Phishing, spoofing, and good old fashioned scams are some of the ways con artists target you and your money.
These ripoffs happen online, through the mail, and on the phone.
When a scammer attempts to get information from you, this is phishing. Typically, this is an email that looks like it’s from an official source like your bank. Typically you have to take action like confirm account information. but requires you to take action.
Some of these phishing attempts are so well-done that it’s hard to tell if the offer is real or fake. As a general rule, your bank is never going to contact you via email to confirm your account information.
You can always tell if an email is from a legitimate source, by checking the sender’s address. Even if it says the name of your bank, hover over the name to see the real address. Secondly, don’t click on any links in an unsolicited email. Hover over the link first, to see the address where it will take you.
Phishing emails not only attempt to steal your information but also potentially download malware on your computer if you click on a link.
You also have to be careful on the phone. To spot a fake, you can’t rely on the phone number that shows up on your cell phone or caller ID.
Scammers use sophisticated technology to fake real phone numbers or spoof a number. For example, they can change the number to appear as if it’s a local call.
This may convince you that the offer is real. They can even spoof the number to look like The White House is calling you.
Bottom line – don’t rely on caller ID.
Are you a sucker? Do you fall for offers easily? Making just one mistake can be costly time and time again.
Sammers create lists called, “sucker lists” when they come across an easy victim. The elderly are prime targets, but in this digital age younger generations can easily fall prey. Once your name is on a sucker list, it’s hard to get off. Here’s how to keep your name off a sucker list.
If you respond to just one illegitimate offer, your name could be handed off from one con artist to another. You’re referred to as a sucker, and getting your name off this list is challenging.
Unlike the do not call list and do not email list, there is not a list that can remove your name from the sucker list. Once you’re on the sucker list, it’s virtually impossible to get your name removed. So, take steps to prevent the problem from happening.
Sign up for the DMA Mail Preference Service to reduce unwanted catalogs and other direct marketing material
2. Opt out of pre-approved credit and insurance offers
Click here to opt out of pre-approved credit card offers or call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT. Opting out online will last five years. To permanently opt out, click on the link above and mail in the form.
Click here to sign up for eMPS which is the email Preference Service. The list removes your name from commercial email lists
4. Unsubscribe from unwanted mass marketing emails
Click “unsubscribe” at the bottom of unwanted email, and remove your name from that company’s marketing list. In light of the recent hacking of email addresses used by companies for marketing, this is a good tip to protect your identity.
For more specific steps to get rid of email, read 4 steps to get rid of unwanted email
5. Add a deceased loved one’s name to the deceased do not contact list
to stop the pain you feel when you get mail for a loved one that’s passed
6. Add an elderly loved one’s name to the do not contact caretaker’s registration
Click here to make sure your loved one you are caring for won’t fall for a scam or waste their money on things they don’t need while you’re not looking
Order the 10 FREE consumer reports kept about you. Your annual credit report gets the most attention, but there are 9 other reports that companies collect. Make sure the consumer reports are correct so you are not penalized when you go to rent a home, get insurance, or get credit.