Financial Scams 2012: The Latest Twists in the Ever-Evolving Art of the Con

money scamsIt's a new year and the perfect time to make the next 12 months more prosperous than the previous year. But not everyone's fresh start is based on good intentions: Among con artists, hackers, and scam artists, their plans for financial self-improvement always come at someone else's detriment.

In order to protect yourself and your financial Fort Knox from the bad guys, you must first know what to watch out for. So here are some highlights from scams that made the rounds in 2011 -- and will likely be back in some form or another this year.

Motley Fool contributor Dawn Kawamoto does not own stock in any of the companies listed. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Citigroup. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Walt Disney and eBay, as well as writing puts on eBay.

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January 09 2012 at 8:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to j1933g's comment

Hope and change.

January 10 2012 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fed res and ALL fiat central banksters are the VILLIANS, always have been. For most of mankind’s post stone age history gold and silver have been real money, still is. Banksters are confidence men, they persuade people that pretty paper is money with no backing and transfer real property ( land, houses, businesses, etc,) for this worthless paper. Gold/silver, most commonly as coin, are real property and the honest way to make exchanges. Got gold?

January 09 2012 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The biggest con of all is how I work hard to provide nice things for my family all the while the dirty animals on welfare get everything for free.

January 09 2012 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yep free market ALWAYS wins. You’ve never seen a free market in your life time. You must LOOK to American history prior 1913 & implementation of socialists institutions like Soc Sec, Medicare, IRS, & the fed res dollar, a false, un backed, paper/electronic system, now failing to immutable free market forces, just as all fiats of history have. Do you really think this is the first time? Do you not know that our republic is NOT the first in history or the first to use fiat money to allow the govt to wildly spend treasure it doesn’t hold through ever increasing money supply (known commonly as inflation)?
The free market is reasserting dominance but at the default of the current man made, govt manipulated, system in which you have lived all your life. Same as the fall of the Soviet Union do to socialism, (steeling wealth and printing for redistribution) so shall we or more specifically the fed res & all the institutions it holds up. Gold and silver coin will be the only monetary system of exchange, as recently re adopted in Utah soon to be followed by Georgia and 12 other states. I, my friend will and have, ever since I returned to real money and exchanged my dollars, continue to prosper. The tool of govt spending & redistribution is already on the trash heap of history all that is left now are deniers that wish to continue their free loading on the govt tity. Your ideals have already lost, again. Got gold?

January 08 2012 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike's comment

Got Oil Stock?

January 09 2012 at 9:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There is NO soc sec fund, never has been. It all went to the general fund and has been spent. To bad so sad you got shafted by the political class, all of them. Got gold?

January 08 2012 at 12:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I have been receiving calls from a "Card Service" regarding lowering my interest rate. I usually let the answer machine pick up these calls but decided to answer just to "see". When I asked them which card they represented, they hung up on me. Another thing to watch. Don't answer their questions until they answer yours.

January 08 2012 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply



January 06 2012 at 10:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That guy was Marshall McCluhan, by the way.

January 06 2012 at 6:39 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

People WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!! Do you think the president, congress, senate or supreme court run the country"? Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party, left wing, right wing, independent, liberal, moderate and all the other labels are just that, labels. Who REALLY runs the country is plain and simple, the corporations who have the clout and money to effect their will on policies, both domestic and foreign, that make their bottom line. Does the fast food industry give a **** about the obesity and diabetes crisis in the country, or do they want to sell more burgers, pizza, milkshakes and puff up the bottom line. Let's be honest and admit it's all about the bottom line. It creates jobs and multi million dollars bonuses. Last year I needed my gall bladder removed, no complications, in and out in 2 and a half days, kept another day for no reason, all at the bargain price of $35,000. Would have been more, but I rejected an extra test by uttering the magic words in any hospital, "I'm uninsured" presto, no extra test!!!! I'm still trying to figure out how I consumed over $7000 in medication in that short stay. Capitalism is great, when rules aren't bent to the detriment of our society on the whole. As long as it's legal is a shitty mantra. People have shafted people for decades now, and the capitalism of the 30's through the 70's is miles away from he capitalism of modern times. Technology has changed capitalism, and not for the better of America. **** a guy anyway you can used to be called the American way, but what does that say about America. And the media in our wonderful nation, don't even get me started. Whatever you watch or listen to is all about influence, whether it be Fox news or NPR, Rush, Coulter, O'reilly, Maher, Stewart or anyone else. They are all well paid performers to do your thinking for you, and none of them are telling you the whole truth, but the lemmings listen and repeat as if it's the absolute truth. Back in the 70's, controversial philosopher wrote a book titled "The medium is the message". Check it out, and you will see that what he said is more true than ever 40 years later. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!!!

January 06 2012 at 6:36 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to peggedrich's comment

Sadly you are so correct. Fast food and big Pharma have a symbiotic relationship. Very few doctors are trained in nutrition. Treat the ailment don't prevent it. Big bucks being made pushing meds. It is a two headed one party system with a few truthful people that are eventually shut down by the media. The is no objective media. That is really the death of free society. Where are the true journalists looking for the truth?

January 06 2012 at 7:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would love to get4 these scamers and h ang them from theeir testicles!

January 06 2012 at 5:57 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply