The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Beware of the Financial Predators

As a professional librarian practicing in southwest Missouri libraries for more than three decades, I've seen many changes, major and minor.  One depressing and disappointing constant, however, has been the voraciousness of scamsters.  While the "packaging" of the scam may change to suit the current situation, the basic psychology and techniques of exploitation play over and over again.  Although both the victimizer and the victimized bear varying degrees of responsibility, the seemingly endless supply of predators is disheartening.

The Better Business Bureau tracks recent scam trends.  Phony payday loan debt collectors are prevalent at the moment, as are the traveling home improvement operations, a perennial blight that has been dubbed "rent-a-creep."  An assortment of credit-related schemes is out there; "lower your credit card interest rate" and "fix your credit" are come-on features.

The Federal Trade Commission also labors long and hard to track and thwart the swindles. Among the most targeted sectors currently:  job placement and home foreclosure rescue.  On the green scene, the FTC has reached a settlement with a company that was claiming that its rayon products were "100% bamboo fibers"!  And the maliciously mercenary quickly found Cash for Clunkers opportunities.

Internet ScamBusters currently is tracking nearly 350 ingeniously assorted scams!  Subscribe to their weekly updates to stay current.  Their prevention and reporting resources lead to the most objective, current information.

Find this article at