Scams!! Scams!! Scams!!
Now that I have got your eyes & ears. So let’s talk about the Scams. I am a Mortgage agent and blogging about something which is not directly related to finance but still thought of writing about it if it can help people to stay safe. So today I will talk about the ongoing scams happening all around through phone or email or on social media. It’s a well thought process to cheat people of their money and their identity in some cases. It is understatement to say it can take a big emotional toll on the person.
There are so many scams these days that we cannot cope up with and their modus operandi. By the time we know of one scam there are tens of them doing round in the market. There are many scams like CRA asking for money or giving the credit, Social Insurance compromise scam, Air Canada you have won vacation, the annoying Duct cleaning calls, Spouse met an accident call scams, Bank emails/calls asking to call a different number, SIM card compromise and many many others.
Broadly we can segregate these scams into the following
• Phishing – Where you can get an email or sms asking to click on link and fill some personal information
• Fraudulent Telemarketing/other calls – Most common kind of scams we have these days. Getting call from local numbers and asking to you to talk to a representative while you hold
Let us all be honest at some point we may be close to or have fallen into the trap. Question is why we fall into the trap, I think following are few reasons
• We like to believe we can get something in return against nothing to lose
• Fraud artist are very convincing in their talks • They use aggressive pitches and other techniques
• Fraudster tells us not to tell anyone, it is a time bound or secret opportunity
• They have emotional appeal in the cause they are calling for
The most important question is how to know it is scam and how to avoid it. Let me be honest it is not easy task to realise and know what is scam and what is real, but it is always good to follow the basic guidelines
• If it is too good to be true it is a scam
• The caller uses pressure techniques to answer yes or no on the spot
• Government agency or utility companies, if they ask for Cash/cheque or gift card payments
• Asking you to send money first to receive your refund or additional money
• If it is enticing you to click on the link either on SMS or Email
• You are asked to give personal information like your PIN’s, SIN, Credit card numbers, Passwords etc
• You are made to feel guilty if you refuse or let go of the opportunity
These are the few things to look for, but before giving any information or acting on the call think twice is it necessary to disclose the information?
If God forbidden you find yourself in such situation what steps you can take
• If it is financial scam related to Bank, immediately contact your bank to update them and block the account and secure your account/s
• If it was personal information compromised, check on your credit report and see what false enquiry has been made on the report
• Stop all communication with Fraudster/scammer
• Gather all records you have with the Fraudster/Scammer
• Change password for all the accounts that have got affected like Bank accounts
• Always share the information with your friends and family, it takes lot of courage to take this step as you might have to face embarrassment if you are victim in scam but they might have some information or they can get you emotional support and you will save them from falling into the trap in future.
These are few things we can take care of, specially the Holiday season lurking right around the corner need to be more vigilant.
On the departing note just would like to say stay safe, Happy Holidays and have a great Holiday Season!!!!