Despite the march of online banking and the virtualization of many common financial arms, money scams are alive and well. Particularly vulnerable people are seniors. We’re going to show you some smart ways to stop yourself from becoming the victim of money scams.
Prevention is the best defense through developing good habits.
Strangers are often seen as the main culprits when it comes to money scams. The fact is 90% of reported money scams actually come from family members and friends. Don’t assume that because someone close to you offers advice you should take it.
Ask for Something in Writing
Before you buy something from a company or person, ask to see the offer in writing first. Most scammers aren’t there to commit armed robbery. They are simply trying to take advantage of you under the pretense of professionalism. Asking to see something in writing will normally turn them the other way.
Shred Anything Confidential
Identity theft is on the rise. Whether it’s something with your social security number or your credit card number on, shred it when you throw it in the trash. Thieves do look through people’s trash in the hope they will find a statement or bill they can use to steal your identity.
An easy way to figure out whether someone calling you is for real is to not give out any information to anyone. No genuine agency or department will call you to ask for your information. This includes your Medicare numbers, social security, and credit card details. Only give out information over the phone when you initiated the phone call.
The reason why money scams happen isn’t because of the one-time slips that happen to people. They simply don’t notice because they’re not proactive when it comes to their finances. It’s only months later they finally check their accounts to discover money has been taken without their knowledge.
Get into the habit of checking all your finances on a weekly basis. Never hand over the responsibility to someone else, including loved ones.
Money scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated. That’s no reason to live in fear, though. Practicing smart financial habits still provides the perfect protection against any and all scams. It’s really that simple. If you do suspect something problematic has happened, take action immediately. Speed is of the essence in a situation like this.