Scams known as Tag Team Acts

Within the wrestling ring, a tag team is able to make for an entertaining sport –at the very least in several people’s eyes — yet in the field of scams it must turn into a cunning method of conning victims.

Many scams involve an accomplice however a tag team is best described as to where crooks pretend not to ever know one another. Also in some instances, the person may even confer with one individual pretending as being two different people.

The aim is in most cases the very same — to build credibility with regards to a scam by seeming to supply independent confirmation that it’s genuine. And our rule for getting rid of it really is one we always stress — never believe individuals are who they say they claim they are.

So, let’s look at the majority of the most commonly encountered tag team scams.
The Pet Finder Tag Team

This is a simple but clever trick that targets people who have advertised a lost pet.The first caller says they think they've spotted the animal and asks you to describe it; then they say they were mistaken. The second caller, armed with information you gave to the first crook, gives you a detailed description that seems to confirm they've found your pet. Then they use that to try to get money out of you. For instance, they may claim they're some distance away and need you to pay for travel or transportation, ask you to send a reward or just try to bully you into paying a ransom. In most cases, you'll likely be asked to wire the money though, in some cases, a scammer may turn up on your doorstep, describe the animal and claim they know where it is, and ask for cash to go get it. Sometimes, this scam is used for other lost items -- like jewelry and wallets. The format and the outcome is the same. Action: Don't describe a lost pet or item to someone over the phone. Ask them to do the describing. Or, hold something important back -- like the color of the collar -- and specifically ask the caller for that information.

The Shill Player or Passerby

In this tag team scam, one or more accomplices pretend to be innocent people who win money or stumble across you and the other crook and confirm the great deal you are being offered. It can take several formats: * Playing street card games like "three card monte" in which you have to keep track of a named card as it's moved around. The accomplice seems to be repeatedly winning -- or even missing the correct card when you've managed to visually track it. We've written about this before, most recently in our issue covering rest stop scams. Action: Don't get drawn into street card games. Even in a casino, though, never make a judgment on the basis of someone else's winning. * Being offered jewelry, cash or even a shopping bargain, usually on the street or in a parking lot. For example, the first scammer tells you they desperately need to sell a bogus bullion bar or precious stone, and the second scammer who is just "passing by" stops and buys one and then somehow authenticates it. Tag team scammers may also sell what seem to be electronic products out of the back of a van. The accomplice "buys" one first and opens the packaging, thus confirming it's genuine. But victims who buy one -- the items are usually tightly sealed -- later discover their box is loaded with rubbish or inferior products. Action: Don't buy anything from people you encounter in these sorts of locations, no matter how convincing their offer.

* The bogus contractor.

In this scam, the first crook knocks at your front door, perhaps claims to be a new neighbor, and says they spotted a problem on your roof. As they try to point it out to you, the tag team accomplice "passes by" and somehow gets drawn into the conversation. He says he just happens to be a contractor, confirms the "problem" and offers to do the repair for you at a bargain price. He asks for part of the payment, usually a couple hundred dollars, up front and says you can pay him the rest when the job's done. He goes away to get his ladders -- but you never see him again. And, of course, there's nothing wrong with your roof. Action: Always get expert opinion from a registered, reputable contractor before having work done. Check their credentials independently. Read more about contractor scams in these earlier Scambusters issues:

The Official Confirmation Tag Team Scam

Of course, you'd never fall for a lottery or other "big-win" scam would you? How about if someone from the local police department or other "official" source calls to confirm it's genuine? We hope you wouldn't be taken in by that either -- but scores of people are. Victims receive the usual bogus email announcing their winnings. Perhaps it might contain a code number. The announcement may even come by phone. But whatever the source, victims are told that because of recent security concerns, they will receive a confirmation call or message from the police, a well-known "genuine" competition organizer (like Publishers' Clearing House), or even the IRS. The call comes in, maybe even spoofing the number of the supposed organization on your caller ID, requests the code and confirms the "win." Then, of course, they ask for money for taxes or processing fees before they can release your prize. Action: As we've said -- don't believe anyone is who they say they are without absolute proof. And, of course, you're unlikely to win a competition you didn't enter. See also our earlier lottery scam issues: And look out for another upcoming Scambusters issue on the latest lottery tricks. Sadly, that's not the end of the tag team scam story. There are lots more of these evil tricks, like bogus relatives who confirm the person you're "dating" online is genuine, or "friends" who confirm the panhandler who accosted you genuinely needs your money to get home. There's a tag team scam called the "badger game" which involves setting victims up in a compromising situation with someone they just met, then being "discovered" by a supposedly outraged partner who demands a pay-off. You can even encounter crooked tag team partnerships in many online games like Vortex Wars and RuneScape. So watch out for those tricksters who come in pairs! Tag team players aren't just in the wrestling ring. Time to conclude for today -- have a great week! - Please Check Out These Offers - They Keep Scambusters Free - - - - - - We Highly Recommend All of These Products - - - - -

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