Fact Check

Top Scams

Information about common scams.

Published Mar 28, 2010


    Tough economic times are, unfortunately, boom times for scammers, as people desperate for money and jobs let down their guards and are more likely to pursue questionable financial opportunities that caution might ordinarily warn them away from. And as folks become more inured to monetary woes, their charitable inclinations are more easily exploited by scammers pretending to be persons in need of sympathetic helping hands. Listed below are several pervasive forms of scams that have proven particularly alluring to potential victims when times are tough.

    Nigerian Scam

  • A wealthy foreigner who needs help moving millions of dollars from his homeland promises a hefty percentage of this fortune as a reward for assisting him.

  • Foreign Lottery Scam

  • Announcements inform recipients that they've won large sums of money in foreign lotteries.

  • Secret Shopper Scam

  • Advertisers seek applicants for paid positions as 'secret' or 'mystery' shoppers.

  • Work-at-Home Scam

  • Advertisers offer kits that enable home workers to make money posting links on the Internet.

  • Family Member in Distress Scam

  • Scammers impersonate distressed family members in desperate need of money.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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