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By Will from Holland

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There are millions of scams out there. They arrive by many avenues...the web, mail, phone, text messages and even in person. They rip you off, steal your money, hurt your credit and cause major irritation. And they are aimed at all of us...any age.

I subscribe to a service called ScambustersĀ®, which keeps me up on the "latest and greatest" in scam-land. You should know about this site. Just check out some of the scams they are reporting:

  1. Utility Bill Scam
    This phone scam informs you that a Government stimulus program is available to pay your utility bills! You sign up, give your personal details and are told you will soon receive a check. It's that easy! "Tell all your friends," they suggest. Unfortunately, the check is fake and you've just had your identity stolen because of the info you provided

    Tip: NEVER give away info on an unsolicited marketing call.
  2. Live Chat Bank Scam
    You visit your bank or credit union's website and a live chat window pops up. They ask you to update your account information. You enter what's required and "bang," you've just put yourself at risk of identity theft! Scammers can now steal money from your bank account!

    Tip: Financial institutions generally don't use popups or instant messages to gather or confirm your financial information.
  3. Credit Card Fraud Insurance
    Another pop-up chat window on your bank or credit union's website opens, same as in the example above. This time it is telling you that you should purchase fraud insurance on your credit card. Since you're on your bank website, you may think this is legit. But, if you fall for this scam, you'll be in trouble and most likely broke!
  4. Jury Duty
    You receive a phone call saying that you failed to show up for jury duty. The caller requests your personal information needed by the court to cancel the warrant for your arrest. They may even say they are calling from the "court" merely to get your information so they can send you notice of your upcoming jury duty.

    Tip: NEVER give personal details over the phone when you receive a call. The court will not ask for that info by phone...EVER. If in doubt, hang up and call the courthouse back yourself.

There's plenty more:
MediCare scams, tragedy name it. The Scambusters website has active scams galore that they describe in detail. Yes, there are some advertisements on this site's sidebar that you can ignore. But Scambusters really will keep you ahead of the scam game so you can keep your money in your pocket.

Become scam proof right now: go to

Also, here's the main story on the "live chat" bank scam.

One last tip: Sign up for the Scambusters newsletter!

Hope this helps!

Cheers, Will.