You get a call from someone saying she works for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). She seems to know exactly who you are. She might already know your name and address, and might even know what kind of visa you’ve applied for. She says you have to pay a new fee – and, if you don’t wire money immediately, your hopes of immigrating will be lost. She might even threaten you with arrest or deportation.
The FTC, the nation’s consumer protection agency, first warned consumers to be on the lookout for flood-damaged cars in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Almost a year later, news reports indicate that water-damaged cars that endured Hurricane Sandy are being sold by private sellers and showing up on used car lots.
OK, it’s not really Check Your Phone Bill Day. But how about checking your wireless phone bill anyway? Pull it up online, dig out your paper copy, or if you don’t get a detailed bill from your phone company, go ahead and ask for one (we’ll wait).
Have you received an official-looking letter saying you won a foreign lottery or sweepstakes? Responding to it can be tempting: After all, maybe there’s a possibility that you won some money that could turn your dreams into reality!
How many of us pick up the phone, expecting to hear, “Hey, you owe me money. Now pay up – or else”? But that’s what’s been happening recently to people in the immigrant community. Those aren’t the exact words, and the caller claims to be from the government – but that’s the message people are getting: Send money. Or else.
Do you ever look for products or information online by typing a word into a search engine? I do too. By now, I bet we both know there’s no guarantee that the first result will be the best one. Anyone can set up shop online with almost any name. You may get links to pages that are out-of-date, off-topic, or stocked with low-quality products. Here are some tips for your next search.