7 Tips to Avoid Financial Scams
The Internet is an amazing thing but there come a few drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is the amount of financial scams that are circulating. They are actually getting really tricky to spot. Knowing what to look for and what to avoid is an easy to way to help protect yourself. Here are our 7 Tips to Avoid Financial Scams!
Do Not Share Your Financial or Personal Information
There are many scams that involve an impostor posing as someone they are not, such as an employee of your bank or even a family member. Often they will ask you for personal information like a SS# or a credit card number. Never give your financial information to anyone over the phone who has initiated the call, no matter how legitimate they appear. A big one going around now is calls from the IRS saying you own money. Chances are you don’t. NEVER give any information to those people over the phone or confirm any data that they do have. They may have a little, don’t give them any more!
If you are concerned about the situation. Hang up and call the institution/person directly.
Question Odd Communications
If an old friend or a family member you rarely talk to sends you a second friend request on Facebook or other social media, and then sends you a private message filled with awkward conversation, spelling errors, and a desperate plea for money… think twice. It is wise to question whether they are legitimate. Contact another family member or mutual friend, or call them on the telephone to see if their account might have been hacked.
Put Being Wise ahead of Being Polite
If someone is pressuring you to invest in a quick money-making opportunity, don’t invest just to keep peace. Ask questions, and do your research. It will do more harm to your relationship in the long run if you end up losing your retirement savings because you didn’t want to offend him or her.
Watch Emails with Opportunities & from Companies
Most of us have received these kinds of emails – the ones that tell you they have a relative who died and left them with a huge inheritance. They need someone to both send and deposit money, and in return for your help they will split the proceeds. It cannot be stressed enough that you should never answers these emails. Delete them and move on. They are always scams.
Another problem is people using legitimate companies to try and get logins and other information. Look at the email address itself. A lot of times they will close but not legit. For example – service.paypal.com is not the same as paypal.com. Either way, I never click through emails to log in. If I want to see something I go directly to the site.
Do Not Ever Send Money to Strangers
Many individuals who are trying to scam you out of your money will give you a heart-wrenching story, and ask you to help them get out of trouble. There are also the other kind who appeal to your desire to make quick money, and tell you they will let you in on some of their wealth if you send them some money first to get things rolling.
If someone ever asks you to send money, refuse. There are more than enough scams that are run this way, and you can be assured it is never in your best interest to comply.
Always Heed Your Intuition
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Does your stomach feel a little uneasy about the person on the other end of the phone, or as you are about to send your financial info back to a supposed institution? Don’t ignore this.
Watch Your Credit Report
A good way to make sure you aren’t being hacked is to monitor your credit report. Even just getting your free credit score will help. They will notify you when there are changes like new accounts being opened. If this happens call the credit agency and ask your credit be frozen so they can’t open any more accounts!
Financial scams are all around. At times, all of us are susceptible in one way or another. Fortunately, if you use your head and think twice, you can avoid most of them. Keep these tips in mind, and keep you and your family safe from financial loss.