PHOENIX — There are many scammers looking to take advantage of you or take your money, but three types of scams stand out right now: fake rentals, fake computer/tech help, and fake jobs.
Jay posted on Craigslist asking if anyone has a hard-to-find Section 8 rental.
"Sure, I do," someone responded.
It is a one-bedroom house in Tempe and pets are welcome.
The person wants $1,000 a month and a $1,000 upfront deposit. But he says he cannot show the unit to Jay.
The man says he is in West Africa doing "Bible translation" and wants the deposit sent to him directly.
Jay now thinks it's a scam — and he's right.
Being out of the country and mentioning the Bible are big warning signs. Add to that the big money he wanted to be sent to him blindly upfront.
Make sure you research who owns the property you want to rent.
You can do an online property look-up by county.
Also, demand the person show you the unit and only then give them a minimal deposit.
Fake computer virus/tech help
The second biggest scam right now involves Microsoft pop-ups on your computer.
Phyllis let me know she got a notice on her computer about a serious virus issue and a phone number she must call.
Donna also got a pop-up Microsoft message saying to "not turn off the computer. It has been locked up due to malware installed by hackers."
Both women called the phone number and were told techs could remove the viruses — for a price.
Phyllis gave up her bank information but didn't trigger payment.
Donna says she lost $9,000.
It's an old scam getting new life.
Microsoft is not monitoring your computer for viruses. Pop-ups like those are always scams.
Remember to never call the number shown and never give out your bank information.
Fake jobs/fake checks
The largest scam right now involves fake jobs and fake checks.
Jupiter says she answered an online job ad and got a $2,600 check in the mail before doing any work.
Jupiter was told to use the money and test customer service at Walmart by buying gift cards.
She would then share the card information with the business.
Elizabeth got a $4,800 check from "Kelly Services."
She was told to send $1,000 to a vendor for her office equipment.
More checks followed and Elizabeth sent more of the money to vendors.
Jupiter got concerned and asked her business if it was legitimate saying, "I don't want to go to jail."
But Elizabeth just dove in and said, "I've been scammed out of $19,000."
Here, scammers used real business names to add credibility.
But anytime you get a check for work you haven't done, or you're asked to buy gift cards and send money back, it's a scam.
What scams are you seeing? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org