Protect your money and identity from scammers

Identity theft

Identity theft is on the rise. (Photo: TheTruthAbout/Flickr/CC BY-SA)

Even in the light of all the warnings and mass publicity regarding scam protection, scamming has continued to be a major problem today. The more light and publicity that shines on these illegal acts in order to protect the public, the more clever these scammers get in their schemes. If you want to stay out of their clutches, be aware and do not take risks with your money and personal information.

Be careful who you trust

Recently, I received an e-mail from a friend saying she had gone on a trip to England. She had either misplaced her purse or had it stolen and was in need of funds to help her return to the United States. It all appeared very innocent, except that she couldn’t be reached by phone. I was just about to take out a bad credit loan when I decided to call her at home. To my shock and disbelief, she was there and had never gone to England! So you can see why it is very important you take precautions before making a last-minute jump.

Safeguard your personal information

Here’s another example of scamming, one I had experienced during the process of requesting jobs and rentals. One of the rentals sent back a link along with photos of a really nice home at a very reasonable price. However, I had to complete a credit check before they could provide any more details on the house. Basically, according to the company, it was used to determine whether I had any past evictions. Seems innocent enough, right? Wrong! This is actually a huge red flag to look out for.

On another occasion, the so-called company of an available job position I had inquired about had sent me a bunch of forms to fill out, including a I-9 form (requires social security number) and a direct deposit form (they only pay that way). There was even a form that required a passport size photo of myself. Be aware that these are red flag signs to look out for, as well.

Build awareness

These schemes, among many others, may still be working for many scammers, so get the word out and build awareness. Thankfully, there are still many reputable companies out that strive to make life easier, providing payday loans and other types of short term loans to help with unexpected money problems.

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