6 Signs You’re Being Contacted by a Scammer
If you spot any of these tactics, stop and walk away. You’re probably being scammed.
- They contacted you
When you contact a business, you know who’s on the other end of the line. But when someone contacts you first, you can’t be certain they’re telling the truth. You don’t know if they are whom they say they are. And remember, email addresses and caller ID information can be faked.
- They dangle bait—usually money
Let’s face it: People simply don’t give away large sums of money easily. If someone dangles bait in front of you—a big prize, a shopping spree, an easy loan — for nothing, they’re probably lying.
- They want your personal information
Anytime anyone asks for your personal information — bank accounts, social security number, etc. — you should be on alert. Don’t give it away quickly or easily, especially to someone you don’t know. You may become a victim of identity theft.
- You have to pay them first
If someone offers you a prize, debt relief, or employment — but first you have to pay an upfront fee to get it —you’re probably being scammed.
- You have to wire money or send gift cards
If you’re about to wire money or send gift cards to someone in order to receive a prize, or pay off a debt collector that contacts you … STOP! This may be a scammer trying to take your money.
- You are asked to keep it a secret. Scam artists may ask consumers not to tell anyone about the situation so that the consumer doesn’t get advice from someone who might detect the scam. If you are asked to keep a transaction a secret, you should do the opposite—immediately contact trusted family members or friends to investigate the situation and get their opinion: