Beat the Shakedown Heat: Top 5 Summer Scams
As temperatures rise, so do the cons. Scam artists often turn up the heat on unsuspecting marks, like homeowners, the elderly, and even high-schoolers, during the summer. So it's important to know the kind of rip-offs that are going on to avoid becoming another victim.
Here are five of the top summer scams:
As high schoolers, college kids, and even law students flood the job market, scammers have been taking advantage via online interviews. You may be stoked someone is interested in hiring you, but don't be lured into "interview fees," buying or downloading training materials or company software, or giving away personal or financial information.
Summer is also wedding season, and a couple's happiest day isn't sacred to scam artists. Disappearing wedding dresses, guests pilfering presents, and vendors walking away with money without providing any services are just a few of the wedding scams to watch out for.
The winter can be hell on a driveway. How lucky are you that these professionals just showed up, with materials, tools, and everything, promising to repave your driveway for half the price? And they say a few of your neighbors have hired them already? It's all so perfect. Only it's too perfect.
No, your grandparents aren't off limits to scammers. And with summer travel imminent, this scam becomes all the more dangerous. Con artists will imitate grandchildren who have been robbed, arrested, or otherwise find themselves in financial need on their travels, begging their grandparents for money. And far too many trusting grandparents fall for it.
As buyers look for bigger yards, decks, and pools, home-buying scams tick up in the summer. So make sure you know who your closing costs are going to, and beware any last-minute changes to wiring instructions.
If you think you've been the target of a scam, contact the Better Business Bureau or an experienced consumer protection attorney in your area.