How to Avoid 10 Feared Financial Scams – Part 1
Regardless of how safe you might feel financially, not only you, but everyone is a potential victim of fraud and scams. In fact, there is an increasing number of criminals that target financial information and are always on the look to steal your bank account data and more. Making matters even worse, these scammers not only have a great number of tools at their disposal, but they are also smart and efficient.
Thankfully, with the right precautionary measures and knowledge about what they can do, you can easily protect yourself.
Even so, scammers tend to be often one step of ahead of people when it comes to developing tricks and other ways to cheat consumers. So in order to be on top of things and be able to stop scammers on their tracks, we take a look at the top ten scams of 2012 (and how to avoid them) according to the Better Business Bureau’s:
1. Phishing emails:
Perhaps the most known financial scam out there, phishing emails take advantage of the fact that spam blockers are not always perfect and don’t cover every single incoming email. Thus, many of these scam emails can slip into your inbox.
The main characteristic of phishing emails is that the sender will usually pose as your bank or another financial institution that you trust, sometimes even offering you a personal loan or something similar.
Once you open the message, you will find that it might as you to confirm your Social Security number, your bank account number or other sensitive financial information. If you input this or click on any of the links shown on the email, the hackers behind it will gain instant access to this important information of yours, which they will use for fraudulent purposes.
In almost all cases phishing emails have embedded one or more links that might look like they will take you to an official website. However, the moment you click on those links, not only a lot of your sensitive information can be sent to the hacker, but your computer might also get infected with spyware or malware, which can cause you to lose not only your financial information, but also your passwords, account numbers, and more.
To combat these phishing emails, whenever you are in doubt about any that you receive, simply call your lender or bank or the one that granted you your personal loan and ask them directly if they sent you the email. If they didn’t, then report the issue to them.
2. Advance fee loans:
Among consumers with bad credit score, sometimes arises an urgent need for funds. Scammers take advantage of this and start to tempt these customers by posing as banks and offering them “guaranteed” personal loans. However, there is no such thing and anyone offering such personal loans ( also called “pre-approved” loans) will also instruct inadvertent consumers to complete a form or a credit application. On top of that, scammers will also ask for a “fee” or “deposit”, assuring you that your “approved” personal loan will b deposited to your account once that fee is paid. Naturally, the loan will never arrive.
The trick to avoid these scams is simple: Not a single bank or other financial entity will ever ask for an advance fee or deposit. This is illegal and you can directly report anyone or any communication (via email or otherwise) that asks you for it.
3. Gold scams:
Selling gold is usually a good option for getting quick cash, but you have to be extremely careful and not rush into a gold deal without researching it thoroughly first. A great number of gold scammers have popped up lately and will ask anything of you in order to get you to “cover” for the value of the gold the try to sell you. In some cases they might try to buy gold for you, and will come up with the most unbelievable excuses for paying you unfair prices for your gold.
There are also several gold scams on the Internet, which can be even more dangerous since they also try to steal your personal information.
In order to avoid these, simply visit only local and authorized pawn shops to get to know the fair price of gold.
There you go, on our next entry we will take a look at the next few financial scams and how to prevent them. See you then!