As long as there is the value of money, there will be those out there who try to cheat people in order to get money. Being scammed out of money can truly be a nightmare as people often don’t see it coming and after it has happened, those who pulled off the scam usually know how to cover their tracks. The best defense when it comes to scams is to avoid them entirely. People can be savvy with their scams but there are ways to effectively avoid some of the standard scams that are used the most frequently. Some of these common scams include identity theft, advance-fee loans, and the grandparent scam, and all can be difficult to recover from.

Identity theft has become a major problem in today’s time, so it is no surprise that it is one of the more common methods used to scam people. Identity thieves use many tricks and go to great lengths in order to trick people out of their personal information. Usually they do this with e-mails or phone calls. There are good ways to avoid your information being stolen. First, if you ever get a phone call that supposedly is ‘urgent’ and they need your information, do not give it to them. Instead what you want to do is contact your bank directly to see if the emergency is real. Always be very careful about sharing your passwords, credit card and social security numbers.

Another standard scam that is used often is advanced-fee loans. This one is used by non-reputable companies that promise to get you a credit card or loan even if you have bad credit. Where the scam comes into play is that you will have to pay a required fee, and after you pay that fee you most likely won’t hear from them again. In this situation, what you want to do is avoid these kinds of companies that offer loans but do not seem interested in your credit history. Also be aware of the law. It is illegal for a company who is doing business by phone to require a fee before their promised loan is delivered. Another good rule of thumb is to, in general, never pay an advanced fee for a loan, no matter what the companies reasoning may be, like “processing” or “paperwork”.

The last standard scam has become more common because it has grown in notoriety. This is the grandparent scam. It is quite clever as it is designed to get over on unsuspecting elderly victims. The way that this scam works is that you will receive a phone call with the person pulling the scam pretending to be a grandchild that has gotten into some sort of trouble or emergency, usually an accident of some sort, and needs money. They will then try to get the victim to wire them the money. The person pulling the scam also will often claim to be outside of the country, often using Canada. To avoid this scam, make sure to verify the identity of anyone who is asking for funds in this manor. Do not send them anything until you are 100% certain. It is also helpful to call that person’s home and cell numbers along with calling other relatives to ensure that the call is legit.