You get a phone call from a "relative" claiming to be in a really bad pinch. They are overseas, they say, and someone has taken their wallet and passport. They are stranded, they say, without any money or a way to get home. It sounds like a horrible situation, right?
But you can help, they say, by wiring money to them in the country they are in. This amount of money, often in the low thousands -- $1,500 or $2,000 -- will allow them to file paperwork with the U.S. Embassy or consular services and get them on the right track to come home from this bad experience. There is no worse feeling than being stranded, and you want to help your loved one.
However, these calls are often thinly-veiled scams, and they can prey on our best intentions.
If you think you are being scammed by a fake relative, check out these resources here, and remember, check, double-check, and verify, whenever someone asks you for money.
Remember: scammers prey on your emotions, and if you don't take the time to verify someone's request, you could be just another victim.