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7 Financial Scams to Watch Out for in 2024

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we are going to talk about the 7 financial scams to watch out for in 2024

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we are going to talk about the 7 financial scams to watch out for in 2024

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Transcript:

 

On this episode of the personal finance podcast, seven financial scams to watch out for in 2024.

Whoa, what's up wealth builders and welcome to the personal finance podcast. I'm your host, Andrew founder of mastermoney. co and today on the personal finance podcast, we're going to go through seven financial scams to watch out for. In 2024. If you guys have any questions, make sure to hit us up on Instagram, Tik TOK, Twitter, or respond to the email newsletter at master money co and follow us on Spotify, Apple podcasts, or whatever podcast player.

You love listening to this podcast on it. And if you want to help out the show, consider leaving a five star rating and review. Can I thank you guys enough for leaving those ratings and reviews. They truly mean the world to me. Now, today I am going to be diving in. To seven financial scams to watch out for in 2024.

And if you haven't heard me talk about some of the online protection episodes that we have, or ways to protect your finances online, this is something that you are going to have to build out a plan for. It is so incredibly important. And I'm one of the only people I know right now talking about this stuff.

Cause I think it's so incredibly important to protect yourself online. There are billions and billions of dollars being stolen every single year. And this is not just for your grandparents, for example, or your parents. This is something that is happening to so many different Americans in every single generation.

The numbers keep coming out and it is rising for Gen Z and the millennial generation. It is rising for Gen X and the baby boomers as well. And these numbers are. Are staggering at how many people are getting scammed and scams are getting better and better and better as technology advances specifically with AI technology.

So what I'm going to do is talk through a bunch of different categories of scams that are going on right now, and some ways that you need to protect yourself against some of these scams. So this is a big episode talking about awareness. We're going to be going through a ton of different things today, but making sure that you're aware of some of these things that I almost just fell prey to one of these things.

Things last week, which I will talk about here at the top of the show as well. And it is just something where I am thinking about this stuff all the time. And it even almost happened to me recently. So this is something you definitely need to pay attention to. You definitely need to be thinking about your plan for this.

You definitely need to make sure that you have an idea of what is going on. Cause it is going to save you so much money in the long run. Trust me, this is going to only get worse over time. And so you really need to protect your finances online. I want to make sure that you do that, which is why we talk about it so much.

So without further ado, if that's something you're into, let's get into it. All right. So I just want to give you the numbers for last year on what happened in 2023 when it came to money lost in fraud. So over 10 billion was lost to fraud in 2023. Which is a 14% increase from 2022, and the first time reported losses have actually reached this benchmark.

So this is the highest of all time in 2023, and a lot of this is because scammers are getting better. The largest share of these losses is more than $4.6 billion. A 21% increase from 2022 was due to investment scams, which we will get into some of those today. As you know, on the Personal Finance Podcast, we love talking about investing, but we also need to watch out for some of these investment scams as well Make.

Clear that this is a really costly fraud category. A lot of people are moving a lot big dollar amounts, and I want to make sure this doesn't happen to you. Imposter scams followed with nearly 2. 7 billion in reported losses. This is all data from the FTC and then bank transfers and cryptocurrencies were the most common methods of which these losses.

Well, well, well, what do you know? So all of these things pertain to your personal finances and you got to understand why this stuff matters. So we're going to dive into the first section, which is on line purchase scams. So online purchase scams can happen in so many different ways. And I'm going to give you a bunch of different examples, but this happened recently to me, and this is number one with a fake website.

So one of the businesses that I own, I was going to buy this. Somewhat expensive product that I needed to purchase for one of our physical locations. And it was a product that we really, really needed. And I was looking into it for a long time because it was an expensive item. So I was doing a lot of research on this product, making sure it was the right product for us.

There was a lot of measurements involved since it goes into our physical location. And so there was a lot of things that we need to do. Well, this manufacturer of this product also is dealing with a major issue where there are a lot of sales. Scam websites that are popping up all the time. And so I went in and I looked at this specific product and there was one website that I was going to purchase it from and had the highest quality and had the best ratings out there.

