These days, there are more ways to connect to other people than ever before. And unfortunately, that means scammers too. Lots of apps and websites that are supposed to make our lives easier can also make it easier for criminals to steal your money or your identity. Here are some tips to help you steer clear of fraudsters and stay scam-free.
- Never give anybody your login credentials and passwords. A legitimate business will NEVER ask for your online banking login details.
- Don’t fall for “secret shopper” scams. Do not give information or money to someone who contacts you with a “secret shopper” opportunity. There are legitimate secret shopper companies, but you should be the one contacting them. Avoid conducting business with mystery or secret shopper firms who…
- Advertise for shoppers in classified ads or through email
- Require that you pay for certification or to get access to mystery shopper jobs
- Guarantee you a job as a secret shopper
- Ask you to deposit a check for them and wire some or all of the money to someone.
- Don’t get scammed by an online buyer. Selling something online? Look for these warning signs that your buyer might be out to scam you :
- The buyer can’t meet in person
- The buyer offers more money than you were asking
- The buyer asks you to send money through Western Union or Moneygram
- The buyer only sends you text messages and won’t speak to you on the phone.
- Watch out for tech support and virus removal scams. If you receive a pop-up message, phone call, spam email or other urgent messages about problems with your computer, do not respond. Don’t click on any links, don’t give out any information and don’t send any money.
- Beware of fake Tax and Government agents. The FIRS will never call you about past due taxes and threaten you over payment. And they’ll never ask you to confirm any of your personal credit cards or BVN information.
- You can’t win a lottery in a foreign country. You can’t win a lottery if you don’t enter. Scammers may try to pressure or trick you into giving them personal information, but don’t fall for it!
- Verify all emergency calls. Scammers may call you or contact you via email or text posing as relatives or friends. They’ll say that they’re in some terrible situation and beg you to send them some money immediately. Calls like this can be scary and naturally you’ll want to help. But you should always verify any supposed emergency. Here are some tips :
- Hang up and call the family member or friend at a number you know to be genuine and possibly one that has gotten you through to the person previously
- Double check the story with other friends and family
- Never wire money, use transfer apps, or send money via overnight delivery options to people or places you aren’t familiar with.
There are a lot of scammers out there, but staying calm and using tips like these can help you avoid them.
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