Several types of scams emerge throughout the year but if you remember a few simple tips, it could help you avoid scams all year long.
Here are some tips for a scam-free 2019:
- Only answer the phone if you know who is calling. Many phone scams are very convincing but you can’t fall for them if you don’t pick up the phone. Scammers pretend to be grandchildren in despair or even an aggressive bill collector claiming to be from your utility company.
- Always question why you are asked to provide personal information. From a fun online quiz to making an online purchase, consumers frequently provide their personal information without thinking twice. Always question if a site really needs your contact information, or Social Security number. Also make sure a site is secure (https) before entering any information.
- Beware of sending payments via wire transfer or prepaid gift cards. Scammers often demand their victims pay via prepaid gift cards or wire transfers since these are the quickest and most untraceable ways to send money. No legitimate business will demand you pay via these methods only. Paying by credit card is always the best option since it has more buyer security and you are able to dispute charges.
- Don’t click, download or open anything that comes from an anonymous sender or a sender you don’t know. Scammers try to cast a wide net by including little or no specific information in their fake emails. Always be wary of unsolicited messages that don’t contain your name or other personal information but encourage you to download attachments or click on links. This is likely an attempt to gain access to your personal information or install malware on your computer.
- Always research a company before you do business with it. Doing research doesn’t have to be a long process. Do a quick search on BBB.org or Google to see if a company is trustworthy or not. You can learn a lot from other consumers’ online reviews. Always use third-party sites to find reviews. You can’t always trust reviews you see on a company’s website. They may be fabricated if the company is a scam.