Five...four...three...two...one...Happy New Year! As consumers ring in 2019, many attempt to adopt or drop a certain habit for the upcoming year. Popular resolutions are usually geared towards healthy living such as starting to eat better, work out more, or even spend less time on a smartphone or tablet.
If you could make a few small changes that may keep you scam free in 2019, would you do it?
Several types of scams emerge throughout the year but if you remember a few simple tips, it could help you avoid scams all year long!
BBB offers these tips for a scam free 2019:
- Only answer the phone if you know who is calling. Many phone scams are very convincing but you can't fall for them if you don't pick up the phone. Scammers pretend to be grandchildren in despair or even an aggressive bill collector claiming to be from your utility company. BBB's advice is that if someone really needs to contact you, they will leave a voicemail. (scam callers calling from you area code).
- Always question why you are asked to provide personal information. From a fun online quiz to making an online purchase, consumers frequently disburse their personal information without thinking twice. Always question if a site really needs your contact information, credit card information, or even social security number. Also make sure a site is secure (https) before entering any information to begin with.
- Beware of sending payments via wire transfer or prepaid gift cards. Scammers often demand their victims pay-up via prepaid gift cards or wire transfers since these are the quickest and most untraceable ways to send money. No legitimate business will demand you to pay via these methods only. Paying by credit card is always the better option since it has more buyer security and you are able to dispute charges.
- Don’t click, download, or open anything that comes from an anonymous sender. Scammers try to cast a wide net by including little or no specific information in their fake emails. Always be wary of unsolicited messages that don't contain your name or other personalizing information but encourage you to download attachments or click on links. This is likely an attempt to gain access to your personal information or install malware on your computer.
- Always research a company before you do business with them. Doing research doesn't have to be a long process. Do a quick search on www.BBB.org or google to see if a company is trustworthy or not. You can learn a lot from other consumers' online reviews. Always use third party sites to find reviews. Don't always trust reviews you see on a company's website. They may be fabricated if the company is a scam.
You can always report or search for scams in your area with BBB's ScamTracker.