And so when I went into search one more time to see if there were lower priced items, I saw that the website that I was typically going to purchase this from actually reduced the price by 50%. And so I went onto that website, looked at the website. It looked exactly the same as it always does. I was searching through the address was the same.

Everything on this website was the same. So I went to go add the item to the cart cause I was getting at 50 percent off. So I went to go add it to the cart. And when I went to add it to the cart, it said, you can only add four of these items. I needed 14 of them, but you can only add four of these different items to the card at one time.

I thought, Hmm. That's suspicious. I need 14 of these things. Why can I only add four of them? So I decided to look up the phone number and I called that company. And so the phone rings, they pick up the phone and I said, Hey, I can only add four items to the car and I really need 14 of these. What's going on here?

And so they came back and said to me, you must be on one of our fraud websites that are out there. And there are companies out there who are impersonating us. It looks exactly like our website, but the URL may be slightly different. And even if you search it on Google, it's going to come up on Google as one of the top searches, and it's going to come up in Google shopping.

And so I went back and looked, and it was all On Google shopping, it was actually the first listing on Google shopping because they reduced that price. And so it moved to the front of Google shopping, which is the reason why I saw it there. I said, I'm so glad I called you. Cause I was about to put my credit card information in and they'd have stolen a bunch of money just from us actually purchasing that item.

Because the interesting thing about this item was. Also, it has really long lead time. So it would take you like six weeks before you even realized that this item and this money was stolen. And they had a fake website up because of this. So this is the first one I want you to make sure that you understand is that there are fake websites out there that look exactly like the standard website that you purchase from, and it could be your bank, it could be, you know, H and M it could be amazon.

com. It could be all of these different sites. Where they look exactly the same and there may be one letter off. There's one little thing missing and you don't notice it because you're moving quickly. And this is something where you really got to double check where you're purchasing your items from. So they will create these fake websites and they look like legitimate online retailers.

They have the same logos, same colors, everything looks exactly the same. But it's not the same exact thing. So that is the first one. Number two is marketplace scam. So there are social media marketplace scams. Companies like offer up Facebook marketplace, all of those, you really, really got to watch out for those as well, because what's happening right now is a scammer will post a listing of say a car that you really want, and maybe they'll make that car a little too good to be true.

I just experienced this again as well. As I go through these, I see. See them all the time. So I was looking for a vehicle for a friend and I went and logged into Facebook marketplace and I saw there was a 2012 Honda Accord listed for 4, 000. Now this thing had 70, 000 miles on it. And I thought, wow, that is a really, really good deal for a 2012 Honda Accord.

That doesn't have much mileage on it. And so then I read through it and they said they got to sell it really quickly, which is another red flag right there is that they want you to move really, really quickly. They just need the money so they can move out of state. a lot where there's phishing scams, where companies that you will frequently purchase And I just realized very quickly that that's probably too good to be true.

And most likely a scammer as well. Now, number three is one I see a lot where there's phishing scams, where companies that you will frequently purchase items from. There's phishing scams. They will start to send you emails of fake invoices. And if you're not on top of your money and you're not on top of your personal finances, you'll go in and you can pay those invoices.

So for example, maybe your lawn company or your pool company will send you an additional invoice. Looks exactly like your lawn company. Or your pool company to come through your email. And with you not thinking twice, you will go in there and pay that invoice immediately. Now, this is one big benefit to making sure that you have automatic bill pay on for a lot of these companies, even when they are these small companies.

A lot of times, if it's a small company, like your lawn company, pool company, whatever other service company that helps you out is. Those invoices can actually be paid automatically because usually they're using QuickBooks or zero or one of those other options. And so a lot of them have the capability of being able to do that.

You may just actually have to show them how to do it, but they can definitely do that. And I know this for a fact because I have businesses where we run automatic payments through QuickBooks. Books and things like that. So making sure that you understand that it's going to be really, really important.

