Bird Attacks Child: A Look at Financial Scams

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Who said the only way to learn about money was to read articles on top of articles? Financial education is all around us—provided you look closely enough. Increase your awareness with the SALT Blog video of the week, picked fresh from YouTube.

(Note: This video features a little NSFW language. And also French. Apologies if either offends you.)

This video is all over the Internet lately, and it scares the crap out of me.  I hate birds. They creep me out more than you could imagine. Naturally then, when I saw this video, I was shaking in my boots and started looking over my shoulder for death eagles flying down on me.

Then, a revelation. It’s a fake!


Numerous outlets have covered the topic, and the consensus is simple: This video is doctored. It was actually the product of a school contest to create a fake viral video. I commend them for making it look good, but scaring me like that was not cool.

It reminds me, of course, of a financial issue. There are tons of people out there looking to trick you with scams and ploys for your money. With the ol’ fake YouTube video trick on our mind, let’s look at some popular ways that scammers swoop in for your dough.


We’ve covered this before, but it’s important to be reminded of a trick like this every so often. Phishing involves identity thieves pretending to be a legitimate business And then calling, texting, or emailing you (yes, you!) in an attempt to collect some form of your personal information.

Recently, I’ve been receiving phone calls from unknown numbers from all over the country. Thanks to what I’ve learned here, I don’t answer and I will never call them back.


A newer scam with hackers involves Wi-Fi hotspots at hotels. If you are a traveler busy with schoolwork or business, you need to be very careful about using the available Wi-Fi—no matter how secure they claim to be. Hackers are out there and looking to get you.

Heading somewhere this winter or on a big spring break? Be wary of the hotel hotspot, or you could end up paying big time.


Lots of companies offer free trials and then charge you immediately when they they expire. (Amazon Prime does this, but if you cancel quickly enough, they will credit your account. At least that’s what they did for me.)

This isn’t illegal; however, it’s an easy way to feel someone misled you. Remember: It’s up to you to know the terms of the free trial and be ready to cancel as soon as it runs out.

Other, shadier companies offer something that appears to be totally free and then charge right away or for much more than you expect. Or, they charge you for services that you could otherwise obtain for free. Make sure to do your research, read the terms and conditions before agreeing to anything, and check your credit and debit card statements regularly to stop scammers before they take flight.

How have scammers looked to nab you? Let us know!

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  1. Glenn Hall December 20, 2012 / 3:17 pm

    If you have been receiving calls “from all over the country”, you can register for the National Do Not Call Registry.
    If they are a “legitimate” scammer, i.e., a telemarketer, they are not supposed to call you. You may also be able to register for your state do not call list if your state has one (Massachusetts does).
    Unfortunately, the illegitimate scammers, (thieves, rip-off artists, or whatever you want to call them) are probably operating off-shore. I had a call from someone purporting to be in Las Vegas who was really calling from Jamaica. If you get a suspicious call, hang up. If you talk to them as I did (trying to find out what their game was), you will be sorry. They called me for months, and there was nothing I could do about as they were operating offshore (including one night when they called at midnight and I slammed my toe into the wall running for the phone (don’t do this)!)

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