The start of a new year often means setting new goals or creating resolutions. Why not make your resolution to stay scam free in 2020? While scams can take various forms, there are often "red flags" that are common to many scams. Recognizing red flags will help you avoid scams. The following are some common red flags that may help you identify if a scammer is trying to steal your money or personal information:
- You are asked to send payment in a non-traditional way, such as via pre-paid gift card, wire transfer or crypto-currency
- You receive unsolicited contact from a government agency, business or other entity that is unexpected and unprofessional
- You are requested to provide or verify critical information such as a bank account number or your Social Security number
- The request is urgent in nature, often with a timeline to ensure there is not time to verify its legitimacy
- The offer seems "too good to be true" or not in line with market value for the product or service
- There is little or no contact information for the organization and third-party reviews are limited or don't exist
Aside from recognizing red flags, one of the best ways to stay scam free is to "trust your gut," if something doesn't sound right, don't go along with it. If you have a question about a fraud or scam contact an AARP ElderWatch volunteer specialist at 1-800-222-4444, option 2 for information and assistance. Stay Scam Free in 2020!