Identifying and avoiding a financial scam is the best way to keep your money and identity protected.
These days, scammers and hackers are pretty sophisticated and can very easily disguise themselves as your bank or credit card company.
Just the other day, I answered an unrecognizable number on my cell phone to discover it was my credit card provider. They wanted to know if I had made a $100 transaction the night before. The reason they flagged the transaction was because my card had not been physically swiped and the transaction took place at a store, not online. While this explanation was perfectly logical and my first reaction was to thank them for catching a fraudulent transaction, the very next thing that ran through my mind, was OK, is this really my credit card company calling?
So the same way, they require ID from me when I call a credit card company, asking me a series of personally identifying questions, I proceeded to ask them a series of identifying questions.
- Could they tell me what my last transaction was? I then quickly checked online
- What were my most recent transactions?
- What other products did I have with them?
As they were able to correctly answer my identifying questions, I was comfortable that it was my credit card company.
It is very important to note, that if they had asked me for any personal information, like account information or social security number, I would not have provided any answers. If they really were my credit card company, that is information they would already have had. They didn’t ask for any info from me other than my address at the start of the call, in order to verify my identity , which was quite reasonable.
Sometimes, scammers can actually have hacked into your account and be able to tell you some of your expenditures. Bearing this in mind, had I been unsure of their authenticity, I would have asked what department they were calling from and called back by dialling the number on the back of my credit card or looked up the actual phone number on the bank’s website. If they had given me a phone number to call them back at, I would likely be calling back to their fraudulent company and incur a financial scam.
Whether is it your bank, cell phone provider, or someone claiming to be from a computer company or any other person requesting information from you, if you didn’t call them, don’t give out your personal information In particular do not give out information that can enable fraudsters to access your money or identity. Too many people have been scammed by fraudsters. Scammers are pretty sophisticated these days, be vigilant and you won’t lose you ID or money to con-artists!
I take my privacy and finances very seriously and so should you.