Scammers are far more prevalent than some people would like to believe.
In fact, there are so many scammers out there, and they are so smart that they are just too difficult to spot.
Many people who have fallen victim to a scammer may not even talk about their experience, often out of embarrassment.
As you may well know, there are some people out there who are far more likely to be targeted by a scammer than others.
On this page, we are going to look at some of the common methods that scammers can use to target you.
This should, hopefully, provide you with a bit more protection.
Scams are on the rise
According to the University of Vermont, scams are on the rise.
In fact, since 2013, the number of reported scams have almost tripled.
This is mostly due to the smarter way in which scammers are working.
What are the various scams of which you could be a victim?
The problem with trying to prevent scamming is the inability to differentiate between genuine offers and fraud.
Some of them are things that you may not even expect to be scammed about (one of the main reasons as to why people fall victims to a scam).
Now, this graph from the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation may not show the full extent of the various scams out there, but it does show you the most prevalent ones.
How many people get scammed?
According to The Telegraph, an investigation discovered that one in ten people fall victim to a scam at least once in their life.
It is quite a sizeable figure, particularly when you consider that many of these individuals who fall for scams do think that they are sensible enough not to get wrapped up in one!
This goes to show just how intelligent scammers are. You need to avoid them.
What is the cost of being involved in a scam?
This graph, built upon data collected from Credit Card Finder, an Australian website, shows the prevalence of various types of scam, as well as the total amount of cash lost from those scams in the space of a year.
Yes, the data is Australian, but the data does a lot to show you just how much cash can be lost if you are mixed up with a scammer.
The majority of scammers will look through public records to find information about you.Click to tweet
The information is dreadfully simple to access, and you can find out a whole host about the person when you do this.
This makes some scams easier to carry out.
When your information is ‘out there’, you can expect a ton of predatory companies and scammers to come running to you.
It will not be uncommon to find information related to loans and attorneys come through your door on a regular basis.
The general advice is that if something seems far too good to be true, then it probably is a scam.
If you are going through a few issues, then do make sure that you vet each and every offer that comes your way.
Being a little cautious will prevent you from facing a whole lot worst situations!
Friends and Family
No. Your friends and family are not going to be looking to scam you.
However, they may point you in the direction of a scammer while being completely oblivious to what may happen.
If your friends and family refer somebody to you, then you still need to carry out the vetting process.
As you may well know, many scammers build up their ‘business’ by building close relationships with people.
That is the aim of the game.
If a scammer can build up a relationship, then they will have others eating out of the palm of their hand.
Once you start trusting a single person, you are going to recommend them a lot.
This helps the scam to take hold.
Basically, this is a scam operated through referrals.
You should never take recommendations from a friend, no matter how much you trust that friend.
There is a good chance that they may not completely know about the nature of the scam.
So, if you do end up falling victim via this method, then do not hold it against your friend.
Go through these steps:
- Listen to your friend.
- Try to find the website of the expert online.
- Check out reviews online.
If there is no website, or if the reviews seem a little bit too good to be true (scammers are known to create their own reviews) then give them a good, wide berth.
Have you been the victim of a scammer before?
Sadly, if you have been subjected to a scam before, then you are going to be a prime target for another scam.
This information does travel around pretty quickly.
The scammers already know that you are an easy target.
The criminals will even have shared details of what it takes to scam you.
Some of the scams are pretty dubious and play out like this:
- A scammer comes to you and ‘takes money’ via a scam.
- Your name is shared amongst various scammers.
- Another scammer pops up and says they can help you get the money you were scammed out of before, at a price.
- You have been scammed twice!
The only real way in which you can avoid this happening is by being wary of such scams.
If you stay sensible and have your wits about you at all times (i.e. you are not blinded by good deals), then you should be able to avoid the vast majority of scams.