourself exposed you could get taken by one of the many payment scams that are out there right now, waiting for someone trusting to go for it.
Remember that the only person you can trust in any deal is yourself. For this reason, make sure that you are trustworthy and that you think out any payment, whether you are sending or receiving, as much as possible before you share any information. Also, be careful about how much of your personal information that you are sharing such as your name, address, date of birth, etc. This is a common way to not only run payment scams but also a simple way to steal one’s identity.