Do you know what the two most common mistakes are when it comes to getting scammed?
The first is thinking that it’ll never happen to you, that nobody could mislead you to the point of losing your money. It seems like something that happens to other people when they’re not careful or mindful of their surroundings.
Sadly, scammers come up with new ways of stealing your cash on the daily. Whenever protective measures come up, they think of innovative ways around them. So it’s no wonder some people are unaware of these tactics since these deceivers are working around the clock on elaborate plans.
The second thing that allows some people to drop their guard is thinking that they only need to pay $50 as liability for credit card fraud. Bank scams, however, don’t have any sort of protection. You’ll be responsible for any losses and that’s why scammers that target your accounts are particularly vicious and know how to lure you in.
Check Overpayment Scams
This scam is particularly insidious because these scammers aren’t trying to make you buy anything. In this scenario, you’re the seller and you might think you’ve just met your newest buyer or client. Of course, as with any transaction, you should be attentive.
Here’s how it works. The ‘potential buyer’ will ask you to deposit a check with a higher amount than the asking price. Often times they’ll claim it’s an honest mistake, act worried and bank on your empathy. Then they’ll ask to wire back the difference. Of course, the check will turn out to be fake and you’ll be left with a gap in your account.
Not to say that you shouldn’t trust any check coming your way, but you should look at it closely. Stay on the safe side and only accept the correct amount of money, then make sure it’s legitimate. If you’re ever unsure, speak to the bank, they’ll help get to the bottom of your worries.
Scammers are usually known to be the ones selling fake stuff, so by acting like they could be the one with the loss in this interaction they’ll put you in a vulnerable position.
It’s a real shame, but fraudsters could target you by posing as a charity. This is especially prevalent during the holidays when the spirits of giving are overabundant. Naturally, they’ll need your bank details and once you give it to them, you’ll be exposed.
If you decide to donate to charity, pick one that you know you could trust. Strangers on the phone could pretend to be whoever they want to be and they might even claim to be from an organization you want to support. If that’s the case let them know you’ll be using other means of donating and hang up. Check out the official website for the charity instead, in order to avoid being scammed.
Here’s a rule of thumb: if you haven’t entered any contests, you haven’t won anything. Hoping that their victims won’t know much about foreign lotteries, for example, they’ll use those to steal your money. This scam is painfully similar to the check overpayment scam.
You’ll receive a check and then asked to pay for administrative fees or government taxes. Here’s a hint, if you ever do participate and win a lottery, you won’t have to pay anything directly to the government. It’s simply not your responsibility.
Of course, the check will turn out to be fraudulent and you’ll have lost a chunk of your money. The scammers? You’ll never hear from them again.
Online Lending Scams
Those who are in already precarious financial situations are very likely to fall for this scam. If you’ve been turned around by a bank and need to borrow some money immediately, getting an email about such an opportunity could look like your way out of trouble. But you’ll find yourself sinking even faster if you blindly believe any such email that comes your way.
Seeing as it’s a loan, it’ll make sense when prompted to provide information. Before handing anything over, check with the Better Business Bureau. If the supposed company doesn’t have any reviews, stay away!
Scammers will try to lure you by providing some money but will ask for payment as if to establish good faith and a good relationship between client and provider. It’ll be too late before you find out it was all fake, losing money in the process.
Credit Card and Bank Account Scams
Scammers will do just about anything to make you hand over sensitive information. They’re not above impersonating your bank in order to do so. Emails are widely used, usually with a link attached where you’re prompted to fill in your information. Even if the website looks like your bank’s website, avoid giving them anything. Sometimes they might even give you a phone number to contact in case you’ve got any questions and a lot of people fall for this second layer, thinking that if you’ll be put in contact with an actual person, there’s nothing to worry about.
Sometimes they’ll skip emailing you altogether and call you instead. They’ll probably scare you by talking about some security breach or fraudulent activity.
Absolutely do not click on any links and do not call the number provided by such emails or pages. Call the number you have and trust. Better yet, go to your nearest branch to enquire about these attempts to contact you. They’ll be able to put any worries you have to rest so that you’ll stay protected.
Working from home is supposed to be relaxing and fulfilling, up until you bump into a scammer. If a job offer sounds too good to be true, such as if you’re required to do minimal work for a very handsome salary, instead of accepting from the get-go you should investigate the potential employer. Check for ratings online, firs and foremost.
Employers shouldn’t ask you to purchase any expensive specialized equipment, as they’re required to provide this to you instead. You can bet your bottom dollar that the money will go straight to their pockets and you won’t ever see the items. Some of them could request a finder’s fee.
Another tactic is making you pay for information, then claiming you’ll be making back the money in no time, calling it a ‘personal investment’. The bottom line is if they’re asking for anything in advance, walk away.
The best thing for you to do is stay vigilant. Question any email or phone call you receive and protect your money at all costs. If something sounds too good to be true, avoid it. If you feel that someone is too insistent while relying on your empathy, step away and keep your bank account safe.
What types of scams or scammers have you encountered? What tipped you off? Comment down below and you might just help someone else out of a sticky situation.