11 Worst Scams Exposed

Attention: US residents who have been contacted by suspicious individuals over the phone or email are considered to be at risk of identity theft. The criminals could use your identity in order to obtain credit cards, fake mortgages, loans, and cash advances. Once an identity theft occurs, it is a difficult task to undo the damage. It often costs upwards of $10,000 in legal fees just to clean up the mess created by these criminals. We highly recommended that everyone targeted by such scams obtain identity theft protection service immediately. Angry Citizen has partnered up with LifeLock to offer you identity theft protection plans starting as low as $8.99 per month with a 30-Day FREE Trial* and up to $25,000-$1,000,000 Stolen Funds Replacement**. Click here to start your protection.


Jump to scams:
Arrest Warrant Scams
Counterfeit Products
Dating Scams
Employment Scams
Fake Checks
Loan Scams
Government Grant Scams
Lottery Scams
Pet Scams
Phishing Scams
Property Rental Scams.


1. Arrest Warrant Scams

Fake arrest warrant scams have existed for many years. All over the country, residents are randomly contacted by scammers that threaten lawsuits and jail time for offenses such as, unpaid loans, bank fraud, and credit card debts unless a settlement is quickly reached. In some cases, co-conspirators impersonate police officers and attorneys. Once a victim has been persuaded to pay their phony fine, the scammers move on, but often reattempt to obtain more money in the future. Residents are instructed to report all phone numbers associated with this scam, in order to caution others.


Reported countries: India and Pakistan. In many cases, scammers used U.S. VOIP phone numbers.

Damages reported: $1,000-$10,000

Identity theft risk: Extremely High - If you’ve been affected by a similar scam, your identity is at risk. We've partnered up with a US identity theft protection company Lifelock to offer you plans starting from just $8.99 per month with a 30-Day FREE Trial*. To activate your identity theft protection or to learn more, click here.


2. Counterfeit Products

Counterfeit product scams involve the selling of fake goods passed off as authentic. These fraudsters primarily operate from foreign places such as China and forge websites made to appear as if they belong to name brand organizations. Consumers are lured by significantly discounted prices, but are unaware that the items they will receive are unoriginal and of poor quality. In some online cases, purchased items may not even be received at all.


Reported countries: China.

Damages reported: $100-$1,000

Identity theft risk: Low


3. Dating Scams

The dating scam is one of the leading cons on the internet. The most common form begins with a simple online profile registration completed by a fraudster, who creates an imaginary person to use in the operation. In fact, scammers usually generate and control hundreds of these profiles simultaneously. Each profile provides a photo of a real person, most likely taken from the internet at random. Armed with a fake profile, the scammer then connects with their victims on genuine, dating service websites. Most of the time, the manipulative story is the same: Initially, the scammer will devote time getting to know the victim and pretend to be interested in a sincere relationship. After some time passes and the scammer becomes comfortable with the victim, he or she may unveil a heart wrenching story as to why the relationship cannot continue or come up with an emergency circumstance that requires money. Fabricated reasons can vary from hospital bills to stolen wallets and lack of funds to travel back home. Once the victim has been persuaded to send money, the scammer continues the online relationship and may ask for more money at a later date.


Reported countries: African countries.

Damages reported: $1,000-$100,000

Identity theft risk: Extremely High - If you’ve been affected by a similar scam, your identity is at risk. We've partnered up with a US identity theft protection company Lifelock to offer you plans starting from just $8.99 per month with a 30-Day FREE Trial*. To activate your identity theft protection or to learn more, click here.


4. Employment Scams

Fake Check: Employment scams or work-at-home scams are very popular. In order to lure their victims, scammers target people seeking employment via mass email or through job-offering websites such as, Yahoo Careers, Monster, and Craigslist. After the initial and seemingly professional email correspondence, the scammer, pretending to be a job recruiter or from the HR department conducts a fake interview using yahoo messenger or similar communication software. No matter how the interview process goes, the victim will always be hired. Upon payment, the scammer issues a standard check to the victim claiming it to be the salary, but they may overpay a little “by mistake” and request that the rest of the money be wired to another account--this is the scam. The payroll check received will eventually bounce and the victim will be cheated out of hard earned money, wired directly to the account provided by the misleading scammers.

