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

VIDEO: Giants fall to Royals 4-2 in Victoria Saturday night

Second loss in as many days for G-Men, who are back home in Langley today to take on the Cougars.

Driver fined for hitting scooter in Langley City

Woman on scooter suffered minor injuries, police said

Walnut Grove Gators win Tsumura basketball championship

‘We love to run and we like to score,’ said Gators coach Darren Rowell

Langley animal welfare group reminds people about holiday pet hazards

Many staples are of the Christmas season are harmful to pets.

Spreading Christmas cheer around Aldergrove

Easing the pains and difficulties of hard times is ‘reason for the season’

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Rescued B.C. cat with misshapen legs in need of forever home – with carpet

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

Most Read