By: Jeffrey Lapin
Consumers beware: scammers are lurking everywhere trying to separate you from your money or to steal your identity. With some simple precautions you can prevent yourself from being their next victim. Below are 11 ways you can protect yourself.
11 WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Here are 11 ways, in no particular order, you can protect yourself from scams:
1. Wait. According to Dr. Doug Shadel, the current State Director for AARP Washington, the best advice is: Never decide to buy something at the time you hear a sales pitch. There’s no deal out there that can’t wait 24 hours. Source: ABC News: Outsmarting the Con Artists: Top 5 Ways to Avoid Scams.
2. Be aware. Another way to protect yourself is to know the scams that are currently going on. The national BBB’s website offers a separate section and permits you to sign up for scam alerts: Scam Source: Scam, Con and Rip Off Resources at www.bbb.org/us/scam-source/. Nebraskans can find about current Nebraska scams on the BBB Nebraska’s site in the News Center: www.nebraska.bbb.org/bbb-news/.
3. Identify unrealistic or high pressure tactics. Promises to make you instantly rich with little or no risk on your part are most likely scams. So are offers involving an item so scarce, that unless you buy immediately, you will lose your opportunity to purchase the item.
4. Think about what you are being asked to do. Remember the maxim. “If it sounds too good to be true, it is.”
5. Check out the person or company. Before buying anything, check out the company online especially on governmental and consumer protection, such as the Better Business Bureau’s, websites.
6. Do not open email from people you do not know. You should not open email, especially attachments to emails, from people you do not know. These emails and attachments could contain viruses or other malware giving the sender access to your private information.
7. Do not give out your personal or financial information. Do not give out your personal or financial information to someone who calls or sends an email unless you have verified the source. If in doubt, call the company yourself to verify that the call or email originated from the company and is not a scam.
8. Do not send money to someone you do not know. You should never send money directly to someone you do not know unless you have verified their credentials and trustworthiness. If purchasing something from someone you do not know, use a source that offers some protection, such as a credit card or online payment service.
9. Do not play foreign lotteries. First, these are almost always scams. Second, it is illegal to play a foreign lottery.
10. Do not agree to deposit a check from someone you do not know. You should never agree to deposit a check from someone you do not know and then wire all or part of it back. Scams using this tactic request you send the money before your bank has a chance to determine that the check is not good.
11. Practice saying No. You should practice a simple line to say to telemarketers. It can be simple as “No thank you.” Once you say it, hang up the phone before the caller can say anything else.
There are a number of other things you can do besides these 11 items. The most important thing to remember: it is your money and identity, both of which you have worked hard to maintain. Do not be taken in by a scammer and have these stolen from you.
OTHER CONSUMER PROTECTION POSTS
- Consumers: Beware Of Scams
- Protect Yourself Against Phantom Debt Collectors
- FTC Targets Phantom Debt Collectors
- Proposed FDCPA Amendment Would Allow Messages By Collectors
ABOUT LAPIN LAW OFFICES
Lapin Law Offices represents consumers scammed or abused by debt collectors or telemarketers. You can learn more about your rights by calling us at 402-421-8033 (Lincoln), 888-525-8819 (Toll Free) or through our websites: Lapin Law Offices or StopBadCollectors.com.