Financial Safety

The 'Nigerian' Scam: Costly Compassion

Nigerian advance-fee fraud has been around for decades, but now seems to have reached epidemic proportions: Some consumers have told the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) they are receiving dozens of offers a day from supposed Nigerians politely promising big profits in exchange for help moving large sums of money out of their country.

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Costly Coupon Scams

Cents-off coupons are providing big bucks for scam artists who offer business opportunity and work-at-home schemes featuring coupon certificate booklets and coupon clipping services. Using the Internet to market these so-called opportunities, fraudulent promoters are promising entrepreneurs, charity groups and consumers earnings of "hundreds per week" and "thousands per month" simply by selling coupon certificate booklets or cutting coupons at home.

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The Lowdown on Chain Letters

Everybody's received them - chain letters or email messages that promise a big return on a small investment. The promises include unprecedented good luck, mountains of recipes, or worse, huge financial rewards for sending as little as $5 to someone on a list or making a telephone call.

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Auction Guides: Not So Hot Properties

Ads for seized cars and foreclosed homes in newspapers and magazines, on television and the Internet, and in coupon mailings to your home may sound like the ticket to your dream home or car. They offer the chance to buy a big ticket item at auction - for well below its market value. What deals! Just call the toll-free number for more information.

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Beware of Multilevel Marketing Plans

Multilevel marketing plans, also known as "network" or "matrix" marketing, are a way of selling goods or services through distributors. These plans typically promise that if you sign up as a distributor, you will receive commissions -- for both your sales of the plan's goods or services and those of other people you recruit to join the distributors.

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