Watch out for those scams. Don't make sure you verify the email address. Make sure you verify that it's come to you a bunch of different times. That it's the same one as the one that you've been paid over time. And don't just pay things super quickly to get things done. You got to really double check some of those emails as they come through.

Now there's also auction sites, auction sites like eBay, there's a bunch of them like whatnot now that are coming up where there are scam options on there and scammers will list products that don't exist. And then they'll add multiple bids to inflate the price. And then all of a sudden your item just never shows up.

So a lot of times if you see a long lead time or a long ship time for some of these items, that's indication number one, because the more time they have to take your money and run, the less likely you'll ever be able to recover that money. And so this is something where if you see long shipping times, that's one big red flag indication.

A lot of times if they're lower cost items, but suddenly These low cost items start to inflate really, really quickly. That's another indication unless it's a really hot item. See, the thing about scammers is they prey on emotion. And a lot of times when you're bidding items up on these sites, your emotions start to get heavy.

You want to win that item. I've been through this before. I used to be an eBay guy way back in the day where I would bid on a couple of items. And then all of a sudden I overpay a little bit because I wanted to win. And so if that's you, just be really, really careful on some of those. And then also always obviously watch out for counterfeit goods and then trial scam.

So there are free trial products that come out. And a lot of people will offer these free trial products. And they, all they do is require customers to pay for shipping. Have you ever seen some of this stuff? So I remember this stuff from back in the day. Like, for example, the supplement industry used to do this, where you get, you know, protein powder that you could try or a pre workout that you could try.

And they'll send you a bunch of free samples. And then you put in your information and all you do is pay for shipping. And so you get your information in there and then the products will come in. Now I never got scammed on this, but I could see how easily this could happen. You look at a Facebook ad or an Instagram ad and you pay for shipping.

Now they have your credit card information and now you got yourself a little bit of a problem here. And so this is another example of these free trial scams, um, that could come up. This could be for skincare products. This could be for all kinds of different things. Uh, so just make sure that you are really, really looking at the company and ensuring that it is the right company and the one that you want to actually order this stuff from.

So. Here is some protection tips. Number one is verify the seller. Number two is make sure they have secure payments, secure traceable payment methods. Uh, things like shop pay or stripe or square. These are companies that are actually reputable. So make sure these are secure payments that they go through.

Be skeptical for too good to be true deals. Always be skeptical about those. And honestly, for a lot of those too good to be true deals, they most likely are. Read the fine print. Always make sure this is a familiar website. And I've seen it just happened to me. It was a familiar website. I looked through it.

I was actually skeptical about this. I looked through it. It looked exactly the same. And it was just one of those things that ended up being something, one little tiny nuance threw me off. And then, uh, always protect your personal information, obviously on these sites. And if there's websites that you're buying stuff from that you've never heard of before, I would be really, really skeptical on a lot of those.

Uh, so just be very, very careful out there with online shopping. So that is the first one. And one big thing is we dive through all of these and we go through this is this episode is sponsored by delete me. And delete me is one of those companies that I have been using for so long now, and I cannot thank them enough for the service they provide.

So if you've never heard of delete me, what they do is they will remove your personal information from data brokers out there who present your personal information online. So there is this thing where if you Google your name in quotations, or if you Google your phone number in quotations, all of a sudden you're going to see your name, your phone number, or your address is all.

Over a bunch of different websites. Well, this, my friends is a problem because if someone gets a part of your information through one of these scams that we're gonna be talking about today, they can get the rest of your information online just by Googling that piece of your information in quotations, and they can start really ripping you off and taking money from you.

Your hard earned dollars can be taken away from you just because of this scam. And so delete me actually removes that personal information from the internet. They go directly to those data brokers and say, Hey, I need you to remove this personal information from whatever method these data brokers need that to be done.

Sometimes you have to send a letter. Sometimes you have to go in there and you can just call them up and they'll remove it. Sometimes you just send them an email, but it takes hours and hours and hours to do this. In fact, the first time I did this, I was on over a thousand. Thousand different websites of data brokers.

