REAL-TIME QUOTES


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Quiz: How scamproof are you?

Quiz: How scamproof are you?

A fool isn't the only one to be parted from his money. Even the most levelheaded among us can be scammed. How likely are you to fall for a con artist's line? Check out the situations below and see how you rate.

  1. You answer the phone during dinner to discover that you -- lucky you! -- have been selected to win an all-expense-paid trip to sunny Mexico. All you have to do is furnish your credit card number to hold your reservations and cover the incidental taxes and fees. You:

    Give them the credit card number and start dreaming of siestas.
    Hang up -- and next time let the machine catch the phone on Spam night.
  2. A month after your wedding, you get a notice in the mail reminding you that a new bride needs to notify the Social Security Administration of a name change. The good news is that, for a nominal $15 fee, someone else will fight that bureaucratic battle for you. Just fill out a form with the new name, place of birth, Social Security number and a check and you have one less thing to worry about. You:

    Fill out the form, make out a check and be glad someone is willing to help. (Wasn't writing 150 thank-you notes punishment enough?)
    Chuck it into the circular file, and call the Social Security office yourself.
  3. You receive e-mail from a distant cousin's roommate's friend in Nigeria -- and has he got a deal for you. Due to the recent change in government, $25 million that was supposed to go into the pockets of crooked politicians is, instead, sitting unclaimed. He wants to move the loot out of the country and needs your help -- for which he's willing to pay you a 5 percent commission. You:

    Get a good laugh over this -- especially since you know nothing about Nigeria, foreign politics or money transfers.
    Realize that you could be in some hot water if the Nigerian officials find out -- but $1.25 million would really get the bill collectors off your back.
  4. During an especially nasty bout of insomnia, you see an ad for some portable stick-up lights you've been meaning to buy. And -- except for a $6.95 postage and handling fee (which they'll conveniently charge to your credit card) -- they're free. You:

    Copy down the 800-number. This must be fate!
    Heat up a glass of milk and hope the drink and the Jerry Springer marathon will finally bring on the zzzz's.

-- Posted: Feb. 20, 2002

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