Avoiding Scams

Jan 06, 2022

Fraud, Scams, ID Theft, Impersonation, Fake Accounts - these are ways others are taking advantage of people to gather personal information or get you to send money to a non-reputable company. Scammers are getting so good at these tactics now, so how do we avoid falling for these traps?

There are a lot of ways scammers can get our info these days. You need to protect yourself by being able to recognize a potential scam as best as possible, and know how to avoid losing money, or worse, providing personal information to them.

When it comes to fraud and scams through email, social media, phone calls, text messages, DM's, and other methods, it can be hard to recognize what's legit and what's not. If any of you have gotten your identity stolen, hacked, or scammed, it's so personal and cuts deep. The good news is we aren't responsible for the money lost for the most part, but we want to avoid fraud because it's a pain to fix.

If you signed up for something or have given your info out willingly, even if it was a scam, it's possible you won't see that money again. So what do we do to avoid this as best as we can?

The #1 thing you can do to protect yourself is to get ID Theft insurance. Trust me, you and I aren't smarter than the scammers so this is a critical piece of your financial plan to protect your identity and also money. If you don't have it, get it right away. It's usually not a lot of money and is worth it!

Tips on avoiding:

Phone scams:

  1. Don't answer unknown numbers. If it's important, they can leave a message
  2. If the message isn't clear about what they are calling for, don't press buttons or respond.
  3. Texts: Don't click on links from people you don't know, even if the caller ID says it's a company - unless you've added them to your contacts and it's the correct number.
  4. If you are speaking to a representative that calls you from a company and asks you for personal or account info, don't give it to them. Just tell them you are uncomfortable giving info to them on an incoming call. Then, hang up and call the company back directly (using the official website phone number)

Email Scams:

  1. Don't click on links in emails you don't recognize, even if it looks like it's from a company.
  2. Look closely at the email address. Many times you can hover over the email name and it will show you the entire address, which doesn't match the company. That's a scam
  3. Don't reply to emails you don't recognize
  4. Don't call the number listed in the email. Go to the website and contact them directly to inquire about your account.

Nobody is 100% safe from scammers, but if you follow these basic guidelines and pause to think before you click or respond, you'll be able to avoid many fraudulent calls, text, and emails.