Scams are everywhere these days, and as technology improves and changes, so do the tactics of criminals who are out to take your money. The good news is that there are ways you can avoid money scams.
Here are 6 ways you can prevent yourself from becoming the next victim of a money scam.
Pay Attention When Shopping Online
The holidays are coming up, which means an increase in internet traffic for those who make purchases using the internet to whittle down their gift lists. As you shop, if you need to enter information on a computer, use caution and check to see of the URL of the page you are on starts with “https.” This means the site is secure using an SSL Certificate. Companies must go through a validation process to get this certificate, and the “s” in “https” stands for “secure.” If no “s” is present, the site could be a scam.
If you don’t recognize an email address or sender, don’t click on any links or open messages. Watch out for subject lines that include promises like “free vacation” or “you’ve won!”. These suspicious emails are often a criminal’s way of phishing for your information so they can get your credit card and banking information and steal your money. Also, never use your computer, tablet, or phone to text or email financial data to anyone.
Beware of “Free” Offers
A “company” may call with the enticement of a free vacation or prize if you pay up front for the shipping, taxes, or “associated fees” to receive it. Don’t fall for this scam. They will take your money and run. Ask for these offers in writing if you receive them by phone.
Watch Out for Charities
It’s a sad fact that criminals will even pray on those of us who are trying to help the needy by donating to a charity organization. If you get a request for a donation, ask for it in writing to ensure it is valid, or make sure it’s a charity you are familiar with. This is one of the reasons why I’m more likely to donate to a local charity or organization.
Don’t Fall for a “Scam” Scam
Protect your personal and financial information by not giving it out to those who ask for it unless they really need to know. For example, most credible credit card companies won’t call and ask for your account number because they should already have it. A scammer might pretend to be your bank or credit card company by calling and telling you about a scam that’s going on. Then while you are panicking about the safety of your information, they’ll ask you to confirm your account number.
If you are suspicious of a request for you information, you have every right to ask them to verify their information first for your security, such as the requestor’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address, mailing address, and business license number. Always ask for their information before you tell them any of yours. In addition, take your time when making decisions and ask for a number to call them back. If they won’t provide this information, you are probably talking to a scam artist. If their request for your information is legitimate, however, they will understand your hesitation.
Put a Stop to Unsolicited Calls
You can put a stop to all unsolicited calls by signing up on the national do not call registry. If you receive calls 31 days after signing up, you can file a complaint against these companies. But beware of those who call you claiming to represent this registry. This is most likely another scam to gain access to your information or your identity.
It’s unfortunate that we have to be so cautious every moment because criminals are everywhere and they are trying to take your money by scamming you. But you can prevent yourself from becoming the target of a scam using these methods to avoid money scams.
Can you think of some other ways to avoid money scams?