Don’t Become a Victim of a Scam

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Don’t Become a Victim of a Scam

The simple definition of scam is a dishonest scheme, a fraud. A scam is a deceptive trick used to cheat someone out of something, especially money. Scams may come through phone calls either real people or robocalls, text messages or on the internet. The scammers will make false promises such as selling a product at a really good (cheap) price, offer investment opportunities, or free trial products. Sometimes, they will promise you money through free grants, prizes, and lotteries. Another popular scam is the scammer poses to be with the IRS advising you that you owe taxes, and a warrant has been issued for your arrest. Each year millions of elderly Americans fall victim to some type of scam. But it is not just the elderly who fall victim to these scams anyone is vulnerable.

Scammers will contact you and advise you that a loved one has been injured and needs medical care or is in jail in another country and you need to send money to help them. Of course, you are going to help, you take down all the information and wire the money immediately because you do not want your loved one to suffer. The problem is that the money is going to a scammer not your loved one; chances are your loved one is home safe and sound. Another scam is that you will be sent a check, you are advised to deposit the check upon receipt and to immediately wire a portion of the money to someone and that the remaining money is yours to keep. An example would be they send you a check for $500.00, you are instructed to wire them $300.00, and the $200.00 difference is yours to keep. Sounds surprisingly good, you make a quick $200.00. Right? Wrong! The problem is the check will not clear your bank; it is fake even though it looks authentic. A few days later when you are notified by the bank that the check did not clear, it is too late to do anything because you have already sent the $300.00 and you have no recourse to recover your money. Scammers will also notify you and tell you that you have won a prize; however, you need to pay a fee before the prize can be sent to you. Sometimes, they will advise you to wire money for the fee and once they receive the money, they will send you the prize; however, you never receive the prize. Instead of sending cash for the fee, the scammer may advise you to purchase a gift card. Once the gift card is purchased, they will contact you for the card information, once they receive the information the card that you are holding is worthless as they have transferred all the money to another card.

The examples above are just a few of the hundreds of scams that are going on in this country right now, but you can fight back and help protect yourself from becoming a victim by educating yourself about the different types of scams and never giving out your personal information. The scammer needs your information and will try to trick you into giving them as much personal information as possible, your social security number, date of birth, account numbers to name a few. Do not fall for their tricks, be wise and protect yourself! Trust your gut feeling if something sounds too good to be true it probably isn’t. On the internet, if in doubt do not click and always remember to password protect your accounts.

A few hints to help you know that you might be talking to a scammer; if the call comes from an odd-looking phone number, the greeting is delayed, you cannot communicate with the caller, you have to identify yourself or the caller says that there is a problem with an unknown account.

Be wise and do not become a victim of a scam.


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