Episode 78: How to Spot & Avoid Scams in the Coronavirus Environment

Today’s Prep:

Everybody likes to hear about scams but nobody likes to be involved in one. Today, let’s cover the two most common types of scams and then four ways to avoid a scam.

(Click the featured times below to jump forward in the episode)

Equipping Points:

Scams are unfortunately something we all need to be aware of and suspicious of. When it comes to your money and your private information, you always want to protect that from a scammer. So, what types of scams are most common? And how can you spot a scam?

The first thing to do with phone scams is to let it go to voicemail if you don’t recognize a number. If it’s important, they will leave a message. If you do decide to answer, don’t believe anyone who says they are from the IRS. The IRS will contact you by mail. If you have a call that you are suspicious about, hang up and call the number you are confident is the correct number for your bank or credit card company to verify the information. David shares a number of client stories who were targeted for scams.

The other primary way to be scammed is via email. If you get an email or even a text from an unknown sender, don’t click on the link! Pay attention to where it’s coming from and what they are asking you to do. Scams have gotten very sophisticated.

So how can you tell if you are being scammed? David gives four ways to narrow it down. While scams will continue, these four questions can help you avoid getting sucked into a scam.

Right now, with coronavirus, scams are ramping up even more as people are more vulnerable and new money is being sent out with the stimulus checks. It’s important to stay vigilant about it. Wonder what could happen if you aren’t? This TED Talk with James Veitch gives a humorous rundown of what happens when you reply to a scam email.

Listen to the full episode or click on the timestamps below to hear more about scams.

[0:34] – Scams continue to be a risk.

[2:26] – The most common scam is by phone.

[4:22] – If you pick up the phone and they say they are from the IRS — they aren’t.

[7:07] – Be suspicious, especially with incoming calls.

[8:35] – Unknown emails with a suspicious link shouldn’t be clicked on.

[14:08] – Were you contacted out of the blue?

[14:24] – Are they asking for personal information?

[15:08] – Is there some sort of deadline or pressure to act now?

[16:03] – Are they asking for money up front or with a VISA gift card?

[17:27] – Use common sense and be skeptical.

[21:05] – What happens if you respond to a scam email?

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The host: David Dickens

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