The most efficient way to defend against scammers is to know how they attack – and the red flags that warn of possible ploys.
Know the red flags
There are many tactics thieves use to reach you like fake emails (known as phishing), text messages (SMSishing), voice calls (vishing), mailed letters, or even unexpected visitors at your door. There are a few commonalities used to generate some emotional response from you in which you may be:
- Threatened with law enforcement action
- Pressured to send funds somewhere
- Told to purchase a number of gift cards or get codes associated with them
- Asked transfer money via a wire or Zelle/Venmo/PayPal
- Asked to cash checks for strangers
- Asked to deposit a check that overpays for something you're selling, and then send the difference elsewhere
- Tempted to purchase deals that are "too good to be true" through sites that do not use third parties like Shopify, PayPal, etc. as payment gateways
Useful tips on actions you can take:
- Hover your mouse over links before clicking to preview their destination
- Check the 'sender' email to confirm it has a reputable domain
- If there is an urgent or threatening ask, be wary
- Check spelling and grammar
- Know that the IRS will NEVER call you and ask for information
- If you get a call from a number you don't recognize, have them leave a voicemail and verify the number/information on the message
We would be happy to elaborate on any of these further for you.
Keep your finances strong, safe, and working for you.