A few months back I posted pictures on my FB page showing several money orders that were sent to me in the amount of $900 via postal mail. Thank goodness I was well aware of the money order and check schemes that have been going around for years, but I feel for the people who have hard times in this economy would have cashed those money orders only to wind up in trouble.
It’s so important especially in the military life to be aware of all of the schemes and scams that are more likely to be thrown our way.
“Many scammers insist that you wire money, or pressure you to make an important decision on the spot. Don’t fall for such tactics. If you get unsolicited email offers or spam, send the messages to firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Here are some suggestions from LifeLock on things not to do to keep you protected from scam artists:
What Not To Do
Don’t send money to someone you don’t know.
Not an online seller you’ve never heard of — nor an online love interest who asks for money. It’s best to do business with sites you know and trust. If you buy items through an online auction, consider using an option that provides protection, like a credit card.
If you think you’ve found a good deal, but you aren’t familiar with the company, do some research. Type the company or product name into your favorite search engine with terms like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” See what comes up – on the first page of results as well as on the later pages.
Never pay fees now for the promise of a big pay-off later — whether it’s for a loan, a job, or a so-called prize.
Don’t agree to deposit a check and wire money back.
No matter how convincing the story. By law, banks have to make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. You’re responsible for the checks you deposit: If a check turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for paying back the bank.
Don’t reply to messages asking for personal or financial information.
That goes whether the message comes as an email, a phone call, a text message, or an ad. Don’t click on links or call phone numbers included in the message, either. It’s called phishing. The crooks behind these messages are trying to trick you into revealing sensitive information. If you got a message like this and you are concerned about your account status, call the number on your credit or debit card — or your statement — and check on it.
Don’t play a foreign lottery.
It’s illegal to play a foreign lottery. And yet messages that tout your chances of winning a foreign lottery, or messages that claim you’ve already won can be so tempting. Inevitably, you’re asked to pay “taxes,” “fees,” or “customs duties” to collect your prize. If you send money to collect, you haven’t won anything. Indeed, you’ve lost whatever money you sent. You won’t get any money back, either, regardless of the promises.
I hope you find these tips useful as I can’t tell you how many times military wives have posted how they or their spouses had their account information stolen or used.
LifeLock can help protect you from that.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Lifelock. All opinions are my own.
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