Victim #3's Advice to Avoid Being Scammed

  • never give PIN numbers, bank account information nor social insurance number
  • even if he/she offers to repay you directly in your account, insist he email it to you
  • know your weaknesses-mine was caring and helping people…that made me a big target
  • if something seems too good to be true, it generally is
  • my intuition was just screaming no, no, no but there was no other proof-everyone else was saying he is perfect for me, listen to yourself, trust yourself
  • they will be in a rush, have an emergency that generally escalates along with an elaborate story
  • they will apply pressure and guilt
  • they will start with a small request and then continually build upon it
  • they will only want cash as its less traceable
  • ask yourself why should I be responsible for his/her hard times, why don’t they have a support system or back up plan, they are adults and should be self-sufficient
  • ask yourself what would you do in such a situation
  • be aware of confirmation bias-once you decide he/she is good, its very hard to change your mind because you automatically look for information to confirm your already made opinion
  • try to see how they live-be aware they may pass someone else’s home of as theirs (this happened to me)
  • try to meet their friends-many con artists are very charismatic therefore have many superficial short term friends, short term friends equal higher risk, long term friends equal more stability
  • try to verify the request or story-although they are expert liars, my guy had pictures, diagrams, took many related phone calls etc.
  • try to meet their family, talk to their family – be aware they always have a story for everything, mine was he was estranged from his family because they were abusive
  • regularly monitor your credit cards and bank accounts
  • do credit checks-Credit Karma, Equifax, Transunion
  • only have a few cards, cancel all inactive ones
  • setup more security (ask your bank) for example add a personal question or phone number for any changes, set low daily limits on your accounts
  • create strong and unique passwords and use different ones
  • always shield your PIN when entering, ask the person to step back if need be…this is your life’s money
  • shred/destroy any personal and financial information (including preapproved credit cards)
  • keep virus and anti-spy ware up to date on your computer, tablets and phones

Disclaimer-not a trained professional, you must use own good judgement for decisions

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