5 scary paths that lead to damaging debt

Horrifying money moves
Horrifying money moves © littleny/

Forget the ghosts and goblins at your door this Halloween or even the things that go bump in the night. What's truly horrifying is what can happen to your hard-earned money if you are not vigilant.

"Scary financial things can happen if you are not careful and aware," says Leslie Tayne of Tayne Law Group, a debt management and resolution law firm based in New York. Tayne says she is all too familiar with financial scenarios that leave individuals and families strapped for money or even penniless.

The top horror shows? Tayne identifies several: identity theft and hackers, co-signing gone wrong, scams and more.

Let's peer into these terrors one at a time.

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Are you a trusting soul who wants to help others in need? You may be an easy target for con artists.

Scams run the gamut from phony charities to online thievery. When you get a call for a donation to help dying children go to a theme park or some other heart-wrenching cause, don't agree right away to donate money. First do some research to determine if the organization is legitimate.

Also, be aware that if you click on links in your emails or on tainted websites, you might be downloading keystroke-logging malware that steals your personal information off your electronic devices. The identity thief can use this information to empty your accounts or get credit in your name.

Another popular scam targets recent divorcees or widows. A charming stranger appears out of nowhere to help you overcome grief and solve your financial concerns. But then this person runs into his own financial problems, and suddenly you feel obligated to help. Don't do it.



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