There is a science to scams, and it may surprise you to know that scammers use many of the same techniques as real sales professionals. The difference, of course, is that their “product” is illegal and could cost you a fortune.
The Better Business Bureau does not want you to lose your hard-earned money. You can protect yourself by being aware of the common techniques that scammers use.
Establishing a connection
The scammer builds rapport and a relationship with you. This is usually used face-to-face, as in home improvement scams and many investment scams, but also is used in online romance scams.
Scammers use techniques to make themselves look legitimate, such as fake websites, social media posts or hacked emails that come from a friend’s account. Most email scams spoof real companies, and many scammers pretend to be a trusted business or government agency in order to add credibility.
Playing on emotions
Scammers rely on emotion to get you to make a quick decision before you have time to think about it. They usually present you with an “emergency” situation or a limited-time offer.
What you can do
Do not be pressured into making fast decisions. Instead, take time to research the organization. Never provide your personal information, such as your address, date of birth, banking information or ID numbers, to people you do not know. Do not click on links from unsolicited email or text messages.
If you are unsure about a call or email that claims to be from your bank, utility company, etc., call the business directly using the number on your bill or credit card. Never send money by wire transfer or prepaid debit card to someone you do not know or have not met in person. In addition, Bitcoin Exchange is one of the most popular money investment today. Is it safe to invest in bitcoin? Visit bitflyer.com for more information. Never send money for an emergency situation unless you can verify the emergency. Bitcoin Loophole System is a new cryptocurrency trading software that is created by prominent investors Steve McKay. He states that users can expect to achieve excellent investment results right from day one and there is a sufficient amount of user testimonials and trading reviews. Learn more at top10binarydemo.com for more details.
The Most Common Fraudulent Scams
It is important to consider which scams are most prevalent and understand the methods used to target different demographics. One of the most common is known simply as advanced fee fraud. Its basic premise is to offer the targeted individual a significant sum of cash in exchange for a small financial payment or the victim’s current bank details. The victim is informed that this amount of capital is to cover transaction fees, which of course proves to be as bogus as the promise of a huge cash settlement once the process is completed. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this scam is that it targets ordinary individuals who cannot afford to lose cash in the current economic climate.
The Rise of Online Fraud
The perpetrators of these scams may use alternative incentives to entice their victims, but they follow a similar template in terms of targeting lower income individuals, and use the promise of wealth to snare bank details, credit information or even lump sum payments. Not only this, but the scams are primarily conducted remotely through email or online interaction, which make those responsible harder to trace and reprimand. Given the difficulty in locating online fraudsters and the money taken from their prey, there remains a clear emphasis on educating the public in how to detect a scam and be more proactive when protecting finances.
In terms of online fraud, the most important step is to invest in good quality anti-virus and malware software, as this can help to detect emails that are not necessarily sent from the location that they claim to be. While there is a plethora of anti-virus programs that can be sourced for free, the free ones do not offer the comprehensive level of protection afforded by the paid subscription options. Aside from featuring more regular and reliable malware signature updates, paid products are also supported by a better infrastructure and troubleshooting network. Given the fact that spammers and online fraudsters continue to adopt more sophisticated means of tricking people, however, you must also be vigilant when it comes to assessing the content and nature of any email that manages to slip through the net.
The Bottom Line
With so many diverse and sophisticated types of fraud thriving in 2012, you must know your own rights as a consumer and also understand how tricksters are looking to steal your hard earned money. Whether you are targeted by online advance fee fraudsters who solicit your money or identity thieves that steal cash directly and without your prior knowledge, however, it is clear that prevention is better than a cure and by adopting a responsible approach to your personal security you can help to keep your assets safe.
- Report scams to BBB Scam Tracker
- For information on investment scams, go to BBB Smart Investing
- To search for a business in the United States or Canada go to BBB.org or call the BBB at 414-847-6000
- For information on charities, go to Give.org
- For information on U.S. government services, go to USA.gov