Unfortunately, con artists are out in force scamming and swindling good and honest people. Scammers target the trusting, the vulnerable, the unwary, and anyone else the scammers believe will fall for their pitches – including the elderly, the disabled, and those in need, and decent. The scammers claim that if you buy their products or give them some money, you will earn a mint. Some claim they are working on behalf of a government agency, and you must act immediately or your house or accounts will be seized or a loved one will be jailed or compromised.
The reality is that the victims believe the scammers, give them their money or access to their accounts, and are duped and taken to the cleaners. After the con artists have taken the victims’ accounts or money, they are nowhere to be found and the victims have no effective remedy against the scammer.
We want you to avoid this headache and these losses. Here are some tips to protect yourself, and points to consider if someone you don’t know reaches out to ask for money or account information.
No. 1: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it is not true and is not a good deal. Instead, avoid it and call the police or a lawyer. The harsh fact is that people rarely give money or great deals to those that they do not know.
No. 2: If the scammers persist, ask yourself: Why would a stranger choose me, person who he or she does not know and never met, to share a bonanza? Why did this stranger pick me? The answer is likely that the scammer believes that you are an easy mark.
No. 3: If the product or service is such a great deal, why isn’t the person promoting it obtaining financing from regular sources: banks, investors, or others? Ask, “Am I being set up?”
No. 4: Sometimes, a scammer enlists the aid of a friend or relative that you trust; the friend or relative may be a true believer about the scam, but remember, even trusted friends or relatives can be scammed and deceived. Trust your gut – but do your research.
No. 5: Ask the scammer why he or she is demanding or seeking funds from you. When the con artist demands money immediately, walk away. Don’t be forced to make a hasty or immediate decision, whether it involves money or not. Anyone who needs an answer “right now, or you lose out” does not have your best interests in mind.
No. 6: A scammer’s guarantee is not worth the paper is it written on. Don’t believe so-called independent references the scammer provides, either – especially if there is no way to contact these supposed references.
No. 7: Know that once you have given your money to the scammers or con artists, you never get it back. It is incredibly difficult to pursue a claim to recoup your losses.
No. 8: A scammer easily utters promises of high returns and mountains of money. Their promises are empty; there is no mountain of money. When a person has a money-making operation or product, that person does not often share it with strangers but instead keeps others from stealing or using it and will protect it by lawful means: patents, trademarks, copyrights, and contracts. Just because a person has a trademark or copyright, however, is no guarantee that the proposed deal is not a scam, so you should speak with your attorney or financial advisor before accepting any deal.
No. 9: Sometimes, a scammer will claim to work for a governmental agency, the IRS, a police department, or otherwise. They will call demanding money immediately and have a story that seems believable: pay this amount or else, you will lose your home, a family member will be locked up in jail, and more. Don’t fall for it. The IRS will never send you an email with a link to an account number; the agency just does not work that way.
The scammers’ stories seem real, are effectively told, and persuasive. Don’t fall for them and let them part with your money. If you suspect someone is trying to defraud you, contact the Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC in Nashville. To schedule a consultation, call us at 615-953-3808 or fill out our contact form to speak with a seasoned business lawyer with experience handling criminal matters.
Perry A. Craft has dedicated his life to helping people in need. He has tried, settled, or resolved numerous civil and criminal cases in State and Federal courts, and has represented teachers and administrators before school boards, administrative judges, and the state Board of Education. Learn more about Attorney Craft.