As a Legal Shield Representative, I’m privy to share!
How You Can Avoid Common Scams
Tax season means a flood of scam emails, phone calls, and letters. Scammers frequently use fear and change stories constantly to lure victims into their schemes. It’s no longer only seniors being targeted; millennials are increasingly falling victim to scams. It is critical for everyone to understand the most commonly used tactics.If you feel your personal information has already been compromised and you are an IDShield member, make sure that you have enrolled on www.myidshield.com. If you do not yet have an IDShield membership visit www.idshield.com to learn more.
- Easy money is the oldest and still one of the most successful methods used by scammers. “International Lottery Winner”, “Money Escrow”, “Check Cashing”, “Nigerian Scams” are all classic “easy money” scams that claim thousands of victims and millions of dollars each year. The promise of quick and easy money is hard to pass up, but remember, there is no such thing as easy money. In the end only the scammer gets paid. Run, do not walk, away from plans that promise you big money for little work.
- Fear is the most effective means scammers use to force victims to make fast and disastrous decisions. Fear has proven especially effective against senior citizens insecure about their financial future. Scammers that claim you have a large outstanding tax bill may demand immediate payment or account information. These scams often include threats of arrest, eviction or repossession. Letters may come under the guise of your bank’s letterhead or service mark. Another common scam is an email or a phone call claiming your account has been hacked; immediately contact your bank independently and inquire about your account. Do not use a provided reply envelope, reply email website or telephone patch-through to contact your bank. These are part of the scam.
- Confusion goes hand in hand with fear as an effective way to make victims act quickly. Again, these scammers often target the elderly who may be easily confused and manipulated. When contacted with a demand that requires you to act quickly, protect yourself by breaking contact and talking with a trusted friend or your LegalShield provider law firm.
- Faith and charity are the best human traits, but ones that scammers often rely on to bilk their victims. Do not make donations or offer assistance to “churches” or “charities” unknown to you who email, call or show up at your home uninvited. Never make a donation to a church or charity that you are not familiar with, no matter how compelling their “story”.
- Job searches can be exhausting. Scammers use the promise of high paying work to bilk individuals desperate for employment. Do not pay money to apply for a job! Do not give personal information to a “prospective employer” over the phone, mail or online. This is a major source of information for identity thieves. When you are contacted about an employment opportunity, meet with the prospective employer in person at their place of business and do some research on the employer before providing any personal information.