Thank you for rejoining us here at Somerville National Bank as we continue our series, Top Scams Bank Customers Need to Be Aware Of. In this past couple of weeks, we have covered six of the most common scams that have detrimentally impacted populations – not only within the United States, but, all over the world. These scams include the debt collection scam, the ransomware scam, the lottery scam, government imposters, fraudulent jobs, and jury duty scams.
Now that you know a bit of information about each of these, it is time to learn a few steps that will help prevent you becoming a victim.
As you have learned throughout this series, there are many different varieties of financial-based scams. In order to prevent becoming a victim of such issues, you must learn to identify the proverbial “red flags”. There will come times in our life where we may be placed in a position to engage in financial transactions over the phone, online, and/or through texts and emails with individuals that we consider to be “strangers”; however, by watching for the following red flags, you may avoid becoming the next target of a crime that could swipe your financial livelihood and identity away from you:
- The first – and most common – red flag that usually pops up is the offer that seems a little TOO good to actually be true. It is common for people to make promises regarding opportunities that will enhance your finances, small investments that will yield exceptionally high returns, and immense levels of success. Now, every once in a while, you may find one of these claims to be true; however, on the most part, they are not. Do not allow yourself to be pressured into that which you have not researched or forced into financial transactions that have the ability to destroy your life.
- As technology continues to evolve and innovation is moving at exceptional rates, people are learning how to work smarter and not harder. Part of that system may be getting offers and requests to appear legitimate. A big red flag is when an offer or a request asks for your personal and/or financial information. If this happens, do not divulge your information. The only time that you should consider this is if you initiate contact with the person and/or business and if that person and/or business has a solid reputation.
- When dealing with legitimate financial institutions, you will never receive any type of correspondence that requests account numbers, your password, or similar forms of highly-sensitive information. If one does do this, you should consider this a red flag to a scam in the works.
Here, you have been introduced to several of the most common red flags that a scammer is attempting to defraud you – in one way or another. You should follow the steps outlined to protect yourself and your finances. Be sure to return next week as we conclude this series with several steps that you may take to protect yourself.