Scam Busters

Stop Scams

Lately, the economy has us attempting to reel in extra income in ways never before thought of.   Unfortunately, scammers work as feverishly as we do in times like these, creating ways to get you to part with your hard-earned dollar.   Keep your eyes open for these farces.

The Work from Home Scam is common and age-old.  Many need part-time work, or want work that allows them to stay home with their children, so it sticks around.  But beware of any job opportunities where you are asked to pay for “application processing fees or materials” up front.  After they take your money, you don’t hear from them again.  The only positions that are legitimate in this way are independent sales for cosmetics, and other companies like them. Red flags for this scam are flashy images on their web site – expensive cars, yachts, and people holding fistfuls of money.

The Home Rescue Scam is the new kid on the block of scams. A “real estate investor” promises to bring your mortgage payments current.  Just sign over the deed, and he or she offers to keep making the payments in the future. But you have to move out so he or she can rent the house, helping you avoid foreclosure and a stain on your credit.  However, the “real estate investor” never makes a mortgage payment while charging rent. Thus, the bank forecloses, you do get the black mark on your credit and the renter gets evicted. The only one “helped” in this setup is the “investor,” who collected rent money.

Fake Check Scams are clever and catastrophic to its victims.  A company sends a legitimate-looking check to you in the mail, instructing you to cash it and send a portion of the money back to them for “prize or contest fees.”  You do, and the check they sent you bounces.  You’re out the money you sent them and the bank fees to process the bounced check.

Sean C. Wright is the author of the short stories Hazel Hogan and Devil Does Dallas. She is also an editor. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit http://www.iwrightaway.com/.

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Warning: Typos Ahead

TypoOhNo

Warning Typo

Restrictions

Image courtesy of Jason Neeley

These messages are meant to raise red flags for users but most likely induced smirks instead with their typos for “repair, concerns and restrictions.” It’s hard to say “watch out” when that’s what you failed to do with your spelling. Typos are never good but they are a humongous no-no when you are trying to make a point. Here are some instances when you want to ensure that your written communication is not tainted with typos or misspellings:

Complaint letters. I use to accept and reject consumers’ online reviews of businesses. Some patrons complained about “rood” or “unperfessional” service or had grammar so poor that I had to reject the review completely for making no sense. This situation is a prime example of how you won’t be taken seriously or ignored if you can’t communicate effectively. A company can’t help you if they can’t understand you.

Online posts. I know that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are considered fairly casual forums. However, if you’re trying to make a name for yourself and gain a following with these sites, posting musings with typos and misspellings does nothing but make people snicker. Take your time and read through your posts before you publish them. Making mistakes once in a while is not a big deal but when it’s a habit, it damages your credibility.

Business writing. Here is another scenario that has little margin for error if you want to impress. I once worked for a man whose emails looked like text messages or some cryptic code. There was no capitalization, punctuation, etc.  When people complained, he said, “Aw, you know what I mean.” Nice enough man but it got so that myself and other coworkers cringed when we saw his emails in our in boxes. You may be good at what you do but always remember that email puts a time and date stamp on your written word. You want to come across as capable and polished.

Happy reading and writing, my friends!

Sean C. Wright is the author of the short stories Hazel Hogan and Devil Does Dallas. She is also an editor. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit http://www.iwrightaway.com/.

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Send me your typo images! Snap pictures and email them to msseanc@aol.com. They must be real pictures and not images in online links, as those might be doctored. I’m looking for the real McCoy. Conceal the company’s identity if possible. No sweat if you can’t. I’ll hide the name before I post it. We’re not looking to embarrass but to educate.