When I Google my name now, delete me, removed it from all of those. And every couple of months they will go back and check and continuously remove from these data brokers for me. So I don't have to go and do all that work. I tried to do it on my own and I went in there and I tried to remove all this information from those websites and eventually.

It just became too daunting of a task. And so I had a friend who told me about delete me. And so I tried it out and it was the best service ever. So if you guys want to try delete me, uh, you can get 20 percent off by using my promo code P F P. So you can go to join delete me. com slash P F P. And you can use my promo code P F P.

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And if they can get the entire picture, then you really have a problem. And it's really, really hard to get rid of that stuff. So making sure that they cannot get a hold of all your personal information and getting that personal information removed. Is a really important step to protecting your finances online.

So now let's get in to number two. Number two is romance scams and romance scams have been made much more popular as of late, uh, because the Manti Teo story came out public. Uh, years back and there's a bunch of other ones out there that are part of the romance scams. And now there's a bunch of documentaries on Netflix as well, talking through people falling prey to these romance scams.

So the way that these work is a lot of people will meet someone and develop a relationship online, whether it's a friend or it's a family member and or it could be someone of a romantic interest and folks who may not go out and date anymore. There's a lot more people that are dating online instead of actually meeting in person.

And so that's a very different world from where I came from. My wife and I met prior to tender being a thing. So I just missed this entire online dating world back in my day. They had like match dot com, but I was in college and everybody knew that stuff. Um, and so that's one of those things where this is getting more and more popular.

And so these romance scams really are preying on people. And their emotions and emotions are gonna draw you to do some things that were you're really not thinking through. And so you'll see, this is just a theme with a lot of these scammers is they are preying on people's emotions. You'll say to yourself, this would never happen to me.

There's people with Harvard degrees. There's really intelligent people. There's people left and right who thought they was, this would never happen to them, that it happens to them. So you just got to really be aware that this stuff is kind of happening. What they do in these romance scams is they will develop a relationship with people, and then over time, they will come and create this crazy event.

So number one is it could be like an emergency event where in this scenario, they'll build up their relationship with the victim over time. And then once that trust is established, they'll fabricate some emergency, they'll send over a bunch of information saying, And that they need medical issues or they'll have legal trouble or a financial crisis and they'll call up and say, Hey, I just got in a car accident and I need money for medical care and my hospital bills.

Can you send me money? And then the person who is in a relationship with this person will send money and then that money is gone forever. Another one is the travel or visa scam within the relationships where the scammer will say, you know, they want to visit the victim, but they don't have enough money to come and visit that person.

So maybe they're from overseas or something like that. That and so they develop this relationship with you and they say, Hey, I want to come travel over to the U S to come visit you or to Canada or wherever else you're listening to UK, Australia. And I want to come visit you and we can spend time together and we can actually be together.

And then the person will send money for the travel to come over. And then all of a sudden that money is completely gone. Or this is a big one. This is what's happening a lot right now is an investment or business opportunity scam. So they'll say, listen, I just found this amazing investment opportunity. I can buy into the best restaurant in my city.

I just need some funds to be able to do it. And I'll pay you back with interest and more money over time. And so this is another example of how they're preying on someone's emotions because they want to help that person out. And so they try to send that money over and then that money is completely gone.

And a lot of times the business or investment opportunity is a much bigger one. And so a lot of times that's one where they'll go for as well. When they start to build up that relationship, and there are scammers that are developing relationships with thousands of people at a time right now with A. I.

You can develop relationships across the board. So sometime you could be chatting with an A. I. Bot, and you have no idea that is who you're chatting with. So it's just something that you really, definitely need to be aware of. And so be cautious of online relationships. Obviously, verify the identity of the person that if they send you pictures, that's not verifying the identity.

