Most people work hard day in and day out for the ability to relish in the fruits of their labor. However it is unfortunate that some take advantage of those hard workers by soliciting them out of their hard earned money with online fraud scams. Scammers access the oblivious in a plethora of different ways, namely over the phone, through online purchases and email. The risk of being tangled in a scammer’s web is scary, although there are a few ways to ensure that you are not made victim to their illegal activity. Here’s how to safeguard yourself and your loved ones.
Register your phone number with the Do Not Call Registry
The Do Not Call Registry offers registration for consumers to stop telemarketers from calling. Being added to this list will not ensure that all calls will be eliminated, however they will be limited. A popular scam is where you will receive a phone call from an unknown number stating that someone is threatening to take some legal action against you. If you do not answer the call, they will leave a voice message stating to call them back immediately using the case reference number that they gave you in the message. When you do call back, they will ask for your personal information, including your social security number. Some may say that you can pay a fine over the phone to avoid going to court. This is one of the worst frauds and thousands of unsuspecting people fall victim to it daily. If you receive one of these calls, hang up and report it to the Federal Trade Commission immediately. Never give any personal information out over the phone, unless you are absolutely sure you are speaking with a reputable company.
Beware of your online activity
Lots of scammers lurk online to take advantage of consumers’ willingness to provide their credit card information for purchases and services. While shopping or paying bills online have become the new norm, it is important that you take the necessary precautions to protect your vital information. When making purchases on a website look for the secured padlock symbol in the browser. If the site is not secured, do not offer your credit card information or anything personal. If you want more information before making purchases online, read the reviews from previous customers to see if where you are shopping is an honorable source. Information is the new currency. Protect it.
A common scam is one where you will receive an email from your banking stating that you need to update your account information online. Should you click on the link in your email you will be taken to a mock site identical to your bank’s website and asked to enter your personal information. Please be aware that banks will not notify you via email to make any personal changes online. If you receive an email of this sort, please report it to the FTC immediately. Be sure to warn your family and friends of such fraudulent activities and if you have children, be sure to monitor their internet usage and purchases. The more you spread awareness, less people will be subjected to such heinous acts.
Being targeted for a scam can be one of the most vulnerable positions to experience. Everyday luxuries such as surfing the web or even picking up the phone have become a playground for scam artists to harp on the general population. It is wise to be aware of scams and to protect your family’s best interest, however do not allow the potential of fraudulent activity keep your from going about your daily routine. Staying alert and aware are the best ways to combat scammers from harnessing your most valuable assets.