So most people work for their hard-earned money. You, for instance. But some people make money by taking yours. We call them “scam artists” and while some of their methods are obvious (the old “You’re Related To Royalty. Click Here to Claim Your Riches!” routine), some approaches are pretty sneaky. Here’s how to sniff out a scammer and keep your money in your pocket where it belongs.
ONLY TRUST AFTER YOU VERIFY.
If you get an email, phone call, letter, PM or carrier pigeon from someone you don’t know, consider the possibility it may be a scam. We’re not suggesting you live in fear or paranoia, just know that scammers are out there and aren’t at all concerned about violating your trust.
DON’T OPEN SUSPICIOUS MESSAGES.
Delete them. Emails, texts, pop-ups, so on and so forth. Lots of scammers will send a pop-up that says something is wrong with your computer and ask you to download it. Don’t. It just gives them access to your computer and all of your personal details.
DO HAVE STRONG PASSWORDS.
No, “password” or “123456” don’t count. Consider a random assortment of UpPerCaSe and lOwErCaSe letters, $pecial ch@racters and numbers. Write your password down and keep it in a safe place. You can also consider a lengthy statement that’s easy for you to remember, but hard for scammers to guess. And don’t use the same password for everything. If a scammer gets your password from one site, they have it for all sites.
DO STAY IN THE KNOW.
Scammers are a tricky lot and are always thinking of new ways to steal your money. We suggest staying in the know about what the latest scams and breaches are. A good place to start would be on USA.gov’s page.
We take your security seriously. Contact us to learn more about Identity Theft including how to protect your identity and what to do if you think it has been stolen.