Criminals are persistent and know all the ways to get you to lower your guard. From online scams to phishing phone calls, they’ll go out of their way to try to trick you out of your hard-earned money.
If you’re worried about scammers, you’re not alone. Every year, millions of people get scammed by criminals who know how to push their buttons. If you think you’re being scammed, here are some tips to help you get to the bottom of things.
If you’re getting a lot of unsolicited calls and texts from numbers you don’t recognize, you should be careful about answering them. When a criminal or group of scammers finds a “live” number or a number belonging to someone they think will fall for scams, they go on the warpath.
This means you should be careful about answering any unsolicited messages. Screen your calls and make sure you’re only accepting messages from people you know. That way, you can avoid falling for the more insidious scams circulating on the internet and through phone lines.
It should go without saying, but you should never, ever send money to someone over the internet. If you’ve never met someone in person who is demanding money in the form of gift cards or money orders over the internet, they’re trying to scam you.
Scammers tend to use intimidation tactics to scare you into thinking you’re going to be in trouble if you don’t send them money immediately. You can safely dismiss this nonsense and get back to your daily life–institutions like courts and law enforcement won’t call you on the phone to demand money.
If you get a phone call from someone who claims you owe them money, take a deep breath and do some research. Look into the organization the person says they represent. Ask them for corroborating details, like the address they work at, the name of their supervisor, and the website you can find with their contact information.
If they are unable to provide answers, you can find them on your own. Make phone calls to the organization the scammer claims to be from to verify that you don’t owe anyone any money, and you’ll be able to rest assured that you’re making the right decision by telling them to get lost.