Con Games or Confidence Games have been used by criminals attempting to fraudulently swindle money from unsuspecting victims for many years.  As times change the schemes change but the basic principals remain the same.  A stranger presents the victim with what appears to be a good deal but instead is quite the opposite.  The stranger has your money or your bank account number and you are left holding the bag, the empty bag in this case.

When purchasing merchandise make certain to deal with a reliable vendor.  Make sure that what you are paying for is what you are getting.  Never make a payment of any type to anyone that promises to give you a good deal on an item that a deceased relative already paid most of the money for.  Never give cash to anyone that promises to deliver merchandise at a later date or at another location.  Unsuspecting victims have paid money for a sealed box with bricks inside.

Saving money is good, losing hard earned money in a scam is not a good idea.  Shop around, get good realistic prices and make educated choices.  Buying merchandise that could be stolen or broken can occur when dealing with unscrupulous merchants.  Care also needs to be taken when buying or selling items online.  Never wire money or send cash to anyone in anticipation of buying or selling an item

Just remember- if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  The old game may have a new face but armed with the right information it won’t fool you.  There are good deals out there but the promise of something for nothing usually yields just that, nothing.  If you have any questions regarding the validity of a merchant contact the Better Business Bureau.

Here are some good rules to follow all the time—whether or not you suspect a fraud:

  • Don't believe "something-for-nothing" offers. You get what you pay for.
  • Take your time. Think about the deal before you part with your money.
  • Read all contracts and agreements before signing. Have an attorney examine all major contracts.
  • Compare services, prices, and credit offers before agreeing to a deal. Ask friends what their experiences have been with the firm or service in question, or check with the Better Business Bureau or similar organization.
  • Never turn over large sums of cash to anyone, especially a stranger, no matter how promising the deal looks.
  • Do not hesitate to check the credentials of anyone who comes to your door. Ask to see official identification and inspect it carefully. If you are suspicious, ask the person for the name and telephone number of his or her supervisor, so you can call and check right away. A legitimate business or service representative will not hesitate to comply.
  • Beware of individuals impersonating police officers who seek your assistance in "identifying fraudulent bank tellers" or "cracking a counterfeiting scheme." They will usually ask you to withdraw large sums of money as part of their "investigation." These people are not police officers, and all they want is your money.
  • Report all suspicious offers to the police immediately, before the swindler leaves your neighborhood in search of other victims. If you've been victimized, don't be embarrassed about coming forward.