How to Avoid Falling Victim to a Scam

All around us there are bad people looking to take our hard-earned money or the assets of our employers. Some live in our neighborhood and want to sell us services that we don’t need, such as a total replacement of the Flux Capacitor in our 2003 Dodge Caravan. Hint, the only vehicle that needs one is the time traveling car from the movie Back to the Future.

Others are running scams such as the famous and still used Nigerian scam. They also target people in their place of work to get to the big bucks. They will reach out to the accounting staff pretending to be the president of the company needing an emergency wire transfer after hours for a big deal he is working on.

How can you avoid falling victim to these con artists?

First, always be on guard. If it sounds too good to be true…run! If your bank calls you and asks for your credit card number to verify a fraudulent transaction politely tell them you never give out sensitive information to callers over the phone. Hang up and call the number on your card and ask to be transferred to the fraud department, that way you know you are talking to the right people.

There is nobody in Nigeria or anywhere else that urgently needs to transfer large amounts of money into your bank account. What they really want to do is transfer the money out of your account to an overseas account.

Look very carefully at every email you get for signs that it is phishing for your information. Signs that this is not legitimate include poor language and spelling, and links that when you hold your mouse over them don’t look right such as Be especially cautious around holidays and after natural disasters. The scammers love to pray on nice people trying to help. Again, if you are suspicious bring up a fresh tab or browser window and type in the web address yourself.

With a little care you can protect yourself and your company from becoming another victim.