Whether it be in the real world or online, there is always someone out there who is less than honest, someone who may be looking to scam you.
Some such fraudsters have slick personalities that allow them to bypass your natural defences, others play to your emotions, some are just plain devious or outright liars.
In any event, the following 10 tips will help you minimise the risk of falling victim to a scam –
1. Whenever possible, get everything in writing
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions– discover what the total price is, what exclusions an offer may have, hidden fees, interest rates, etc, before committing to anything.
3. Take your time – if you feel pressured then take time out to consider your options and read any fine print.
4. Due Diligence – whatever you are contemplating becoming involved in, do your research in advance – check phone numbers, addresses, references, etc.
5. Nevergive details of credit card accounts, bank accounts or your Social Security Number to anyone who contacts you via the internet or email.
6. Use secure passwords – your date of birth and mother’s maiden name are alarmingly easy to discover.
7. Never pay a fee up front to collect a lottery win – these emails are always scams.
8. Check your credit report regularly for unexpected entries and contact the Credit Reference Agencies and the authorities immediately if you discover anything untoward.
9. Do not accept a job that requires you to receive payments via cheque then wire the rest back, less your fee – the cheques will bounce and you will be out of pocket.
10. Try to avoid paying with cash – credit cards offer some protection and give the benefit of a paper trail.