With so many scams going on, you are probably wondering how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from becoming a victim from one. Scammers can be very tricky and they will many times use the emotional tactic of fear to get you to act right away; they are able to make anywhere from thousands to billions off of scams. Here are some ways that can help protect you and your loved ones from scams.
1.) Don’t panic or act immediately:
This is exactly what the scammers want form you. They will often times give a story where they make you feel pressured to act right away, such as telling you that you owe the IRS money and they will send you to jail if you don’t pay right away. Do not act right away and stop and think for a moment. Scammers do not want you to stop and analyze because then at that point you would be able to find the holes in their story and realize it is a scam. For example, why would a friend trapped in another country who had everything stolen from them, be sending you an email to wire them money or send to a bank account in the other country?
2.) Do not send money to bank accounts or through prepaid credit cards:
Legitimate banks, businesses, etc. will have no issue taking a credit card from you and credit cards will have better ways to track theft, so you are more likely to get your full money back. However, if you wire money through Western Union or other wire resources, send money orders, or prepaid credit cards you are almost never guaranteed to receive your money back, as they are not as easily traced. No legitimate business, financial institution, IRS, etc. would also ever require you to pay with any of those methods or sending to a bank account.
3.) Do some research:
Whether you received a call, email, or letter from the IRS or financial institution, have had a charity call to look for donations, or a business asking you to send them money through their website, it is best to wait and do some research before sending money. You will be able to find if a website is a scam or if the “friend” or “family-member” asking you to wire money to them in a strange country after they have been mugged is true or not by calling the friend or someone they know. Before panicking and immediately sending the money, take some time to think about or further look into the matter to make sure it is something that is legitimate.
4.) If it sounds to good to be true, it usually is:
Many are scammed with the promise of receiving or winning large cash prizes, luxury items, earn high returns on investments, or enter into an investment with having to pay off current investors. These are all scams that entice people to want to earn more money in an easy way; do not fall victim to any of those promises. Remember to stop and think about what the person is saying and if it sounds like it is too good to be true, than it almost always is.
5.) Do not stay quiet
If you have been a victim to any of the many scams out there, it is nothing to be embarrassed about and you are not foolish for falling for the scam. Many of the scammers are very good at what they do and even the most intelligent beings are easily able to fall for the scams. The worst thing you can do as a victim is stay quiet. In coming forward and giving information on the scam, you will be able to help others from falling victim to the same scam and if many catch on then the scammer may give up. Though most often they will just resort to starting another scam. But the more people who come forward giving information on these scams, the more others will catch on, and there will be less victims in the scam industry. Sometimes you coming forward and giving information may even lead to the arrest of the scammer.
With so many scams going on today, many of us can no longer tell what could be a scam or what is legitimate. The best advice is to be remain aware and updated on the latest scams being reported. Below is a link to usa.gov’s page about the most common frauds and scams and how you can further protect yourself from becoming the next victim. https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds