In this internet age, we are bombarded daily with emails full of scams trying to get our money from us. If you have not played the lottery, had a grandmother in Europe, or left millions in an unclaimed account somewhere, the chances are zero that you would be so lucky to get thousands or millions of dollars through any of those ways. When you get those notices, the best thing to do is delete them right away. Never, ever open their attachments.
Con-artists are everywhere and they wear many different outfits. The general idea is to lure you into a “get rich quick” scheme, while they get rich from taking your money. When it comes to your money, it’s better to be paranoid, than to be naïve and become the victim of a scam.
Be alert, don’t get caught with your pants down!
It’s not just the outright unbelievable ones that you should be aware of; there are also subtle ones that prey on your kindness and vulnerabilities. If there are people suffering from a disaster or children living in poverty that you want to help, look for credible organizations through which to make your contributions; don’t be tricked into giving your money to a fake organization or one with no track record. Research the organization at charitywatch.com or any of the other websites that monitor charities to ensure people’s donations are going where they should.
If you are looking for a legitimate way to earn extra income beware of Ponzi schemes or pyramid schemes which require you to buy expensive goods and then sell them on to others. People make money in pyramid schemes by enrolling others, not by selling the products themselves. Only a very few people at the very top of the pyramid make significant money. Some pyramid schemes are associated with multi-level marketing and operate in the same way. Promises that you will make huge amounts of money fairly quickly are often one of the first signs that you are being lured into a fraudulent scheme. According to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “many pyramid schemes will claim that their product is selling like hot cakes. However, on closer examination, the sales occur only between people inside the pyramid structure or to new recruits joining the structure, not to consumers out in the general public.” Learn more at: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/inv08-bottom-line-about-multi-level-marketing-plans.
Also beware of guaranteed business opportunities or work from home offers. Remember, the general rule of thumb, if it seems too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true.
If you run into a scam, please report it to the British Virgin Islands Financial Investigation Agency, which is responsible for handling financial offenses in the BVI. The BVI FIA has more information on how to keep your money safe. View the FIA’s Beware of Scams flyer.
Learn more about multi-level marketing plans.