How to Guard Yourself Against Con Artists

Scammers do not discriminate against the old, young, male or female, so you need to know how to guard yourself against con artists in order to protect your assets, your privacy and your self-respect. Despite being well-informed, every year people are still duped into frauds and scams. So don't be a victim, and instead learn how to protect yourself and your well-being.


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    Learn the dos and don'ts of con artist protection.
    • Never trust a stranger. That includes strangers contacting you by phone, by letter, by email or by any other means of communication.
    • Don't let anyone guilt you into purchasing anything or participating in anything with which you are not comfortable.
    • Be leery of a promise of high returns with little investment or risk.
    • Don't be pressured by someone giving you an ultimatum on a timeline. If he is pressuring you to act fast, it's probably because he doesn't want you to have enough time to research the proposal or request thoroughly.
    • Request written information about the group who has the deal or investment, and don't be afraid to follow up with your own research on the organization. Perform a background check, and also consider consulting the Better Business Bureau to see if it has any reported complaints against the organization.
    • Ask logical questions to make sure that you understand the situation and that any confusion that you might have about the opportunity is cleared up.
    • Speak to a third party about the offer. Consider discussing it with a licensed stockbroker, an attorney, your finance manager, your accountant or other reputable, trusted source of information.
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    Be aware of common con artists tricks.
    • Con artists try to assimilate themselves to the environment, and they will use any means necessary to gain your trust.
    • Con artists like to play on your emotions including greed, insecurity (e.g. about yourself, how smart you are or your finances) and fear.
    • Con artists work fast. They offer you high-pressure deals in order to rush you into making a decision. They do so so that they can quickly obtain your money and leave town before you or anyone else suspects that there is a problem.
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    Familiarize yourself with common cons and how they are performed.
    • Someone posing as a bank examiner asks you to take money out of your account to try to catch a supposed embezzler. You can put a stop to this scam by contacting your bank.
    • Credit card and phone scammers ask you for your credit card number to check for unauthorized charges. Don't ever give out your credit card or other secure information over the phone. Instead, call the fraud line on the back of your credit card to authenticate the information being told to you.
    • Home repair service people, inspectors and/or carpet cleaners approach your home with an offer too good to refuse. Instead of allowing them to perform a cash service, call the Better Business Bureau or the authorities to check for complaints before agreeing to allow them to do any service work for you.


  • Don't be ashamed to make a report to authorities if you have been scammed. While you may not be able to recuperate your money, you may be protecting dozens of other people from fraud.

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Categories: Criminal and Penal Law Procedure | Social Security