Never send money. Or share financial information with anybody you have met online ever, ever, ever be wary of anybody who will not meet in person. And obviously consult with friends and family members over that timeframe as well. Now let's get into third one, which is crypto scams. So crypto is one of those things where there are a lot of fraudulent investment opportunities out there right now.

And this is one where I really want every single person who invests in crypto to tread very lightly. In fact, I encourage you that if you are a big crypto investor and you have a lot of money, I'm talking anything above like five, 10, 000 in crypto, I encourage you to go out and try to take a crypto protection course or something along those lines.

That's going to help you protect yourself. Against crypto scams, because crypto scams are so incredibly prevalent that it is one of the biggest risks I think to investing in crypto is a losing all your money to a speculative investment, but B is falling prey to a lot of these risks because this is not a secure asset whatsoever.

And so you need to. Understand how to protect yourself when it comes to crypto. I have no problem with the theory of Bitcoin and the theory of how it could be a digital currency across the board. Sure. Whatever you want to say about that, that's fine. But at the same time, I do have a problem with the amount of scams that are coming out of the cryptocurrency industry.

And they're sure there's scams in the banking industry. There's scams on wall street, all left and right. I'm not saying that, but what I am saying is there is a big issue when it comes to crypto and crypto is one of the biggest factors. Scammers that came out of last year in 2023. And so there's a lot of different investment opportunities that come out there where they can be lured into social media.

If you've ever been on my social media sites before issues to happen on Instagram all the time. If you remember, if you followed me on Instagram a year or two ago, people would create. Fake accounts of me saying that, hey, invest in my crypto fund and then you'll become a millionaire, yada, yada, yada. This is happening even to me with my followers on Instagram or TikTok or wherever else.

And so if you see that, that is what is happening left and right. And so many people are falling prey to it. Trust me, I would never tell you to invest in crypto. So if that ever happens to you, please don't listen to that person. So here's a couple of them. Uh, number one is a phishing scam. So this includes scammers, tricking individuals into giving away sensitive information, such as private keys, wallet passwords, through fake websites that mimic legitimate crypto websites.

So a lot of the big crypto websites have fake websites that are imitating them. And so you can click on this and you want to go buy more Bitcoin, for example. You put in your financial information. It says, Oh, we lost your financial information or whatever else it says. Please resubmit it here. And so you resubmit your information, then boom, you're in trouble there.

So that's one there's Ponzi schemes, for example. And so there's Ponzi and pyramid schemes. Where these scams will promise really high returns and then you never get those returns back. You just put money into this fund. This fund goes along for a while. They send you some reports. And then all of a sudden it just absolutely disappears.

And this is one that was happening a ton in the past. BitConnect is one that was notorious for this scheme. And there's a bunch of them out there that were some that were really, really important to make sure that you avoid. Fake ICOs or initial coin offerings. So, you know, IPOs, which are initial public offerings, like when a new stock hits on market IPOs, and you can buy into that stock, well, there's also initial coin offerings.

And when new coins come available in crypto, these are ways for scammers to lure investors because a lot less regulation around these coins. Uh, it's getting better and better, but there's a lot less regulation around these coins than there is for IPOs. IPOs, you have to go through freaking years. Of paperwork just to get your IPO going.

And so they even have, you know, professional looking websites. They have white papers. They conduct research. They check for credible endorsements. Make sure you do all of this stuff before investing in any initial coin offerings. And listen, as a friend. Why don't we just stay away from initial coin offerings, ICOs?

Because I literally, you couldn't pay me to invest in something like that. That is the most speculative thing that you can do. There is no interest for me in doing that. So yeah, let's just stay away from those. How about that? That'd be a good move, I think, overall. Um, There's pump and dump schemes. There's rug pulls.

All of these scams out there are really, really important to make sure that you avoid and not fall prey to this. So crypto tread lightly. If you keep, for example, if you keep your crypto and just Coinbase alone, and like you have your money in Coinbase, it is not protected whatsoever. It is not protected.