Re-shipping stolen merchandise: These scammers, sometimes armed with elaborate websites, pose as legitimate organizations. They pretend to employ unsuspecting victims for jobs with numerous fabricated titles such as merchandise inspection agent or quality assurance manager. The job duties include receiving and inspecting packages, which could consist of anything from clothing to electronics. Then, each package is sent out to an international address provided by the fake employer. In actuality, the victims are receiving stolen goods or items purchased with fraudulent credit cards and forwarding them to various addresses that belong to the scammers. People frequently inquire why scammers do not order the merchandise and have it shipped directly to their own addresses. The most significant reason is because, the majority of online stores do not ship internationally and if they do, the item/s would have to undergo additional security measures before being shipped. Consequently, by purchasing items and delivering them to a US shipping address, the scammer avoids this extra process that is implemented by most online stores. If you have been lured into such a scheme, please submit a complaint via our website. Additionally, contact your local police department and file a complaint by providing any information you have, in order to assist them in launching an investigation. Return the left over merchandise to the address it originated from and/or provide it to the police.


Reported countries: Russia, Eastern European countries.

Damages reported: $200-$10,000

Identity theft risk: Extremely High - If you’ve been affected by a similar scam, your identity is at risk. We've partnered up with a US identity theft protection company Lifelock to offer you plans starting from just $8.99 per month with a 30-Day FREE Trial*. To activate your identity theft protection or to learn more, click here.


5. Fake Checks

Presently, check fraud is one of the most active scams in the United States. The idea behind the scheme is relatively simple: The scammers send a seemingly legitimate check to the victim’s address for a reason such as, payment for an item the victim has for sale, payment for a rental property, or even a salary check for a job they were hired to do. Then, the scammers advise the victim that they will be sending more money than agreed upon and instruct the victim to send back the overpayment via money transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. The scammers can use numerous reasons for overpaying the victim, from just a simple mistake to claiming that the overpayment needs to be sent to a shipping company to pick up the item the victim had for sale. Once in compliance to send the overpaid amount back, the victim hands over their own money, while the fake, deposited check remains in the process of being cleared. Typically, it takes up to ten business days for the bank to clear the check, but with good-standing, the funds might pop up early in the victim’s available balance. A few days later, the victim discovers that the check has bounced and they have lost the money that has been sent to the scammer. In addition, they also find out they are liable to pay the bounced check fee, which could range anywhere from $25 to $50.


Reported countries: Unknown

Damages reported: $1,000-$10,000

Identity theft risk: Extremely High - If you’ve been affected by a similar scam, your identity is at risk. We've partnered up with a US identity theft protection company Lifelock to offer you plans starting from just $8.99 per month with a 30-Day FREE Trial*. To activate your identity theft protection or to learn more, click here.


6. Fake Loan Scams

In most cases, fake loan scammers operate from outside of the United States. The purpose of this con is to obtain the victim’s money, personal information, and/or banking information, which may be used at a later time for identity theft. The scammers run fraudulent and unrestricted websites that promise unsecured loans to consumers with bad credit. Using the information provided, the scammers contact the victim and advise them that they require a first payment upfront, usually called a security payment or a good faith payment. They instruct the victim to send the funds by money transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Consequently, after the initial payment has been sent, the scammers disappear. This is a very dangerous con, because the scammers end up having possession of the victim’s social security number and all other pertinent information necessary to commit identity fraud.


Reported countries: India and Pakistan. Scammers use U.S. VOIP phone numbers to communicate with victims.

Damages reported: $100-$1,000

Identity theft risk: Extremely High - If you’ve been affected by a similar scam, your identity is at risk. We've partnered up with a US identity theft protection company Lifelock to offer you plans starting from just $8.99 per month with a 30-Day FREE Trial*. To activate your identity theft protection or to learn more, click here.


