In the fight against fraud, scams, and identity theft, one of the major obstacles is the anonymous and often global nature of the crime. Scammers can be located virtually anywhere, and thanks to the technology that powers their crime, finding the criminals can be like looking for a needle in a worldwide haystack.
With the growing problem of young people who are struggling to pay off hefty student loan debt, scammers have stepped in to take action…and take advantage. Much like the scams that once targeted homeowners with promises of relief from variable rate mortgages, students are the next crop of unwitting victims.
As scams that target the public go, many of them seem pretty hard to believe. The famous Nigerian prince email scams, for example, have circulated for years and contain absolutely ludicrous stories of desperate need. It might seem hard to believe that anyone would fall for it, and scammers have even spoken out about the reason behind these wild tales: they want only the most gullible victims to respond.
If you’ve ever bought anything online, you’ve probably experienced that same moment of hesitation before clicking “confirm” on your purchase. Is this seller trustworthy? Is he going to send me a defective item? Is he going to take my money and not send anything at all?
In the realm of internet activity, there are a lot of different ways that scammers and hackers can nab your personal information. All too often, though, the victim of the data theft accidentally does the dirty work for the scammer.
Who doesn’t love the thought of discovering a little bit of extra money? Not enough to be categorized as a mega-millionaire—although that wouldn’t hurt too badly either, would it—but just a few hundred dollars? Maybe a couple thousand?
When disaster strikes, there’s often a heart-tugging sadness that comes from feeling powerless to do something useful. As distanced bystanders, we’re left reeling from the news footage of the horrific events, both man-made and natural, and thinking to ourselves, “If only there was something I could do to help.”