How to Avoid Financial Scams
July 28, 2022 | Posted by: Sherry Corbitt
In our day-to-day life, scam occurrences have drastically increased. Sometimes you may not even be able to get through the day without a scammer constantly calling your phone. Although some scams are more common, there are some more discrete ways that many people are being scammed. Learning about these scam tactics will help you be more careful and inform others about them.
Depositing a 'Cheque'
For many of us, we may use cheques daily. You may get cheques from your workplace, or you may have cheques for larger payments that you make. Scammers realize how safe cheques seem, so they take an opportunity in them. One prevalent method they use is writing you a cheque to deposit (this could be from buying something from you). When you go to the bank to deposit it, it turns out to be a false cheque. These scam cheques can gain access to your banking and financial information. Not only could this completely ruin you financially, yet it is also a breach of your personal information. Although such a seemingly safe thing, it is vital to know the difference between a legitimate cheque vs. a fake. Although you sometimes may not tell the difference from your eye, you need to analyze the situation of the transaction. Only deposit a cheque if you are comfortable with the person who gave it to you. If you feel unsafe, take it to your bank and get them to analyze it before depositing it into your account.
Phone Call Voice Recording
Scam phone calls are likely the most common type of scams we receive. They can either be a person on the other end of the line or an automated voice. They may phone you once or twice a day or even a handful of times. This can get extremely frustrating, and many have resorted to trying to get them to stop calling. Although this may seem helpful, it can be precisely what they are looking for. They may ask a simple yes or no question to get your voice recording. With this voice recording, they can automate your voice and use this against you. This could lead to them using your identity or, even worse, finding a way to get into your finances. Instead of responding to a scammer, hang up and block the number. They may try calling back on different numbers, but the more you stop answering, the fewer calls you will eventually get.
Winning an Online Prize
We all like winning things, whether a gift card or a movie night. Yet today, you must be extremely careful with what contests you participate in. Some online contests may seem very legit, especially by how they are advertised. However, they may ask for a credit card number once you input your information. This should be an immediate red flag for you since no contest should require this. Before leaving the page, ensure that the rest of your data is deleted from the website. This ensures they do not have any of your contact information, which could lead to more scams.
Buying Items Online
Similar to the previous scam, there are many purchase scams online. When browsing the internet, you may see ads to purchase items. Sometimes scam ads may pop up with 'discounted' items, which try to catch people's attention. An example could be an advertisement showing a smart phone at a lower price. After going to the ad, it will ask for your personal and payment information for the transaction. This may seem like a harmless, regular transaction, but it frequently is not. Once you make the payment, what mostly happens is that you are charged much more that the price listed and you do not even receive the item. Depending on how fast you deactivate your card, they may make numerous other purchases.
There are so many scam tactics, making everyday life seem more daunting. When you can identify these scams, you can avoid any financial downfalls and even help your friends and family from a scam pitfall.
Sherry Corbitt, Mortgage Broker
-ELearn Markets (2021). 10 Tips to Avoid Common Financial Scams and Frauds. Retrieved from https://www.elearnmarkets.com/blog/avoid-common-financial-scams-frauds/