Money is what some say makes the world go round, and it can be very important when it comes to your own personal life.
Managing your own finances isn’t easy, and you may have to borrow finance from elsewhere at times to get you through. For instance, as a business owner, you may take out a mca loan in order to expand your operations. Or if you are faced with an emergency, you may have to take out a payday loan.
But when it comes to money, there are some things you have to be careful of, and that is financial scams. With the rise of digital technology and banking, financial scams are becoming increasingly common, and more people are falling victim.
So, to help you keep your money safe, we’ve compiled a list of the top financial scams and tell you how to avoid them. Keep reading to find out more…
1. Imposter Scammers
One of the most common financial scams of 2022 is imposter scams. This is where the scammer will pretend to be a business or government body and are actively trying to steal your information. They may target you by email, phone, or even text message.
One example of this is you receive a fake email saying that a largely expensive purchase has been made on your Amazon account. The scammers are then expecting you to be concerned and think that your account has been hacked, forcing you to call the number they’ve placed at the bottom of the email.
Once you call them, they can pressure you into handing over all sorts of personal information from your username and password to even your bank account details. In some cases, they may be pretending to be a government body and say that you have to pay a certain amount of money otherwise you’ll face extreme consequences like a prison.
To avoid financial scams like these, the most important thing is to never give any personal details or pay any money to them.
If you receive an email or text, double-check what email address or number it has come from and ring the official company number that’s listed on their website. You can then ask if it is a legitimate email or text. If it is not, the company will be able to tell you straight away and you’ll be able to just delete and block the scammer.
If you have called the number in the email, don’t be afraid to question what they are telling you to do. A real business or government body would never pressure you into handing over your details or force you into making a payment.
If you believe that at any point in time you’ve called the number of a scammer, hang up straight away and block the number.
Online romancing has become extremely popular, especially during the pandemic. But this also means that we’ve seen a rise in the number of people who are scammed by people catfishing.
Catfishing is where someone will use a fake photo and possibly a fake name to entice you in and start an online relationship with you with no intention of ever meeting up with you. There are some catfishes who aren’t scammers, and they may do it due to a lack of confidence or even for fun, but there are now a lot of scam artists using this approach.
The scammer catfishes have the intention of getting you to send them money, so they’ll lure you in with the promise of love and use your own emotions against you to get what they want. If you start a relationship online, you should be on the lookout for red flags.
This can include things like refusing to video call with you, always cancelling arranged meet-ups, making excuses why they can’t speak on the phone, and always saying how bad they are doing financially.
If you suspect that you may be the subject of a scammer catfish, then block them immediately and don’t accept any requests from other random people that you don’t know. They may create other accounts just to try to talk to you, so be aware of who you’re adding online.
3. Pretending To Be Family Or Friends
As well as pretending to be businesses, financial scammers are now pretending to be family and friends in the hopes of getting your details and money.
You may receive a text message or email from a random number or address saying things like “It’s (insert family or friend name here) and I need X amount of money, could you send it to me?”. They’ll also normally insert an excuse as to why they are contacting you on a different number too, but don’t be fooled.
Take a minute to think about whether or not this person would ask you for money and does the message sound like them. There was one case where a father knew that it was a scam because he noticed a typo in the message and his son was a grammar expert, so there was no way he would have sent it.
You should also contact the actual person using the contact details you have for them and ask them if they’ve sent the message. If they confirm it is fake, then immediately block the scam number or email address.
4. Termination Emails
Another suspicious email that you might receive is one claiming to be from a paid subscription service like Netflix, telling you that they are going to terminate your account. The scammers are then expecting you to contact the number they provide so they can get to work and steal your details.
These emails can be increasingly hard to spot as fakes, as they are able to make them seem like they’ve come from a legitimate company. However, if you are concerned that it is real, don’t phone the number in the email. Instead, visit the official company website and call the number provided there.
If you have called the number the scammers provided, they make ask you for lots of personal details in order to get access to your bank account. Real companies would never need this information, so if you notice that they are pushing you for your details, hang up the phone and block the number.
5. Tech Support Scams
Pretty much everyone has some form of computer in their home. Whether it is a laptop, PC set up, or simply a tablet, these are the perfect targets for tech support scams.
They make send you an email advising that your PC is at risk with a clickable link. Once you click the link, it can contain a virus and display a message on your screen advising you need to call tech support in order to unlock your computer. The scammers will then ask you to pay them money in order to unlock it and they’ll store your bank details and even get you to log into your online banking so that they can steal your login information.
If you ever click on a scammer link and a message does display on your screen, try unplugging your set-up and leaving it off for a few minutes. When you switch it back on, it should have disappeared. If not, then you may need to take it to a store that deals with viruses on computers.
In order to avoid these types of financial scams, never click a link in an email unless you are 100 per cent sure it is safe. If you receive any type of email advising that your computer is at risk and it is not from the legitimate email address of who provides you with your security, then report it as spam and block the email.
What Are the Common Financial Scams in the World?
Here are the top financial scams in the world you should protect yourself from:
- Imposter scammers.
- Pretending to be family or friends.
- Termination emails.
- Tech support scams.
Although you may think that financial scams are easy to spot, nowadays, they are becoming a lot harder to differentiate.
Every time you receive an email or text message claiming to be from a certain company or loved one, don’t immediately believe it. Instead, spend a few minutes investigating what you’ve received. Do an internet search on the number or email address and see if it is linked to the official company or has been reported previously as a scam.
Remember, if you are the victim of a financial scam, it is never your fault! These scammers are becoming more sophisticated and able to trick even the most tech-savvy people, so never feel as though you are to blame.
Do your best to avoid these financial scams by not taking everything at face value. Never be afraid to hang up or block a number. It could end up saving you from being a victim of a financial scam.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.