Common Con Games and Fraud Schemes


Do not rush into something involving your money or property.

Beware of something-for-nothing or get-rich-quick schemes.

Never sign a contract until you and your lawyer, banker or other expert has thoroughly read it.

Never turn over large sums of cash to anyone, especially to a stranger, no matter how promising the deal looks.

Do not hesitate to check the credentials of a solicitors or public official. Solicitors are supposed to display a permit. Beware of phony badges and ID’s. Utility officials should be associated with a vehicle with a logo that you identify.

Report all suspicious offers to the police immediately, before the swindler leaves your neighborhood or town.

Arrange for incoming checks from legitimate payers or sources to be sent directly to your bank.


Pigeon drop
The pigeon drop accounts for more than half of the confidence games reported to police. The swindlers claim to have found a large sum of money and offer to share it with you. You are asked to withdraw “good faith” money from your bank. The con artists take the “good faith” money and give you a phony address where you are to collect your share of the money. You never see the con artists or your good faith money again.

Bank examiner
A phony bank examiner contacts you and asks for your help in catching a dishonest bank employee. He asks you to withdraw a specified amount of cash from your account so that he may check the serial numbers. After turning over your money to the examiner, you never hear from him again.

Door-to-door sales
Many door-to-door sales are not legitimate. Provincial laws protect you against quick sales at your door. Inquire and be sure. Solicitors should carry and display a permit.


Consumer frauds
Beware of contests which require you to put up money to win, even if there is a guarantee that you will be a winner.

Home improvement offers
Beware of tempting home improvement offers, made through the mail or on-the-spot. These offers are a popular type of scam where a down payment is received by criminals that never intend to perform any work that they promised.

Chain referral schemes
These schemes offer a commission for buying one item and selling additional ones to friends. The products are usually over-priced and difficult to sell.

Retirement estates
Any retirement estates offered at conspicuously low prices to “lucky” individuals are usually fraudulent and should be avoided.

Business opportunities
Make $10,000 per month at home! Business opportunities and work-at-home schemes which promise high profits after a substantial investment or registration fee are often fraudulent.

Business Billing Frauds
Bills are sent for products that were never delivered, such as copier toner or laser printer toner. The criminals hope that an overworked accounts payable department will simply overlook the false charges and pay the bill.

Medical frauds
Fake laboratory tests, miracle cures, and mail order clinics, etc. are other ways schemed to defraud you. Legitimate doctors and hospitals do not advertise through the mail.

The Obit Column Sting
Fast-buck artists send a surviving spouse bills for phony debts, purchases, etc. If you get an unfamiliar bill after the death of a loved one, check it out before you pay.