How to Protect Yourself from Scams —Three Simple Tips

It’s often said, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” This is an extremely valuable piece of knowledge for those who want to protect themselves from scams.

What exactly is a scam? Anyone who is trying to get your information, money, or other resources by being dishonest with you is attempting to scam you. In general, we all want to avoid being scammed.

But how can we avoid this often costly attack? Some forms of deception, like spam phone calls, are unavoidable. In these cases, we can simply choose not to interact if we can detect their presence from the start. Other scams aren’t so easy to identify. And here are some tips to help you avoid them.

1.Do Your Research

The first (and possibly most important) way to avoid falling for the trap of a scam is to do your research. If someone is offering you a job online, search for the company they claim to be from. If a website is asking for your information, make sure it’s secure. If you’re shopping online, check the company’s information on the Better Business Bureau website. Using your resources to research a situation will keep you informed. And, if you are well-informed, you’ll be more likely to catch the scammer.

2.Be Wary

While trust is a great aspect of relationships, it’s also crucial that you don’t give it away freely. Make people earn your trust by proving they’re reliably who they say they are. If you meet a person online who wants to get coffee with you, have them send you multiple photographs of themselves in specific circumstances (for example, holding an object or making a silly face). This way, it’s more likely that they’re not sending someone else’s photo. Being wary of others is important when you’re interacting online.

3. Never Give Out Personal Information

There is certain information that you simply should not give out unless you are 100 percent sure of where it’s going. This can include your home address, credit card or bank account numbers, and your social security number, among others. Most companies will only contact you through the mail or in person, so be wary of phone calls from unknown numbers claiming to be a trusted business.

At the end of the day, you cannot always know if you’re being scammed. However, figuring out ways to protect yourself from obvious mistakes is a great practice. Stay knowledgeable about your interactions in real life as well as on the internet, and you’ll be able to protect yourself from scams like a pro.