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Scams and Scammers Never Take a Day Off

 

Most any circumstance in life whether good or bad can draw the attention of fraudsters looking to gain at your expense. Read on to view a short list of some of the ways scammers are trying to get you to part with your money, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Those who are in the process of finding a job may be using a job search website such as Career Builder.com or Job Hat.com. The sites are fairly easy to navigate and a job seeker can post their resume right on the site and wait for a job offer. Unfortunately, scammers use these sites as well to find their next victim. One such scam involves a seemingly legitimate job offer disguised as a charity seeking donation coordinators to "process charitable contributions from donors in your area." Applicants are promised a share of all donation checks they receive to "process" on behalf of the charity and must use their own bank account to "process" the donations. In fact, the "job offer" is a trap to snare victims for an international counterfeit check ring. Nessel's office warns you to be suspicious of all unsolicited email messages from unfamiliar sources. A job seeker can also do a background check on any potential employer using Google or another search engine. Beware of any organization, charity or otherwise, which refuses to provide you any information about itself or which does not readily provide a valid street address and contact information. Watch out for red flags in any email requesting information such as your mother's maiden name or date of birth; legitimate employers or charities will not ask for this information.

Online dating services or dating apps can seem like an ideal place to find the love of your life. These sites however, are another place consumers should exercise caution. If an online dating site requires you to sign a contract read it carefully and watch the fine print; expensive contracts that cannot be cancelled and yield poor results can lead to financial trouble including collection efforts and negative information that affects your credit report. Remember that many free dating apps do not screen users so practically anyone can gain personal information about you, including registered sex offenders. Be cautious with the kind of information about yourself you give out; never reveal financial information. If you decide to meet someone you have met online in person, arrange the meeting at a public place and arrange your own transportation.

Nessel's office says Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) scams are on the rise. One such scam arrives from a Gmail account and asks for personal information. Scammers are clever and attach what appears to be actual letterhead or news release from the UIA in an attempt to look credible. A similar scam comes in the form of a text message claiming to be from "UIA Unemployment Verification" and tells recipients they are making changes to their security features and warns recipients if they don't log in, their benefits will be discontinued. Nessel's office says no state or federal government agency will use Gmail for official purposes, nor will they communicate with you via text unless you have registered to receive text alerts from that agency. Additionally, such emails or texts will never ask for personal information.

To find out more on the more than three dozen types of scams Nessel's office is warning Michigan residents about, go to http://www.michigan.gov/ag/ and click on the Resources arrow, then the Consumer Alerts link to find the Scams tab. The site also offers valuable advice to avoid becoming a victim and information about reporting a suspected scam.

 

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