Five quick and simple scams that could happen to you today
Any long-time readers of Wise Bread know that I like to keep up-to-date on hustles, scams and con jobs. They change all the time, and new ones are invented daily. A US version of the UK show The Real Hustle has been trying out some very simple but effective cons on the American public, and they’re getting away with some serious money. Watch, learn and stay alert. One of these could catch you out the next time you leave the office or home, even if it’s just to grab some quick cash from an ATM or a small bite to eat.
The ATM Hustle
Here, two ways to grab your cash at an ATM are outlined, and in both methods you never even know you’ve been the victim of a scam. The second version is more prevalent and has many variations as it requires no technology. Street teams work areas in busy cities, I was victim to a version of the second one about ten years ago in London. When using an ATM, keep your wits about you and if anything looks or feels suspicious, walk away.
The Laptop Switch-Off
Right now I’m on the hunt for a used laptop for my wife, so this one really caught my attention. If you’re a fan of Craigslist, you may be tempted by a used laptop at a great price. In this case, a $1000 Macbook for $500. But listen to that voice in your head, and realize that deals too good to be true usually are. When you buy a laptop, keep your eye on the machine at all times, test it thoroughly and most important, don’t hand over your cash until the actual laptop is in your possession.
The Café Manager Scam
This one is all about questioning authority, or in this case, never questioning it. In most cases, we believe what we are seeing and hearing because we have no reason not to. When a guy in a suit approaches you in a café or restaurant and says he is the manager, why wouldn’t you believe him? Big mistake. It just goes to show how far confidence can get you (hence, con man). At a restaurant table, there should be no reason at all to hand your credit card before the start of a meal, even if you’re ordering drinks. And if you want to open a tab with a card, do it at the bar.
The Bag Snatch
So simple and yet so effective. All it takes is a small distraction, just a conversation or someone asking the time, and your valuables are gone. Never put your bag down in a busy place, or if you do, keep one foot on the handle or strap.
The Distract & Conquer Con
Here, the con artists take advantage of the Good Samaritan syndrome. BY posing as tourists and asking for help, they’re able to get close to people and walk away with some very nice valuables. Again, keep these items on you, there’s no need to have a cell-phone laying out on the table when jacket pocket will do the job just as well.
You can find many more examples of hustles and con jobs at TruTV.com, under The Real Hustle. Stay safe and aware folks.