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When you are searching through various classified ads online,  always be aware that the fraudster may be trying to sell you something that is not real or, better yet, trying to scam you out of money. Either way classified ads can be a cheap and free way for the fraudster to draw their victims in says fraud expert, Linda Webb, aka The Fraud Dog.

Let’s face it… we are all looking for that unbelievable deal, but in today’s world the fraudster knows it too. The fraudster knows that when your are looking for something via classified’s ads, then chances are you are fulfilling one of the basic needs in order to victimize you. Fraudsters have two basic tactics:

1. Consumer has a need or desire for something.

2. There is a sense of urgency to buy or obtain it.

The fraudster will use these tactics to pull you in, ultimately stealing from you.

Here are the top classified ad scams.

1. Dating Scams – Do you really know who you are talking to?

2. Lottery Scams – Let’s face it, if you didn’t buy a lottery ticket, then how can you win the lottery?

3. Fraudulent Reverse Sell Scam – Selling items via classified ads.  Whether these items are real, fake, or intentions are good to sell it, the fraudster has a deal just for you. Don’t fall for the fraudster who presents a check overpaying you the selling price of the item.  The check is going to bounce. Wait for the check to clear the bank and the fraudster will also be long gone.

4. Rental Home or Vacation Getaway Scam -Look on other Realtor sites. Chances are you will see similar photos of the same house, but instead the house or location is up for sale.

5. Used Car Scam – Used car pictures are easy to duplicate on the internet. Some car dealerships lure you in with one used car deal, only to find out once you are at the dealership the vehicle was never real or they sold it 6 months ago.

6. Job Scams – Work-from-home jobs can often times be too good to be true. Remember the fraudster doesn’t care if you are unemployed. They will take your last dollar.

7. Special Event Ticketing Scams – Special event tickets are easy to duplicate and forge. Check on the internet for what the real event ticket looks like. Often times the forgery will have the wrong dates and misspelled words.

8. Mortgage Refinancing  Scam– Watch out for the fraudster who doesn’t really want to refinance your house, they simply want to get your personal information for identity theft. Data is King.

9. Baby Sitter Scam – This is one of the most dangerous scams because the fraudster loves to target juveniles.

10.Modeling Scams – Promising fraudsters will tell you anything to get your money, even saying you’re the next diva or movie star.

In today’s world, the internet has become a breeding ground for the fraudster. It is important that you do your due diligence and always be vigilant. Always try to use your credit card and not a debit card. Never give out your personal information and be sure to report fraud, so others can’t be victimized.

Remember to take your time to make a decision, fraudsters are impatient and they will quickly move on, says the Linda Webb, aka the Fraud Dog.

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