Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Scams account for over $35,000 million in losses for both people and businesses. You could be next. To make sure you're not, it's important that you start building scam awareness.
Are you ready to go from wary to confident? All it takes is knowing the signs of a scammer and the right steps to take afterward. If you're ready to be an expert at spotting scams, keep reading for the answers you need to know.
In This Post:
- 1. Do Your Research
- 2. Double Check Your Caller ID
- 3. Stop Clicking Links
- 4. Stay Skeptical
- 5. Clarify Transactions
- 6. Track Your Identity Trail
- 7. Don't Trust Sources At First Look
- 8. Go With Safe Payment
- 9. Never Wire Money
- 10. Don't Trust Exchanges Without Face to Face
- 11. Use Better Passwords
- Boost Your Scam Awareness
1. Do Your Research
Always research the source of any offer. To do this properly, use some key research tactics to prevent fraud:
- Start with all the information at your disposal. Study all the supposed contact information of a scammer
- Next, focus on comparative analysis – check the information you're getting against viable sources
- Do research about offers similar to the one you've run into
Doing ample research gives you a safety net if you've already fallen into a trap. After you've done your research, use someone you trust as a sanity check to make sure everything checks out on both ends.
2. Double Check Your Caller ID
Scammers will sometimes run caller ID spoofs to fool you into answering the phone. They simply use a trunk to access local caller IDs and then look familiar when they give you a ring.
To prevent this from happening, simply check your caller ID regularly. If you don't recognize the number, let it go and do some research on the number presented. Others might have gotten a call from the same scammer.
3. Stop Clicking Links
When a scammer sends you an enticing email, they might attach a link for you to open up. Do not open any links unless you know the source. Opening unknown links might lead you to illegal websites and install viruses onto your computer.
4. Stay Skeptical
Never take offers at face value. Unless you built a reputation with an ongoing source, you have no reason to believe any promises you're hearing. Follow your skepticism with the first point of this article. Research.
In principle, being skeptical of any offers is only to your benefit. You can also ask your trusted assets for advice about the offer you're hearing out.
5. Clarify Transactions
Always double-check receipts, checks, and transaction reports. Besides asking a potential scammer for clarification of transactions, you can even open up your account and compare your real information to their reported flags.
6. Track Your Identity Trail
Companies like Mint can help you keep tabs on your paper trail. If you want to learn how to prevent fraud, you need to start with your financial and legal identity. Ask your self questions like, “are there any changes to my status?”
In short, checking your identity trail allows you to organize your financial history. Having this done keeps scammers from confusing you or keeping hidden penalties away from your credit reports. Also, doing this keeps you from running into unintentional debts.
7. Don't Trust Sources At First Look
Some scammers act as impersonators of trusted sources. For example, you might receive an email from someone claiming they're your colleague or your credit card company. It might seem convincing, that's why it's essential you look behind any potential seller-masks.
The first thing you can do is compare information from the scammer and the company their impersonating. If they claim to work for Dell Computers, check the number or email they're using against the official Dell Computers website.
8. Go With Safe Payment
Look to safe payment options whenever you're buying or renting assets. Here are the most trusted options for safe payments:
- Certain forms of electronic payments including Paypal
- Use payment gateways like net banking, mobile wallets, and debit cards
If you have reservations about the way you pay, refer to payment methods that don't reveal personal information. Sometimes cash is your safest bet if you still aren't sure about the person on the other end.
9. Never Wire Money
As you'll see in the next step, wiring money is usually a giveaway of a fraudulent scam. Untrustworthy renters will often ask you to wire money before seeing the location you're renting. Often times they will claim to be a third party service or live out of state to avoid a face to face.
Furthermore, wiring money might include attaching personal information. If you're asked to wire money, ask the scam-source to prove its identity is real. In the event, you're given good information, it's still suggested you don't wire money in advance.
10. Don't Trust Exchanges Without Face to Face
If you're leasing an apartment or putting down mortgage for a home, never send money until you meet your realtor. The same goes for renting or buying a car.
By taking this route, you avoid fraud scams that steal your money and identity. It's important to remember the path to beneficial ownership of assets. Read more here for more information about healthy ownership.
11. Use Better Passwords
In order to make a strong password you'll need to follow a few baselines:
- Create something memorable but difficult to crack
- Use special characters
- Keep your password above 8 characters if possible
An increase in special symbols and characters raises the magnitude of difficulty in cracking your password. By doing this, you're less likely to get roused by a scam. Moreover, if you do fall for one, you won't have to worry about your data being snatched.
Boost Your Scam Awareness
At the end of the day, you need to feel safe. After following these tips you're already closer to a more secure personal life, thanks to heightened scam awareness.
Are you ready to start shopping without fear of being ripped off? All it takes is finding your personal trusted source.
Your next step is to have a better day. You should start by learning about the great tips that return you to financial health. Don't wait for good deals to pass you buy. Start learning about your better tomorrow!