You need to get it offline. If you're going to be investing in Bitcoin and some of these other things, because I just think it's a matter of time before some of these exchanges get hacked. And it's one of those things that if they get hacked, you are in big, big trouble because it's a lot easier for them to steal some of this crypto stuff than it would be for them to just steal cash from a regular old bank.

So this is something that definitely you need to make sure that you are protecting yourself from this happening. Crypto scams are left and right. You got to make sure that you have your guard up. Let me say it again. Crypto scams are everywhere. You got to make sure that you have that guard up. Okay, super, super important stuff.

Let's jump to number four, which is employment scams. All right. So the next one is employment scams. So this is one where it'll be like recruiters or companies with indeed, or people will send you LinkedIn messages and employment scams are. Trying to scam job seekers so that they pay for training or supplies, or they get their background check information.

And so they're trying to get as much victim as they possibly can and really trying to take advantage of these victims. And so it's a really, really important thing to understand some of these that are going on right now. So one of the bigger ones is the fake work from home job opportunities, which they promise high pay for minimum work and they require payment for registration or equipment.

So this is one where it says, Hey. You can work from home. You can be a customer service rep. You can make 30, 40 an hour. And all you need to do is invest in this, uh, router or this headset. That's going to allow you to be able to actually do this job and do it on our specific system. And so you pay for the router or the headset, and then all of a sudden they have your financial information and they scam you from that information and take that from you.

There's also a lot of fake jobs out there being offered via email. So there'll be unsolicited job offers where they'll send out via email where they find indeed lists or people who are hunting for jobs, and they will send them job offers, uh, risking identity and financial theft by asking for their information.

And when they ask for your information, obviously when you're applying for a job, you need to put in your social information. You need to put in a lot of your personal information. And so this is a huge, huge issue because that's really what they're after is your personal information and your financial information.

There's also. It's fake job ads on social media. There's a lot of data entry scams out there where there are a lot of companies that say they are offering, you know, high pay for data entry jobs, which is easy jobs you could do at home, you know, for a couple hours a night and enter in some data entry information.

But really this is just a huge predatory thing that's going to lead to financial loss and all those different things. There are government job scams out there now, which is crazy. Offering, you know, false promises of government jobs and getting you into a good government job. And then all of a sudden they take your information and run with it.

And then you can also watch out for these fake recruiting agencies. This is a big one that's happening right now. Uh, where scammers are posing as recruiters offering non existent high paying jobs in exchange for personal information or money. And so recruiters, a lot of times companies have to pay recruiters a lot of money, uh, to do their job.

And so sometimes they will try to, uh, say that the. Individual, they can land you a high paying job if you paid the max amount of dollars. And so that is a huge one going around right now, especially like on LinkedIn and some other areas. And they are preying basically on people who are emotionally desperate for a job or emotionally desperate to make more money.

And so this is another reason why you got to be as careful as possible when it comes to some of this stuff. The next one is very prevalent right now, which is part of the reason why we're doing this episode now. And it is the online account in tax scams. So a lot of scams come around tax time where there are different things that can happen to you.

And I really want you to be aware of this one. Uh, cause this was happening a lot last year in the year prior. And this is something that you definitely want to make sure that you protect yourself against. So there are a lot of phishing emails that come out. So companies will send emails or messages that may look like they're from their bank.

They may look like it's from the IRS or tax authorities. It may even look like it's from your accountant or your tax filing service. And they are asking for some information from you. So when you're filing your taxes through TurboTax, maybe they create an email that looks exactly like TurboTax. They're saying, Hey, you left out some of this information.

Can you shoot it over to me via email right here? And so people will just start. Think it's from TurboTax and they'll send out their information. They'll fill it out, or they'll send them to a fake TurboTax website where they collect information and they keep that information. And so they take your info.

This is happening a lot with the IRS right now, where companies are trying to do phishing scams with the IRS. email and making it look like the IRS is asking for some information for you, which scares a lot of people. It creates emotion in a lot of people, and then all of a sudden they send them that information and they give away the wrong information.

