How to Avoid Common Scams and Not Get Ripped Off
The world is full of good people. Unfortunately, there are also folks who want to take advantage of you. While you can typically rely on your fellow human beings to go about their lives without taking unfair advantage, every now and then the temptation gets the better of someone. And when it does, you can become the victim of a scam.
Scamming people must date back to the dawn of time, but ever since people have been getting scammed, people have been spotting scams and making the choice not to become a victim. Do a little homework, and you’re more likely to identify a common ruse or ploy when you’re the target of one.
Know That Technology Is a Double-Edged Sword
Today, you most frequently hear about scams in the context of internet purchases. Maybe you’ve lost a credit card and had someone attempt to make a purchase through a website, or even seen charges come across on a card still in your possession.
The way that criminals can trade information today makes it easy for them to perpetrate, but banking institutions are on your side and can typically right any wrongs rather quickly.
Catching a criminal act before it’s too late is the most important part of avoiding financial harm. Watch your finances closely. Any suspicious charges that come across should be reported to your bank right away. You can also avoid being taken advantage of by refusing to participate in phone call promotions and to respond to emails from suspicious, unfamiliar solicitors.
Many modern banks use behavioral analysis to notify you of charges from far away locations or charges for unlikely quantities. For example Wells Fargo can put a hold on further transactions until you approve outstanding charges. It is, however, ultimately your responsibility.
Make sure you use your credit card, not your debit card, in making online transactions. It will usually have better security features because of the difference in how funds are transferred using credit.
Understand That Scams Don’t Only Happen Online
Even though cyber fraud is a hot topic, there are still more traditional forms of fraud taking place every day. You should always vet professionals you hire to do manual labor jobs. For example, an unlicensed professionals can cost you thousands if you have to have jobs redone.
If your receive mail that resembles a check request or money owed to an institution you’re not familiar with, consult an expert before paying. If you owe money to a business that has your address, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Remember Your Security Is Important
You always have the right to be skeptical. Criminals don’t want to give your money back, so if you feel slightly uncomfortable about a transaction, exercise patience and caution. Most legitimate retailers will understand and be more than happy to substantiate their claims.
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington