Keeping Ahead Of Scam Operations

Little man being baited with scamThere are a lot of consumers who are being targeted and subsequently falling victim to multiple scam operations. Not only consumers but even debt collection companies are being targeted by scam collectors. Scam operations are far reaching because debt is a real world problem and shady groups are finding ways of fooling other people into making payments.

But not only those in debt are falling victims to illegal tactics. Even other consumers who are targeted by hackers are falling prey as their personal information are being illegally taken and used for other scrupulous activities. In fact, Krebsonsecurity.com recently shared how Home Depot is working with officials to investigate some unusual activities of credit card transactions with purchases originating from their establishment.

Scammers are professional swindlers of sorts as they lie and threaten and harass their way into getting their hands on the hard earned money of some consumers. It is best to be on guard against these types of people and organizations to make sure that you keep your finances safe and away from the prying hands of scam operations.

But even with people being victimized and news breaking stories on how scam companies mislead poor consumers, there are still a lot of people falling prey into these scam operations. These victims are coughing up amounts for either a debt they do not owe or even for legitimate debts being paid to the wrong companies.

Most common tricks used by scam operations

One reason for this is that as consumers are becoming aware of the tactics employed by scammers, these shady companies are constantly evolving their tactics as well to try and catch a consumer off-guard. These can range from collection scams targeting family members to faking a disaster outreach, the methods of scam operators vary from new to recycling old tricks.

Here are some of the most common tricks used in scam operations.

  • Calls on debt collection. There are some shady groups who will call and ask for payment on debt that consumers may or may not own. There are some who will pin a debt to a consumer even if it not theirs. And there are some who might have accessed legitimate debt information on the consumer and collecting illegally on the payments.
  • Phone call from the IRS. There are scam operations where they pretend to be calling from the Internal Revenue Service or IRS and threatening about non-payment of taxes. Some consumers are caught unaware and off guard because not a lot of people can pull the figure on top of their head. Scammers will insist and say that there are underpayments and they collecting on that amount.
  • Lower rates on credit card. Some scam companies would call consumers offering lower rates on credit cards but would need personal details on your loan. If they are from the lender and are legitimate calls, they would have all those details already with them and at the most confirm some information.
  • Computer support technicians. There are some scam companies who will introduce themselves as technical support and advise consumers that their computers are infected with a virus. They will then ask for personal details like email and password to reset your account.
  • Disaster scams. As bad as it looks, there are scrupulous entities who are using the misfortunes of others to make a quick buck. Natural calamities and disasters like a hurricane or volcanoes erupting or earthquakes can leave a lot of people in need. Some scam operations set up a relief group collecting donations for those affected. Investopedia.com shares that it is best to check with the IRS if the companies are registered entities.
  • Calling grandparents. There are scrupulous entities trying to bank on the affection grandparents feel for their children and grandchildren. This is why there are some scam companies calling old folks disguising under the identity of grandchildren asking for money. They pretend to be in a jam and needs instant cash to get out of it. It works because grandparents would usually do anything for their grand kids.

Knowing that you are already talking to a scammer

After knowing some of the most common tactics of scam operations, it would benefit consumers to know some telltale signs that they are already talking to a scam artist on the phone.

  • Threats during the conversation. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects consumers from these dirty tactics employed by scam companies and sadly, even some legitimate ones. These can include the threat to sue in court, sending a subpoena or even getting arrested for fraud. These are not allowed under the law and there is a big chance that you are talking to a scam artist on the other end of the line.
  • Proof of collection. Under the law, consumers are entitled to a written confirmation of the account being collected. Scam companies would not have these and try to talk their way out of it. ¬†They could say that they were already sent to your address. You can request for another one again and wait for it before talking to anyone or agreeing to make a payment.
  • Wire transfer fraud. Do not fall victim to money transfer scams because it will be hard to trace and retrieve. These scam artists would direct you to make a payment on debt being collected by going to third party companies such as Western Union to make a payment.

Keeping away from scam operations

After knowing the dirty tactics and signs that you are already talking to a scam artist, here are a few things to look into to help prevent getting in the middle of scam operations.

  • Pay your finances on time. This is one great way to get out of collection calls that might be coming from scam operations. If you are religiously making payments on your financial obligations and have them all listed down neatly, there should be no way that you would get collection calls. In these cases, there is a big possibility that the debt is not yours and they are trying to fool you into making a payment.
  • Coordinate with your lender. There may come a time that you would have a hard time financially and be unable to meet all your obligations including debt and loan payments. When this happens, it is best to coordinate with your lender and explain your situation. It is in their best interest to help you stay current on your payments. This can either include lowering your monthly payment or enrolling you in a deferment program.
  • Be careful with your personal information. This is how scammers can get your personal details that they can use to either steal your identity or target you for their scam operations. McAfee.com advises that one way to protect your details is to stay away from putting in personal information when connected to public Wi-FIs.
  • Stay calm and collected when dealing with collectors. To differentiate scammers from legitimate collectors, you would need a cool head. If you are unable to maintain composure and get rattled at the start, this could lead you to agree with the caller and make payments just to get the call over and done with.

Scam operations are all around and it is up to the consumers to know their ways to not fall victim to their tricks.