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Avoiding scams, frauds and other financial theft

There is an old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  When it comes to avoid scams fraud and other financial theft this is certainly very true.  Following a few simple precautions and not letting your guard down are the keys to successfully avoiding frauds and other financial theft.
What are some of the common scams to avoid?
Two of the most common are those related to high yielding investment opportunities and the other is cashing a large check and being allows to keep 20 or 30% of the check just for “helping them out.” Both usually are structured to be believable yet highly beneficial to you.
How do you protect yourself from investment scams?
Research every investment opportunity and talk to a reputable source.  You should never invest in something you don’t understand or can’t research.  Most importantly, perform due diligence with attorney general’s office, Better Business Bureau and other online scam notification sites. If you can’t find any information on the investment and there are complaints registered, you have a good indication that the investment might not be all that it seems.
Are there scams when buying online?
Yes unfortunately many of the online marketplaces have scammers trolling for unsuspecting buyers. The usual scam is to require an upfront payment of cash or money orders.  They problem is they don’t deliver the product and take your initial payment and you can’t find them.
What about protecting your financial accounts?
The first step is to use more sophisticated passwords and then don’t write those passwords down and finally, use different passwords for each online service.  Passwords should be at least 8 characters in length and contain numbers, letters (upper and lower case) and symbols.  Always avoid using simple passwords.
Are there other steps to take since we live in a mobile world?
You also need to be sure you are always using a secure WIFI or secure network when logging into your accounts.  Don’t use public WIFI when performing sensitive transactions because identity thieves like to scan public WIFI networks looking for passwords, social security numbers and account numbers.
Besides have a strong password and using a secure network, are there other precautions to take?
Yes, don’t ever enter personal information if the request was generated via an email asking for an update or the opportunity to get something free.  Fraudsters are very good at making emails look official and designing official looking web pages.
What is the best method to avoid being scammed?
Verify everything and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. Fraudsters and scam artists don’t look like criminals and have very credible stories and mannerisms. Everyone can be fooled if we let our guard down even for a few minutes.

Posted: 8/4/2016 with 0 comments

Categories: Identity Theft, Money Matters, Security

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