Tips for Avoiding Scammers

If you’ve never been a victim of an attempted or successful scam, you probably know someone who has been. Unfortunately, the proliferation of technology has allowed scammers to receive more information about consumers than ever before, but there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones from a scam. Read on to learn more about our top tips for avoiding scammers!

Ignore Robocalls

You’re likely familiar with those pesky, pre-recorded telephone calls, even if you’re a member of the Federal Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” list. It’s illegal for companies to call members of the “Do Not Call” list, so if you do receive one of these calls it’s an illegitimate company trying to scam you. If you receive a robocall, hang up immediately. Many of these calls will prompt you to “press 1” to stop receiving calls, but what this actually does is flag your phone number as active so that other scammers know to call you, too.

Be Wary of Imposters

Scammers will oftentimes pose as someone in authority – such as a government official or someone you know like a family member – in an attempt to gain your trust before asking for money or valuable information. One example is known as the “Grandparent Scam,” where scammers find out your family information and call a grandparent, pretending to be the grandchild (of friend of the grandchild). The scammer will pretend to be in trouble, asking the grandparent for money to help. Always verify the identity of who is calling or emailing, especially when asking for money or your personal information.

Don’t Pay Anything Upfront

Scammers will try to have you pay for a service or a good upfront, promising to deliver later. If this happens to you, it’s a red flag! You need to be 100% sure a person or company is legitimate before transferring or paying any money. Once you give a scammer what they want, you will never hear from them again, or worse, you will never receive the good you were promised in exchange for the transaction.

Get on Google!

If you receive an email, text message or phone call from a company or person who seems suspect, there’s information on the Internet from people who have received similar communication. Some light investigation on Google will help you know if a company is legitimate. Try Googling the name of the company, good be offered, or even phone number or email address.

Stay up-to-date on the latest tips for avoiding scams from the Federal Trade Commission via their email list, here.

SOURCE: The Federal Trade Commission