The latest issue of Reader’s Digest has an interesting article on ten emerging money scams that I thought was worth highlighting here. I’ll be covering the first three today, with more to come in the (near) future…
1. Child Identity Theft — Identity theft is the country’s fastest growing crime, and ID thieves are increasingly targeting children. In fact, an estimated 400,000 children had their identities stolen in 2005, which is more than twice the number in 2003. As it turns out, two-thirds of child ID thefts are perpetrated by family members. Here’s how to protect your kids:
Keep your children’s Social Security and other identification information in a locked file drawer, never in your wallet. If there’s evidence that your kids might be the victims of identity theft, order credit reports on them from the three nationwide credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Trans-Union. The credit search should come up empty. If it doesn’t, contact local law enforcement immediately, and visit the Identity Theft Resource Center’s website at idtheftcenter.org.
2. The latest work-at-home swindle — Potential employers aren’t the only ones trolling online job-search sites… An increasingly common scam is for a crook to get your e-mail address and other personal data from an online resumÃ©, and to contact you regarding a job testing his company’s wire transfer service. The come on is simple… They’ll send you a check, you deposit it, and then wire the funds back, keeping a 5-20% commission for yourself. The problem? After you’ve wired the money, you’ll find out that the check is counterfeit.
3. Fake jury duty con — Watch out if you ever receive a call stating that a warrant has been issued for your arrest because you failed to report for jury duty… You will, of course, protest that you were never notified, and that this must all be a big mistake. The caller will then offer to check into it if you’ll provide you social security number and date of birth. If you comply, you’ll have just opened yourself up for identity theft.
See also: Money Scams, Part 2 and Money Scams, Part 3
[Source: Reader's Digest]