Scammers keep getting bolder and bolder with their extortion methods. From impersonating landlords to illegal debt collection tactics, there is no shortage of ways scammers will try to separate you from your money.1
Scamming has been exacerbated even further by the pandemic, with hackers taking advantage of people in an already anxiety-inducing climate. Be aware of these five red flags when getting on the phone, checking your email, or using social media. This can help you avoid getting trapped in a conversation with a scammer in the first place.
Be sure to read all the way to the end, where we discuss how our personalized portfolios allow you to include your market views, such as the increased importance of cybersecurity, to potentially add value to your portfolio in a risk-controlled way.
Red Flag #1: They Make an Identity Claim
Many scammers are now utilizing strategies in which they claim to be trustworthy sources, such as a government agency or even your bank, to extrapolate information from you. If you receive a strange call, text, or email with an unfamiliar hyperlink, this is a telltale sign that you are being scammed.2
Never click on mysterious hyperlinks or respond to uncertified messages asking for your personal information, especially if it involves money. For instance, many scammers claim to be government agencies providing updates on COVID-19 economic support. Do not blindly trust these claims.
Red Flag #2: They Need Your Personal Information Immediately
A scammer’s goal is to get your personal information as quickly as possible. Especially due to the pandemic, scammers prey on people’s fears. In addition to making a brazen identity claim, a scammer will often state that he or she needs information or money immediately, or something terrible will happen. Be aware of this behavior instead of allowing it to induce stress.
If you are already in contact with a potential scammer and start displaying doubts, a scammer may even get aggressive about needing your information. This is another sign that you are dealing with a scam. A genuine source will never require you to reveal personal information in this manner.3
Red Flag #3: You Must Wire Money
Once a scammer receives money from you, his or her goal is to disappear with it, becoming extremely difficult to track. If an entity is asking you to send money via a wire transfer or reload pack, this is likely a scam because these payment methods are tough to track.3
Moreover, if someone is requiring you to send money quickly in an unorthodox fashion, they are likely scammers.
Red Flag #4: The Scam Does Not Apply to You
This is one of the more obvious indications of a scam. For instance, a scammer may contact a teenager about car insurance when the teenager does not even own a car in his or her name. Nonetheless, the frightening and urgent language of the call could get them stuck in an uncomfortable conversation with someone who is likely a scammer.
If somebody approaches or calls you with an offer or issue that clearly does not apply to you, get out of the situation as quickly as possible.
Red Flag #5: It Is Too Good to Be True
Unfortunately, getting an excellent deal is often a sign that it may be a scam. A scammer will promise you something that seems far too good to be true to draw you in. Even if a scammer’s website seems extremely official, or a scammer approaches you in person, looking very professional, that is often a front to gain trust.
This is one of the easiest ways to get scammed, and it can happen in almost any area of business. Always stay wary of untrustworthy sources, and if you seem to be getting too good of a deal on insurance or even something as big as an apartment rental or car, do more research on the identity of the source.
It is much easier to get scammed than one would think. Make sure that you are aware of the telltale signs of a scam and avoid allowing your fear to get the best of you in these situations.
How Can You Position Your Portfolio to Benefit from Your Market Views?
Implementing your personal views can have a meaningful impact on your overall portfolio, but should be done in a risk-controlled way. Before we start the investment process we look to understand what drives your financial decisions across four dimensions; Purpose, Touch, Viewpoints, and Safety. Using our financial personality assessment (which you can take here), we work with you to construct a personal portfolio taking into account your unique score across these dimensions:
We create and manage your portfolio to custom fit your own unique set of personal factors along these dimensions using a combination of individual stocks and low-cost ETFs, always in the context of your own risk and tax profile. The result is a globally diversified tax and risk-managed portfolio designed specifically to meet your financial needs, personal values, market views, and tax profile. Reach out to us to learn more about how we can build a personalized portfolio for you.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.