Scam calls and emails are a part of the status quo. Whether it be about your extended car warranty or a rich prince that needs you to pay transfer fees for “free money”, these hustlers are always inventing new stories and ways to manipulate people into giving away personal information, cash, or other information which may compromise your identity.
Recently, the Claiborne County Sheriff Department addressed the public of the concerns of scam calls.
While it may seem like common sense to some, scammers such as these tend to steal a vast amount of money from people each year. According to scamspotter.org, these con-artists are expected to steal over $2 billion from victims this year.
Spotting the signs of a scam is an important lesson to learn. One which everyone can benefit from. Scamspotter deploy three basic steps to help spot these scams and protect people’s assets:
- “Slow it down” – Those attempting to scam an unsuspecting victim will often create a sense of urgency to resolve whatever story they present. Whether it be to pay taxes to the IRS with a Target gift card or pay non-existent jail fines with an Amazon gift card, they will do their best to try and rush their victim to do as they ask. Scamspotter recommends time is taken to ask questions and avoid being rushed.
- “Spot check” – Sometimes spotting the scam is as easy as looking up the name of the business on google and visiting their website. If someone in this situation is concerned the phone call may be valid, it’s advisable to contact them directly from a phone number provided on their website, and not indulge the person on the phone who initiated the call.
- “Stop! Don’t send” – As scamspotter points out, no reputable entity will demand immediate payment. Often, these hustlers will demand a gift card and may even threaten with jail time if the victim does not comply. If one owes a fine or the IRS, it is best to be the one to initiate contact with these entities to resolve any financial obligation.
Please stay aware and educated on the tactics used by these phony representatives. The Federal Trade Commission has resources to help identify and avoid phishing attacks, as well as methods of reporting such activity.