Undated -- If you want to avoid being a victim of a scheme, here is one rule to keep in mind. Never, and we mean never, send money upfront to someone who is buying something from you: unless you know them well. Thousands of victims have learned that the lesson the hard way.
Betty knows from experience. She lost thousands of dollars in a time share resale scheme. She said, "I received a phone call, and they asked me if I wanted to sell my timeshare, and I would say yes." Two days later the company called to say Betty had a buyer. But they needed the money up front.
So Betty sent $2,000 for what she was told were closing costs. When she called to follow-up, she was only given excuses. She said, "They said they were processing the paperwork. That person backed out. Never materialized. I realized it was a scam then."
US Postal Inspector Adam Latham said, "Many victims fall for it. They send them a check through the mail or credit card and then what happens is their timeshare doesn't sell."
They are out the upfront money sent. To make matters worse. Betty's name was put on a "lead list" so other telemarketers could now get her number.
Postal inspectors say there are tens-of-thousands of victims of this scam and up to $40 million in losses. Betty has learned her lesson. She said, "I would never pay money upfront for anything ever again."
That's great advice. Before you send money to anyone, do your homework. Check them out and make sure they're legitimate.
WFMY News 2/US Postal Inspectors