#1 Never give out banking information over the phone
Unless you initiate the phone call or know who the person is you’re speaking with, never divulge your personal banking information. This includes PIN numbers, credit card information, account balances, etc.
#2 Trust your instincts
You know from experience that your bank, internet provider, revenue agency, or any service you are billed for would never call you to transfer funds.
#3 Beware of “emergency” scams
Seniors are the most at risk for this type of scam. Scammers take advantage of their emotions and rob them of their money. People will call and report a fake accident that your family member has been supposedly involved in or that a family member is being held in police custody and claim that a certain amount of money needs to be transferred in order to rectify the situation. How do you protect yourself? Hang up and call the family member the issue is regarding and confirm the validity of the claims.
#4 Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Charitable scams do exist, so there isn’t any shame in asking a few questions regarding the legitimacy of the charity an individual is fundraising for. Questions like: Where is your charity located? What is the reference number? May I see your paperwork? These types of questions let them know you will be conducting your own research. Tell them that only after you’ve completed your research will you decide whether or not to donate.
#5 If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
You work hard for your money; protect it by being curious, using common sense and asking questions.
Photo: CNN Money
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