Painful Truth: Schemes to know and avoid

There are signs that everyone recognizes immediately as warnings.

Don’t Walk. Beware of Dog. Stop. We’re taught, usually from childhood, about what those messages mean and how not heeding them could lead to harm.

There are other simple phrases we need to start teaching people. They’re not long or complicated, but not knowing them could lead to lasting harm, mostly to your wallet.

• Nigerian royalty.

If an African prince (or deposed president, ambassador, or potentate from any far-off country) has an amazing offer for you, just delete that email.

No, they do not actually want to give you a share of some shady, hidden fortune. They just want access to your banking information, credit cards, passport, or anything else they can get.

• You won the lottery!

No, no you didn’t. You definitely did not buy a ticket to an obscure or overseas lottery. You would have remembered that. If you did win the lottery, why are they asking you for fees to free up those vast winnings? Send them nothing, call the cops.

• Ghost lovers.

That person you met on that dating site? The one in a foreign country who texts and emails (but never talks by Skype, or in any other way that reveals their face) is really, really not into you.

They’re going to need some money, soon. These vultures hover around matchmaking websites, and can often be identified by their habit of using stock photos for their profiles.

• Virus on your computer.

No, there’s nothing wrong with your computer. No, that’s not Microsoft/Apple tech support calling. They don’t call you. They have too many people calling them.

• 100% Returns!

He seems nice and successful, and he’s a member of your church/ball team/PTA. Now he’s got this investment opportunity, huge returns, zero risk! How can you afford not to invest! Get a second mortgage if you have to!

Of course, this nice fellow is going to keep sending you updates on your investment. For a few months. Then the next thing you know he’ll be in Belize and the RCMP will sigh and tell you this isn’t the first time…

These are four of the most common scams. If I had more space, I could go on – there are dubious crowdfunding campaigns and fake tax auditors and a hundred get rich quick schemers. But knowing the big signs should help avoid danger.

Just Posted

2018 Aldergrove Fair photo gallery

Good times from pony rides and petting zoo to free MainStage concerts

Letter: Save the little forested area in Murrayville

A Langley letter writer is concerned development will mean the loss of greenspace.

54-40 thrills Aldergrove Fair crowd: VIDEO

54-40 were joined on stage by the band members’ dancing children, the “Aldergrove Rockettes”

Man arrested in Maple Ridge in connection with Victoria-area murder

Daniel Creagh faces second-degree murder charge in death of Joseph Gauthier

ZONE 3: Luck played no part in getting Riley Ward to the BC Games

Langley baller flouts misfortune on the floor; he’d rather get by on hard work

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

Ping-pong balls of fire dropped to merge two B.C. wildfires

The merger is considered successful by BC Wildfire Services

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Trio overcomes adversity at the BC Games

Zone 4 girl’s 3x3 basketball team fought through injuries and conflicting schedules

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Most Read