PHOENIX – It can happen with a phone call or maybe an email. It’s someone who promises a better deal, or a good job, or something for sale that you won’t find anywhere else. And before you know it, you’re losing thousands of dollars.
Our Let Joe Know team hears from hundreds of people every week, and we want to alert you to three of the biggest scams going on right now.
The third biggest scam we are currently seeing involves used gift cards. I’ve seen a few complaints about them.
Darlene let me know that she bought seven $100 gift cards, but she said that when she started using them, “they were already activated and used by scammers.”
James emailed that he bought a Walmart gift card and “used it once”, but said when he tried to use the rest it disappeared. It had a zero balance.
Neither James nor Darlene was able to get their money back.
We see a lot of similar complaints. I say, don’t buy gift cards off store shelves. Instead, buy them online, or better yet, buy an e-card and send it electronically.
The second biggest scam we are currently seeing is fake facebook sales.
Linda let me know that she found a puppy for sale and sent $400 through the Zelle payment app.
Jeff also used Zelle to transfer $200 for a Yorkie puppy.
Robert saw a Westinghouse generator for sale and sent $500 via CashApp.
All were announced on Facebook. None of them were delivered. All have lost their money.
I see two big lessons here:
- Never send money to people you don’t know for things you haven’t seen in person.
- Using a payment app means sending money. Don’t do this unless you know exactly where your money is really going. From what I’ve seen, banks don’t back up apps and don’t refund.
And the biggest scam we see involves fake car wrap ads.
Feliz let me know that a well-known company was offering his son “$500 for four weeks if he put a sticker on his car.”
Richard emailed that he had received paperwork on his car wrapping in an ad and that he had received a check for $4,950 with a real business name on it.
Richard was told to keep $1,000 and send the rest of the money back.
Anytime you get a big check and need to send money back, it’s a big scam. You send your money and only find out later that their check is fake.
Legit car wrapping companies don’t blindly reach out, send checks, or ask for refunds.
What scams do you see? Tell me about them: [email protected]