How To Avoid Being Scammed through the telephone, door-to-door sales and social media.
You will often be approached by people who seem to have good intentions, whether they appear at your front door, call you on the phone or contact you through social media platforms. Perhaps they have something to sell or are trying to get your information so they can contact you again. It can be hard to distinguish genuine salespeople from the ones trying to scam you because they are very good actors. They may also have doctored documents, photographs or business cards, not to mention ID’s or licenses, to appear like the real thing.
What Can You Do When Someone Asks For Your Personal Bank Information?
Say no. This person could be claiming to be a banker, lawyer, tradesman, IT technician or other, but you should never give your bank information to a stranger. Anyone, you have a contract or agreement with already has this information in a secure database, and should not ask you for it again, over the phone or at your front door. If they do, this most likely is a scam. When in doubt, call the company directly from your phone. Another thing to protect is your social security number, which you will use for life. Giving it out to a stranger gives them the ability to do harmful things in your name, such as taking out loans or committing a crime.
What To Do If You Receive A Check For More Than The Agreed-Price?
Perhaps you have sold some valuables online or at an auction. There is a very sneaky scam out there where fraudsters will create fake checks, with a value much higher than the price you have agreed on. They will tell you to make a bank transfer or a cash return of the extra money, leave and then you will discover that the check isn’t real. So if anyone ever gives you a check with an inappropriately high amount, run!
What To Do If You Win A Prize And Then Asked For Delivery Costs or A Processing Fee?
Requesting payment for a competition prize is illegal. Even taxes should only be paid to your government and not to the contest host. Prizes are entirely FREE. Another point to remember is that you can’t win something you didn’t voluntarily enter. If someone calls you to tell you that you have won, they are probably lying in an attempt to get your credit card or other personal information from you.
What To Do When You Receive An Unexpected Link on Social Media?
This is called a ‘phishing request’ where you are tricked into clicking on a link, often claiming to have a funny photograph of you or something similarly intriguing. When you click on the link, you will be required to log-in to your social media account ”again”, but you are giving the ‘phisher’ your information. They now have control over your account. These ‘phishing’ links can come from friends and family, whose accounts may have been HACKED. If in doubt, don’t click and talk to your friend. Ask them about the link. Chances are they won’t have a clue.
It can be intimidating to know how many con artists and scammers are out there, but by taking some basic precautions, you have no reason to be afraid, the power is in your hands. You decide who can receive your personal information and scammers can’t hurt you without it.