Scams are a pretty tricky thing to recognize. In order to make identifying scams a little easier for you, here are some of the major techniques that scammers use to draw in their victims:
- Establishing a connection. This occurs when the scammer builds a relationship with you and gains your trust, usually in a face-to-face situation. This could be in the case of a home improvement scam, investment scam, or even an online romance scam.
- Source credibility. The scammer makes themselves or their business look legitimate, such as a fake website or a hacked email coming a friend's account. A lot of scammers will pretend to be someone else to create an air of credibility, or they will spoof a legitimate company.
- Playing on emotions. Scammers play on their victims emotions in order to provoke a quick, irrational decision that will force you into their trap. One indication of this stage is an emergency situation or a limited time offer.
Now that you can recognize some of scammers major techniques, here are some ways to avoid becoming the victim of a scam.
- Do not let someone pressure you into making a fast decision.
- Research the organization or company before you send them any money.
- Do not provide personal information (such as your address, date of birth, bank information, etc.) to someone you don't know.
- Do not click on links from unsolicited emails or text messages.
- If you receive a call or email claiming to be from your bank, utility company, etc., call the business from the number listed on your bill or the back of your credit card and verify.
- Do not send money via wire transfer or prepaid debit card to someone you don't know personally.
- Do not send money for an emergency situation unless you know the person and can verify the emergency.
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