How to Avoid a Scam Worth $1 Trillion

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by DANNY RUBIN

Would you like $1 trillion? Well, why didn’t you say so!

Let’s just call Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and ask him to create a coin worth a trillion freaking dollars and ta-da! It’s yours.

That’s an actual solution being discussed on Capitol Hill right now to solve our debt crisis. Rather than raise the debt ceiling in February, some people want Geithner to create trillion-dollar coins and use them to pay off our $16 trillion in debtThe Washington Post called the idea ‘idiotic’ because it may cause inflation and would show the world that the US isn’t a safe, secure place to invest its money.

how to avoid a scam

One way to solve our debt crisis: have Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (above) create trillion-dollar coins and use them to pay off all the money we owe. Great idea, right? Hardly.

With 16 uber-expensive coins, Geithner wouldn’t actually ‘eliminate’ our debt. Instead, he’d be playing a trick on the economy. It would be like wearing one of those waist slimmer products. Even though you can’t see the problem, you know it’s still there.

That’s the danger with fishy deals: they look so great from the outside, but upon closer inspection, they’re nothing but trouble.

To that end, here are…

4 More Scams to Avoid in 2013

1. Facebook Fan Pages

Inside Facebook reports on a new phishing scam that targets Facebook fan pages.

‘The message tells admins that their page is in violation of terms of service and threatens to permanently suspend the user’s account. Then it offers users the option to “verify” their account if they believe the situation is a mistake. Users are taken to a link where they are asked to provide their page name, email address or phone number, and password.’

The message looks like this:

how to avoid scams

2. Fake Sudoku Generator

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says there’s some nasty malware going around in the form of free Sudoku games.

‘You receive a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that promises to automatically generate Sudoku puzzles. However, when you open the file and try to create a new puzzle, you get a message that you need to “enable macros” by disabling the software’s security setting.

If you do so, you will allow the malware to run on your computer. It will scan your system and send an email with details about your machine, according to computer security blog Naked Security.’

 

3. Tech Support Scam

 This fall, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a crackdown on computer con artists.

‘…A caller fools a consumer into believing Microsoft or a computer security company has discovered that a PC is infected with harmful software. The caller then offers to fix the computer on the spot for a price. The target would sometimes let the ostensible tech support company gain remote access to his computer, allowing the company to download software to it.’

 

4. Giving to the Newtown Victims

The BBB also has a ten-point checklist to ensure the charity is legit.

Among them: state government registration, financial transparency, and how will the donations be used?

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Of course, all of these warnings about scams could be scams themselves. You’ll just have to believe the advice on News To Live By is worth it.

A trillion-dollar coin? That’s another story.

What can you even do with a trillion dollars, anyway? What would you spend it on?

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© 2013, Danny Rubin

 © 2013, Danny Rubin

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