During desperate times, desperate people do desperate things! The recession and current state of our economy, has seen a resurgence of many past schemes and the creation of new, savvier scams. Sadly, it is also revealing how so many people, especially those experiencing financial duress, are becoming prime targets by scammers and swindlers appearing to come to their rescue and solve their desperate dilemmas. We also find perpetrators preying on those suffering from loneliness, searching for love and companionship, those with extremely low self-esteem or needy for something that is absent from their lives. Victims tend to grasp a hold of any indication of possible hope, even if is risky.

Too often we are reading or hearing reports about people preying on people who don't "know" and those they suspect won't bother to investigate before leaping. Unknowing leads to vulnerability, slavery, bondage and strongholds. The predators preying on the weak, uneducated, feeble and hungry, will eat you alive if you don't have a good defense of "knowledge." If someone tries to pressure you into making a hasty decision that your gut feeling is telling you to wait, then by all means say "no" before leaping into a situation you may regret later. It's a warning from your spirit. Many use fear tactics to confuse and fog your thinking. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Con-artists also take advantage of people during natural disasters. They make their mission look absolutely legitimate and wind up ripping off honest, hard working people who are already victims. These scammers make it difficult for us to trust and patronize those businesses rooted in genuine goodwill that are operating legally and legitimately.

Victimization isn't always caused by lawbreakers. Consumer debt is extremely high and the main culprits are credit cards. The fine print listed in the contracts of many legitimate businesses (ie. Credit card companies) may contain complex jargon that we usually don't bother to read, because the information is incomprehensible and in a font size requiring the use of a magnifying glass! Now, many consumers are literally drowning in a sea of debt due to exorbitant fees and outrageous interest rate hikes. Does it seem fair? No. Is it legal? Yes it is. This is ultimately having an effect on people's physical health, mental stress and stability, marriage, family, jobs and any type of meaningful relationship you may have.

Here are a few of the scams floating in cyberspace and through any other available source of communications it can infiltrate:

• ID Theft: Beware of services that offer to correct problems requiring you to give up too much personal information that could jeopardize your identity.
• Targeting senior citizens
• Lottery Scams
• Chain letters and pyramid scams: Beware of get rich quick schemes. Although many people feel that they could spot these scams a mile away, many are becoming quite sophisticated and are not so obviously detected.
• Job employment scams (Investigate some of those work-from-home opportunities that guarantee to pay you thousands of dollars without any experience).
• Internet scams
• Banking scams (online and offline)
• Money laundering cover-ups
• Mobile phone scams
• Investment scams
• Healthcare/Pharmaceutical scams
Charity Scams
Dating Scams

Here are 7 key things you should "know" about consumer protection during desperate times:

1. Take time to research. Check with the Better Business Bureau if needed or other consumer advocacy groups. Many suspected criminal practices continue to operate because a complaint has not been filed by previous victims. You don't always need an attorney to do this.

2. Exercise your rights to file a complaint with your state's Attorney General. If you go to your Attorney General's website, you will find some great information on protecting yourself from consumer fraud, consumer protection and victim's services.

3. Avoid tactics trying to pressure you into making a hurried financial decision convincing you to think, "It's now or never!"

4. Do not give out personal information, social security numbers, credit card or checking account information, unless you are setting up payment arrangements with a legitimate creditor that you are dealing with.

5. Never, ever give out your passwords or personal identification numbers to anyone calling or emailing you to verify it, because your records have been compromised. They are the ones getting ready to compromise your records as soon as they get the information they need from you.

6. Get a free annual copy of your credit report.

7. Check your bank and credit card statements frequently.

People are trying to make big bucks, however they can and whenever they can. Now more than ever, we have to be aware that the floodgates of scammers and swindlers is wide open. We probably cannot wipe out all of these cells, but we can certainly make a dent in their global operations. Fallibility is not an option when you are trying to avoid victimization. You can't always prevent becoming a victim of some type, but for those things and situations that invoke a sense of anxiousness in your gut, use some good ole common sense and walk away from it. You'll be happy that you did.

Author's Bio: 

Kym Gordon Moore is a Creative Marketing Strategist and Public Relations Administrator for Moore 2 It Productions, a firm dedicated to coordinating creative marketing packages for new businesses and new authors: moore2itproductions.com.

She is a member of the American Marketing Association, American Authors Association, North Carolina Writer's Network, and authored hundreds of articles, essays, poems, won awards for several writing competitions and completed works on her soon to be released book, "Diversities of Gifts: Same Spirit". kymgmoore.com