What's a Scam and How to Avoid Them

A scam is a fraudulent scheme or operation intended to deceive others, typically for financial gain. Scams can take many forms, including:

  • Telephone scams: These scams typically involve someone calling you and claiming to be from a legitimate company or government agency. They may say that you owe money, that you have won a prize, or that your computer has been infected with a virus. They will then ask you to provide personal information or to send money.
  • Email scams: These scams typically involve an email that appears to be from a legitimate company or person. The email may contain a link that, when clicked, will take you to a fake website that looks like the real website. Once you enter your personal information on the fake website, the scammer can steal it.
  • Online shopping scams: These scams involve websites that sell products that do not exist. The websites may look legitimate, but they are actually set up to take your money and never deliver the product.
  • In-person scams: These scams involve someone approaching you in person and trying to convince you to give them money. They may say that they are collecting for a charity, that they need money to help their sick child, or that they have lost their wallet.

Scams can be very difficult to spot, but there are some things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Be skeptical of any unsolicited calls or emails. If you receive a call or email from someone you don’t know, don’t give out any personal information.
  • Be careful about clicking on links in emails. If you’re not sure if a link is legitimate, hover your mouse over it to see the URL. If the URL doesn’t look like it belongs to the company or person who sent you the email, don’t click on it.
  • Shop only from reputable websites. Before you make a purchase online, check the website’s security certificate and read the company’s privacy policy.
  • Be aware of the signs of a scam. If someone is pressuring you to act quickly, asking for personal information that they don’t need, or refusing to answer your questions, it’s probably a scam.

If you think you’ve been scammed, there are a few things you can do:

  • Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can file a complaint online at ftc.gov/complaint.
  • Contact your bank or credit card company. They may be able to help you dispute the charges.
  • File a police report. This will help law enforcement track down the scammers.

Scams can be a major financial loss, but by being aware of the signs and taking steps to protect yourself, you can help prevent yourself from becoming a victim.

See Scam and Fraud Protection for 2023 for more information and make sure to Sign Up for our Scam Prevention Newsletter.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Appreciate the comments and feedback. I will not include comments that have links to other websites, so save your time and do not include the referring links.