We all get garbage mail delivered to our door steps. Sometimes it is a free vacation to the Bahamas for two. Other times it is $37,000 towards a new car. Just last week, I got a check for $117,000! Do people actually succumb to these scams? It may seem hard for you to believe, but the answer to this question is “yes”. And with a world that is now living in a digital age, there are many more routes and these cons to get you at.

Ever had an e-mail from the heir to the throne of Nigeria offering you 5% of his wealth? He just needs you to invest a small amount of money in order for him to be able to move his money to an offshore account. See, the monarch is in trouble, and he figured he would e-mail you because he has the sneaking intuition that you are a really nice person. All you have to do is provide your checking account # and birthday, and you will receive back exponential dividends higher than you ever imagined! How easy! To most, this is a red flag that someone is simply trying to hack their bank account. Shockingly, $240,000,000 were reported to be stolen in this scam- all from one man named Nelson Sakaguchi. He met with the men before transferring the money- and was convinced that he was meeting with legit individuals when they presented their business cards. The rest is history.

Click now to claim your I-pad mini. Quick! Supplies are going fast! As you click the pop-up, you are redirected to a landing page to claim your prize. Just fill out your name, address, e-mail, birthday, color of your shirt, car your drive, name of your first pet, elementary school, and best friend’s middle name, and click submit. Your palms start sweating, and then you realize on the next page that you need to provide credit card information. Read the small print buddy- you are paying for a service for a chance to win an I-pad mini, probably one of those credit report companies. Frustrated, you close the browser, and swear to never waste another second on a pop-up again. But, not everyone closes that browser. No, there are people that go through with this process, because they just love I-pad mini’s so much. And they are billed, month after month, maybe $5, maybe $13, and they wait. They wait for that I-pad mini to land on their door steps. They look out the window every morning, their ears perking up at the sound of the mail truck. And it never comes. The I-pad mini never comes, and their bank account gets sucked away. Slowly, $13 at a time, probably never even realized by the owner of the account, and over time this number adds up. $312 over 2 years, $1,560 over 10 years, and so on. And the pop ups continue…

Be aware of one thing- not all people are bad, but there are bad people. Someone wants what you have, and is always planning on a way to take it. Whether it is an e-mail, pop-up, phone call, or piece of mail- if it sounds suspicious, do not go for it. Be at high alert for these cons. If we stop falling for their tricks, they will stop making money, and will die out. Unfortunately, we as a society have succumbed to these scams, and the scammers are winning. We need to be smarter, America.