Scammers are getting bolder and bolder. From impersonating landlords and bosses to illegal debt collection tactics, there is no shortage of ways scammers will try to separate you from your money.
Scamming has been made worse by the pandemic, with scammers taking advantage of citizens in an already anxiety-inducing climate. Be aware of these five red flags when getting on the phone, checking your email, or using social media. This can help you avoid getting trapped in a conversation with a scammer in the first place.
Red Flag #1: They Make an Identity Claim
Many scammers use utilizing strategies in which they claim to be trustworthy sources, such as a government agency or even your bank, to extrapolate information from you. If you receive a strange call, text, or email with an unfamiliar hyperlink, this is a telltale sign that you are being scammed.
Never click on mysterious hyperlinks or respond to uncertified messages asking for your personal information, especially if it involves money. For instance, many scammers claim to be government agencies providing updates on COVID-19 economic support. Do not blindly trust these claims.
Red Flag #2: They Need Your Personal Information Immediately
A scammer’s goal is to get your personal information as quickly as possible. Scammers prey on people’s fears, especially in emotional times like the lockdowns of the last few years. In addition to making a brazen identity claim, a scammer will often ask for information or money immediately due to extreme (made up) consequences to non-compliance. Be aware of this behavior, and don’t be manipulated!
If you are already in contact with a potential scammer and start displaying doubts, a scammer may even get aggressive about needing your information. This is another sign that you are dealing with a scam. A genuine source will never require you to reveal personal information in this manner.
Red Flag #3: You Must Wire Money Immediately
Once a scammer receives money from you, their goal is to disappear with it, becoming extremely difficult to track. If an entity asks you to send money via a wire transfer, gift card, or cryptocurrency, this is likely a scam because these payment methods are tough to track.
If someone requires you to send money quickly in an unorthodox fashion, they are very likely scammers.
Red Flag #4: The Scam Does Not Apply to You
This is one of the more obvious indications of a scam. For instance, a scammer may contact a teenager about car insurance when the teenager does not even own a car in their name. Nonetheless, the frightening and urgent language of the call could get them stuck in an uncomfortable conversation with someone who is likely a scammer.
If somebody approaches or calls you with an offer or issue that clearly does not apply to you, get out of the situation as quickly as possible.
Red Flag #5: It Is Too Good to Be True
Unfortunately, getting an excellent deal is often a sign that it may be a scam. A scammer will promise you something that seems far too good to be true to draw you in. Even if a scammer’s website seems extremely official, or a scammer approaches you in person, looking very professional, that is often a front to gain trust.
This is one of the easiest ways to get scammed, and it can happen in almost any area of business. Always stay wary of untrustworthy sources, and if you seem to be getting too good of a deal on insurance or even something as big as an apartment rental or car, do more research on the identity of the source.
The scam attempts are continuously getting more and more sophisticated. If we ever contact you from Telarray because we need information, we will never be pushy and are happy to let you verify it’s us via any reasonable method. Be careful out there, especially when it comes to your financial assets!