7. Government Grant Scams

These scammers usually operate from India or Pakistan and contact US consumers using VOIP telephone lines with North American telephone numbers. They lie to victims and claim that they have qualified for a US grant. A processing fee must be paid before the grant can be issued. The fee is typically paid by money transfer services such as, Western Union, MoneyGram, and sometimes prepaid debit cards. Upon receiving the processing fee, scammers disappear. In some cases, the scammer calls back to try to obtain more money for various reasons, in order to continue the “processing” of the grant. Targets of a grant scam are advised to create a scam report.


Reported countries: India and Pakistan. Scammers use U.S. VOIP phone numbers to communicate with victims.

Damages reported: $100-$1,000

Identity theft risk: High - If you’ve been affected by a similar scam, your identity is at risk. We've partnered up with a US identity theft protection company Lifelock to offer you plans starting from just $8.99 per month with a 30-Day FREE Trial*. To activate your identity theft protection or to learn more, click here.


8. Lottery Scams

Primarily communicated by email, victims of a lottery scam will receive a notification claiming that they have won a large sum of money. In some instances, the scammers will use well-known names such as Publishers Clearing House to add credibility to the fraudulent scheme. Victims are encouraged to reply to the email or call a phone number to begin the claim process. At that time, they are required to a pay a “processing fee,” or “government tax,” which is required in order to claim the prize. Once the fees are paid, no prize is ever awarded to the victim.


Reported countries: USA, African countries.

Damages reported: $1,000-$10,000

Identity theft risk: High - If you’ve been affected by a similar scam, your identity is at risk. We've partnered up with a US identity theft protection company Lifelock to offer you plans starting from just $8.99 per month with a 30-Day FREE Trial*. To activate your identity theft protection or to learn more, click here.


9. Pet Scams

Pet scammers create bogus websites claiming to be dependable animal breeders. They typically offer puppies, kittens, and other animals for a considerably reduced price or for free. Reported cases include scammers using online classified websites such as Craigslist to lure their victims. The prospective buyer is typically required to pay various shipping, processing, and/or vaccination fees, in order to have their new pet delivered. Once the money has been claimed, the victim is left disappointed and swindled.


Reported countries: USA

Damages reported: $200-$1,000

Identity theft risk: Low


10. Phishing Scams

Phishing scams usually arrive in the form of an email or instant message—one that appears to be official and claims to have been sent from a legitimate source such as a bank or other trusted organization. The objective of this scam is to obtain your credentials and personal or financial information, by directing the user to enter data such as, log-in usernames and passwords, credit card details, security codes, and billing addresses, in order to gain unauthorized access and commit various cyber-crimes. For instance, a scammer may send you an email claiming that your bank access has been limited and will require some verification in order to re-establish your access. Upon clicking on the link in the email, you will be taken to a copy-cat website that mimics the legitimate banking institution. The page then prompts you to enter usernames, passwords, or other personal information. Upon completion of this process, you will receive a notification that your account has been successfully reactivated, while unknowingly, all of your information has been transferred to the scammers for future fraudulent use.


Reported countries: Unknown.

Damages reported: $1,000-$100,000

Identity theft risk: Extremely High - If you’ve been affected by a similar scam, your identity is at risk. We've partnered up with a US identity theft protection company Lifelock to offer you plans starting from just $8.99 per month with a 30-Day FREE Trial*. To activate your identity theft protection or to learn more, click here.


11. Property Rental Scams

Scammers use authentic property rental websites and online classifieds such as Craigslist to advertise rental properties, which they do not own, for a significantly discounted rate. Upon contacting the scammer, victims are asked to send the money via instant money transfer services such as Western union and MoneyGram. Once the money is collected, the scammers disappear. In order to minimize your chances of becoming a victim of a rental scam, it is recommended to pay for a vacation property with a check or credit card only.


Reported countries: USA, Unknown.

Damages reported: $500-$5,000

Identity theft risk: Low



Are you at risk of Identity Theft? Find out here.

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