Awareness is key to avoid scams and fraud


Unfortunately we live in a world where criminals prey on the unsuspecting and trusting nature of most people. People fall victim to frauds and scams every day because the bad characters have become much better at being able to fool us. Our best protection is still be verify and be aware of what potential frauds and scams exist.

Email and phone calls are still a big concern. The basics of this type of scam is that the fraudsters are trying to get your name, data of birth, social security number and any other information like credit card numbers or passwords. They are hoping to steal your identity or even your card information.  Additionally, clicking on links in the email might allow a program to be downloaded so they can steal even more information.

Social media is not free from scams and frauds either. Many of them work the same way as the email phishing where your social media account is taken over or you are asked for information that is personal so that can get your identity. Clicking on links in social media accounts, especially on your phone is very dangerous because you can’t really identify the link or where it’s taking you.

You want to also be aware of buying things online and being asked to wire money or send money orders for payment before receiving the goods. Don’t ever use these methods without first verifying that what you are purchasing actually exists. Many times this scam is successful because the deal being offered is really good.

One of the more common scams today is setting up fake jobs and getting people to pay for training or having them deposit checks and send money back to the company. The company is actually fake and the checks end up bouncing, putting that person’s account in a negative balance situation that they will be responsible for clearing up.

Another common scam is to ask you to handle business deposits for a company so they don’t have to setup a local account and allowing you to keep a percentage of the money and send the rest to them. Unfortunately the checks eventually bounce and you are responsible for the entire amount of the checks that have been deposited.

Remembering a few important points is your best protection. First, your financial institution will never email or call you to get any of your personal information, they will already know that information. Second, look very closely at email and social media links, they are much better than ever. Search for the link on your own instead of clicking on something sent to you unsolicited and be very wary of accepting friends or followers even if you think you know them.

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