There's also a big tax refund fraud going on right now where fraudsters use stolen personal information that they got from online, which you, you don't want to do. Just should try to remove as much as possible, and they'll take things like social security numbers and birth dates to file fraudulent tax returns and someone else's names.

And then they will try to collect the refund. This is happening more and more. And so they get this information from online, and they have tax refund fraud. And then people go to file their taxes, and the I. R. S. Is like you already filed her taxes, and it creates this huge, massive mess. Uh, that a lot of people need to make sure that they are aware of and make sure that this is not happening to them.

Part of that is just removing your information online so that they can't find that information is a huge, huge factor there. There is W two email phishing scams where cyber criminals will use spoofing techniques to send emails that appear to be from an executive within the victim's organization. So this happened to me a long time ago.

At a company that I worked at where somebody went to our HR department. It looked just like the CEO. And they said, Hey, I need, um, the list of W 2s that we're sending tax returns to. And that person from the HR department sent out a bunch of different employees, entire information, and they stole our identities basically.

And so a lot of us got our identity stolen. And that was what happened years ago when I was working in the corporate world. And that was like one of the toughest things to have to navigate through, uh, personally for me and for a lot of other folks that were out there, uh, and I'm sure that employee just felt absolutely terrible.

So it was just a tough, tough situation for all folks involved. Uh, and just not a good thing, but it looked just like the CEO's email, which is just a crazy thing that can happen. Um, number four is IRS impersonation calls. So this is a big one, uh, that a lot of people get, and you really don't know if it's the IRS or not a lot of times, but there are IRS impersonation calls where scammers will call victims.

Acting like IRS agents saying, Hey, you need to give me this information now, or you're gonna pay huge penalties and fines and people start to panic and their emotions start to get involved instead of thinking logically. And then they send them their information and it's a huge, huge issue. Also, fake tax prep services.

Like I said, fake turbo tax. Online sites will try to pose as TurboTax or H& R Block or whatever other companies are out there, and they set up this fraudulent tax preparation services to gain access to personal and financial information. Obviously, when you're filing your taxes, you're giving them all your information, and that's just a huge, huge problem overall.

Um, and so that's one that is definitely happening more and more. And so you gotta be cautious about this stuff and make sure that you understand how this stuff works. So make sure you watch out for those five as well under online account and tax scams. Now, number six is student loan forgiveness scams.

And there's a lot of student loan forgiveness scams going on out there where people are very desperate to get their student loans forgiven. And so here's a couple of them. One is the advanced fee scam where fraudsters are going to promise to secure student loan forgiveness for you in exchange for an upfront fee.

You pay that fee, all of a sudden they disappear. So make sure you watch out for that. Don't go for anybody that contacts you claiming they can get you student loans forgiven faster for a one time fee. Do not look at that consolidation scams. There are companies out there who say they'll consolidate your student loans.

You'll get a lower interest rate. You'll get all this different stuff. Just give us your information and we'll consolidate it for you. That is another one that continued to happen. Make sure that you are looking to make sure it's a reputable company and it's not just some scam company out there. There's law firms that say they will file a lawsuit for you and you can get your student loan debt erased.

That's another one that's out there. Uh, there's student loan forgiveness programs where fraudsters might claim that they have special access to exclusive student loan programs. And so if there's exclusivity, it's most likely not true. And obviously there's phishing scams for all these where they're trying to fish.

Your information looking like the student loan company or agencies or loan services, all those different things. And so that is just another one that is continuously happening for a lot of people. And so you got to protect yourself against that. And they'll try to look like government agencies. So let's try to look like the Department of Education, for example, and the email will look exactly the same.

And you unknowingly. Yeah. Can be talking or communicating with someone who is actually, uh, set up in a phishing scam. So never pay up front fees. You always want to verify those credentials. You want to make sure that you use official channels and you're not going through email and that kind of stuff.

You're going through the official site. gov sites and you're going through that official channel. Um, you're in personal information needs to be protected at all. All times you need to be on secure sites and then always be skeptical, obviously, of anything that comes through and make sure you verify all that stuff.

