The Nigerian letter scheme has been around so long that you can’t help but wonder whether anyone still falls for the unsolicited e-mail that begs for help in transferring millions of dollars out of the African country. Yet there are plenty of other ways – and some far more subtle – con artists can bilk you out of money, reports the Baltimore Sun.
Fraud complaints are on the upswing, according to a database maintained by the Federal Trade Commission. Complaints rose to nearly 687,000 last year, or about 33,000 more than the year before. Losses from fraud exceeded $682 million, jumping more than $114 million in one year. It’s unclear whether fraud is up or consumers are better at reporting problems. The Sun story highlights schemes cautioned against by Sid Kirchheimer, AARP’s “Scam Alert” columnist and author of the book “Scam-Proof Your Life.”