Fraud Alert: Common Scams
Scam artists are becoming more creative in the techniques they use. Here are a few common pitches to watch out for.
- “Just wire the money.” According to the National Consumer League, wire transfers are a common way for con artists to steal cash from victims. There is no way to stop payment or recover the money.
- “Cash this check.” Scammers often win trust by sending their targets what looks like a real check. They may ask you to cash it and return all or a portion of the funds to them to cover fees or an overpayment.
- “I’m contacting you from [insert foreign country].” Scam artists like to operate outside of the United States, where it is harder to be prosecuted.
- “You are guaranteed a 10% return every month.” The stock market’s long-term average return is 10% per year. Any deal that guarantees this is a scam.
- “Don’t tell anyone about this opportunity.” A con artist will discourage you from sharing opportunities with anyone who would talk you out of it.
- “Only a few lucky investors can get in, so you must act right away.” Many scammers like to give the impression the deal has a deadline. Resist the pressure and research all information before making any major investing decisions.
When it comes to scams, use your best judgment. If something doesn’t feel right or it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. If you have concerns, contact the Oklahoma Securities Commission at (405) 280-7700.