Federal scams are those that would be investigated by the FBI or somehow involve the name of the federal government. There are a surprising number of federal scams each year, affecting an unknown number of people. The telephone was one the most common way in which these crimes were perpetuated, but now they are just as common perpetuated through the internet.
Federal Scams You Should Never Fall For
One of the most common federal scams is where students get a phone call telling them that they are eligible for a federal grant and that they just need some basic information to give them the money that they need for school. The individual will then share information such as their name, address, date of birth, social security number, and even their bank account or credit card number. The student gives all of this information over in hopes of getting money to pay for school, little do they know they are giving an identity thief all of the information that is necessary for them to wipe out their good credit standing altogether. This same sort of scam is also used on homeowners offering a federal grant for home repair.
One of the most common federal scams today is the Nigerian money scams, also known as the 419 scam. These are those emails where someone posing to have a lot of money that they need wired to another country contacts you by email. They tell the person that they just need them to put the money into their bank account for 24 hours and as a result they will give them a percentage of the millions of dollars for helping them. For a lot of people this sounds great, they will be able to pay off debts, go on trips, and live the good life just for allowing for money to sit in their account for a few hours. So, the excited individual will give the person on the other end of the email their bank account and it’s all a snowball effect from there on out. Usually what happens is the bank account is cleaned out first and usually within a few hours before the person can think twice. If the scammer was able to get any other information credit card accounts may be opened, using the individual’s identification until they cannot get anymore credit.
Another of the common advance fee scheme is the following federal scam. This is a scam that involves a consumer paying a sum of money to a “company” in exchange for something else such as a loan, investment opportunity, etc. The result is usually that the consumer pays the fee, gives some personal information to the company, and gets nothing but grief in return. Usually they give the individual enough information to steal their identity, allowing for the person to clean out their bank accounts, use their credit cards, open up new credit card accounts, and more. Usually the individual will not stop until no more credit can be offered and then they disappear and the person is left with a huge mess to clean up.
As you can see, federal scams are serious business. Not only is it illegal to run these scams, the scams themselves leave people with total financial devastation in a lot of cases. Many people never fully recover from such scams, and that is why you need to protect yourself from them at all costs. You need to remember that if something seems too good to be true that it probably is. You also need to make sure that you always think with your head and not your emotions, as we often get excited about opportunities, allowing for us to miss the red flags that are usually associated with federal scams. You should also make sure that you question everything, ask for verification of who the person or company is, and if in doubt you should go straight to the source, contacting the IRS or government agency directly and independently of the individual that may claim to be from one of these agencies. Scams are getting more and more sophisticated all the time, so make sure that you are always on the lookout and that you insulate yourself from scams as much as is possible.