Preventing Scams

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There are fraudsters targeting people by emails, phone calls, texts, and more. The pandemic has left people confined to their homes, and they are spending more time online. Scammers find information about people before they make contact with them. There are different types of scams used to draw people in. There are plenty of ways by which people can protect themselves from these scams. Given below are different types of scams and what to do to avoid being cheated by a fraudster.

Important-sounding government agency calls – Each type of scam has a warning sign. Calls from the IRS or other government agencies, where people are told that they owe money in taxes or fines, are becoming increasingly common. The scammers claim that failure to pay such fines and taxes may even result in arrest. The caller may have access to bank account data which makes them seem credible. They often give directions on the payment method.  However, government officials or agencies will never call people to inform them about debts or threaten them with arrest. They instead notify people by mail. The best way to deal with scam phone calls is to hang up.

Attractive deals Online purchase scams are the riskiest scam type. If an online deal seems too good to be true, it is better to do some research. There are ads on social media platforms for every type of product, but an increasing number of shoppers do not get what they are paying for. Either the product does not arrive, or when it does, it is very different from what had been ordered. To spot whether a transaction like this could be a scam, it is important to check whether an address, phone number, or refund policy has been listed. An effective method is to visit the websites of retailers directly instead of clicking on links in online ads. Using credit cards to make payments online is the best way to pay since credit cards offer the best protection.

Job postings – Strangers may contact people about job openings via emails or texts. They may ask for account numbers. The hiring, in such cases, takes place very fast, and the new employer might ask for thousands of dollars for training. Often, the employer might ask for some money back after sending the first paycheck, stating that the employee has been overpaid. After that money is returned, the paycheck bounces. Employers never ask for payment for training. They do not ask for refunds either. If personal data has been shared, account passwords should be changed at once.

Given below are ways to prevent scams.

Online scams – Legitimate antivirus software should be installed and kept up to date. Links or attachments in unsolicited emails should be treated with caution. They may put the security of devices in jeopardy. Moving the mouse over a link in an email displays the entire URL, which can help gauge if it links to a scam.

Do not respond – If a sender or caller is not known, it is better to ignore texts and calls. Phone calls from unknown numbers should be allowed to go to voicemail. Personal and financial information should never be given to any stranger.

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