Little Black Book of Scams

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Every year, Americans lose millions of dollars to the activities of scammers who bombard us with online, mail, door-to-door and telephone scams.

Picture - Computer stealing from a person


We are pleased to bring you the Oklahoma edition of The Little Black Book of Scams. We hope this book will increase your awareness of the vast array of scams that target Americans and share with you some easy steps you can take to protect yourself.

Scammers do not Discriminate

Scammers target people of all backgrounds, ages, and income levels. Fake lotteries, Internet frauds, get-rich-quick schemes and miracle health cures are some of the favored means of separating the unwary from their hard-earned money. New varieties of these scams appear all the time.

The Internal Revenue Service has seen the devastating effects scams can have on people and their families. One of the best ways to combat this kind of fraud is to take measures to prevent yourself from being caught in the first place.

Protect Yourself

If you want to stay on top of scams, inform yourself on how to recognize the various types of scams and protect your personal information by visiting law enforcement organizations’ websites, the or other reputable organizations.

Myth Busters

Busting these common myths will minimize your chances of being scammed.

  • All companies, businesses and organizations are legitimate because they are licensed and monitored by the government: This is not always true. While there are rules about setting up and running a business or a company, scammers can easily pretend they have approval when they don’t. Even businesses that are licensed could still try to scam you by acting dishonestly.
  • All Internet websites are legitimate: This is not always true. Websites are quite easy and cheap to set up. The scammers can easily copy an actual website and trick you into believing theirs is legitimate.
  • There are short cuts to wealth that only a few people know: This is not always true. Ask yourself the question: if someone knew a secret to instant wealth, why would they be telling their secret to others?        
  • Scams involve large amounts of money: This is not always true. Sometimes scammers target a large number of people and try to get a small amount of money from each person.    
  • Scams are always about money: This is not always true. Some scams are aimed at stealing personal information from you.

Golden Rules

Remember these golden rules to help you beat scammers

  • Always get advice from a third party if an offer involves money, personal information, time or commitment.
  • There are no guaranteed get-rich-quick schemes—sometimes the only people who make money are the scammers.
  • Do not agree to offers or deals right away. If you think you have spotted a great opportunity, insist on time to get independent advice from a third party source before making a decision.
  • Do not hand over money or personal information, or sign anything until you have done your homework and checked the credentials of the company that you are dealing with.
  • Do not rely on glowing testimonials: find solid evidence of a company’s success.
  • Log directly on to a website that you are interested in rather than clicking on links provided in an email.
  • Never send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.
  • If you spot a scam or have been scammed, get help. Contact your local police for assistance. See page 34 for contact information.
  • Scammers are imaginative and manipulative. They know how to push your buttons to produce the response they want. 
Last Review and Update: Jul 10, 2023
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