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Most scams that are victimizing people are just new twists on the old tried and true methods crooks have been using for years. The common denominator most of them have now is the use of Western Union, MoneyGram or Green Dot to send them money. These payment methods, while above the board, are often used by criminals because of the anonymity offered.
Better Business Bureau Investigator Don O’Brien says the message should be clear: never send money to someone you don't know or somebody you recently met online, regardless of the reason they give you.
Click here for O'Brien's comments
Scammers often choose gift cards, reloadable cards, transfers, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and even payment-in-kind because they are difficult to trace and easier to deal with online than cash. Some online scammers still rely on credit cards for payment as consumers have become comfortable using them for online purchases. The good news for consumers is that many credit card companies offer protection for fraudulent transactions.