Now we're going to jump in to number seven. All right. So the last one to be aware of is number seven, and these are the category of great, they call them grandparent scams, but really what they are is just preying on people's emotions, and it's kind of in line on how the relationship or romantic scams happen where they are utilizing people's love for someone or their, their emotions for someone, and they are trying to get information or money from them.

So. They call them grandparent scams because this happens to a lot of folks who are in the baby boomer generation or older. And so they utilize their grandchildren or their children to figure out ways that they can get money from them. Um, and the first one is something like an emergency call. And I'm kind of going through this, A, so you know, because this can happen to you, but B, Also, so you can kind of inform your parents or your grandparents out there to make sure that they understand that these are out there, uh, so that they don't fall prey to this.

I know a lot of people whose parents or grandparents have fallen prey to this, but I also know people who this exact thing has happened to folks who are in their twenties. And so it really can happen to any age. And so I want to make sure that this is really, really important that you understand. Some of this stuff.

So what is the emergency call? So they pretend to be a grandchild in distress. And what they will do is they will take your voice that they get your voice from social media or somewhere else. And they will utilize AI to use your voice in a phone call. This is kind of scary stuff that they're doing here.

And this is only going to get worse as you can surmise here, because as AI improves. This can be a tough thing to understand that somebody is in trouble there. The other one is an accident ploy saying that the scammer has been in a car accident. It was their fault. They need money because they were in this accident.

And so they ask for that information. The third one is legal trouble. So a lot of times people will say they're in legal trouble. I need bail. I need those types of things to get out. Um, kidnapping ruse is a big one out there where people will say they got kidnapped. And so they need money because they've been kidnapped in order for the kidnappers to let them go free.

And then there's travel emergencies where they say, Hey, I went on a trip and I'm traveling right now. I cannot get out of the country. A bunch of, you know, all these different things has happened to me. I, you know, I'm going to get lost or my wallet stolen. Um, and I can't get back from this travel. I mishap.

We saw some cash on hand. And so that's another one that keeps happening. So really all of these are really, really important to make sure that you're skeptical. You're verifying the caller ID and you establish some sort of family password for emergencies. I love that tip. Uh, my family always had a family password growing up.

And so I've implemented that with my family as well, where you have a secret password that says, Hey, here's the secret password. If you can tell me that password, then we can go ahead and move forward because I know it's actually you. And so ours was a one word password is very unique word that we use.

And we said, Hey, what's the password? And then you would say the password and then you know it's the exact person. So that is one thing that you can also do with loved ones is make sure you implement that password. And this goes for anything. And we used to actually use that when I was younger, my parents had this password so that we would be able to know if somebody came to pick us up from school or something like that.

We didn't know who they were. We have to ask him for the password so that they would actually be able to go and pick us up from school. So all this stuff really, really important stuff to do. And that's just a little hack here at the end. So these are just scams that I want to kind of talk through. And these were ones that I want you to be aware of that are going on right now.

I don't want anybody listening to this episode to become victim of some of this stuff. So really keep your guard up. It's almost happened to me. And I talk about this stuff all the time. And I think about this stuff all the time. And so this is something I definitely want to make sure that you all are aware of these scams out there.

I don't want you guys losing money. I don't want you losing your hard earned dollars that you were working to build wealth. I know how hard it is out there. And so the last thing I want for you is for your hard earned dollars to also go away to some of these scammers who are the low lives of the earth.

So listen. Thank you guys so much for listening to this episode. I know this is some stuff that you can help you avoid. Make sure you spread the message about this stuff that, you know, even in conversation with random people, you know, just have this conversation with people so we can spread this message and help people avoid some financial ruin from some of this stuff.

So thank you guys for listening to this episode. And thank you so much for investing in yourself because that's exactly what you do when you listen to this podcast is you are investing in yourself. Can I thank you guys enough again for listening to this episode and we will see you on the next episode.

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