BOSTON (CBS) – This is National Consumers Protection Week. This is a national campaign to help consumers make better-informed decisions and avoid being scammed.
Answer your phone, open your e-mails and the scams find you. The Better Business Bureau has put together their top list for 2013. These are scams they believe to be the most widespread
Casting Call Scam – This is not as widespread as some other scams, but it seems to have really been on the increase in recent years, thanks to the popularity of television talent shows like “American Idol” and “Project Runway.” People also think if it can happen to the likes of Honey Boo Boo and her mother, it could happen to them.
Scammers pose as agents or talent scouts looking for actors, singers, models, reality show contestants, etc., and they use phony audition notices to fool aspiring performers into paying to try out for parts that don’t exist.
There are several ways this plays out. It can simply be an unscrupulous way to sell acting lessons, photography services, etc., or it can be an outright scam for things like fees for online “applications” or upcoming “casting calls.” Even worse, the information provided on an online application could be everything a scammer needs for identity theft.
Foreign Currency Scam – Investments in foreign currency can sound like a great idea, and scammers frequently use real current events and news stories to make their pitches even more appealing. They advertise an easy investment with high return and low risk when you purchase Iraqi Dinar, Vietnamese Dong or, most recently, the Egyptian Pound.
The plan is that when those governments revalue their currencies, increasing their worth against the dollar, you just sell them and cash in. Unlike previous hoaxes, you may even take possession of real currency. The problem is that they will be very difficult to sell and it’s extremely unlikely they will ever significantly increase in value.
One more thing: Attention all veterans, service members and their families:
Military Saves Week
Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office will be co-sponsoring an all-day free seminar for the military.
OPERATION MONEY WISE
A FREE financial empowerment conference open to veterans, service members and their families.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Mass Bay Community College
50 Oakland Street, Wellesley MA
If you are a service member, veteran, or are related to one, join us to sharpen your financial skills and better understand your military benefits at the Operation Money Wise conference! This FREE, first-ever event is geared toward military and their families and will feature dynamic keynote speaker, Dick Power, CFP and retired Army Colonel.
The day will also include over a dozen other expert speakers on a variety of diverse financial topics, as well as an interactive learning lunch with local celebrity radio personality Dee Lee, CFP. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a Certified Financial Planner, Credit Counselor and/or Career Counselor.
Breakout sessions provide lessons and materials in:
– Budgeting & Setting Financial Goals
– Dealing with Debt
– Retirement Readiness
– Money & Disability
– Basics of Investing
– Home Ownership 101
– Using Your Education Benefits
– Bridging The Financial Gap to College
Complimentary continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.
We hope to see you there!
A Joint project of:
Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office
Massachusetts National Guard and Reserve
Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services
Massachusetts Financial Literacy Trust Fund
Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee