If it sounds too good to be true, it's probably not legitimate. You should protect yourself and if your have a senior parent new to the internet you should guide them as well.
Theres a whole class of sneaky behavior thats designed to move money from one pocket to another under false pretenses. These con games are often just greedy and dishonest, but can sometimes be clever and creative as well. Capitalism, with its perpetual shell-game of paper money, plastic credit and the like, has been susceptible to con artists from the beginning.
Be very wary of 'work-at-home' offers, especially those with any foreign connection. Anytime you receive a check or money order and someone wants money wired back, figure its a scam.
Beware of "governement grants" where you are ask for a processing fee and then your checking account information so they can process your check. Give it to them and guess what, your bank account is history. Besides, the government does not get on the phone and call you with grant information.
Be sure to protect the seniors in your life. The Social Security Administration has received several reports of an email message being circulated with the subject "Cost-of-Living for 2007 update" and purporting to be from the Social Security Administration. Once directed to the phony website, the individual is asked to register for a password and to confirm their identity by providing personal information such as the individuals Social Security number, bank account information and credit card information.
Seniors and people with disabilities should be aware of a scheme that asks Medicare beneficiaries for money and checking account information to help them enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. NO Medicare drug plan can ask a person with Medicare for bank account or other personal information over the telephone.
Have you submitted your e-mail address to a "National Do Not E-mail Registry" that promises to reduce the amount of spam (unsolicited e-mail) you receive? If so, you are the victim of a scam, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The web site at "unsub.us" mimics the language, look, and navigation of the Web site for the National Do Not Call Registry, a legitimate free service of the federal government. The "unsub.us" site is not run or authorized by the FTC and is concerned that the "unsub.us" site could be part of a high-tech scam that uses a deceptive Web site to trick consumers into disclosing their e-mail address or other sensitive personal information.
Every year, several hundred thousand students and parents are defrauded by scholarship scams. The victims of these scams lose more than $100 million annually. Scam operations often imitate legitimate government agencies, grant-giving foundations, education lenders and scholarship matching services, using official-sounding names containing words like "National," "Federal," "Foundation," or "Administration."
In general, be wary of scholarships with an application fee, scholarship matching services who guarantee success, advance-fee loan scams and sales pitches disguised as financial aid "seminars". And forget about the prime bank frauds, exotic foreign currency scams, offshore investment frauds, tax scams, and Pure Trust structures.