There are certain precautions we take as a matter of routine. We know that seat belts can save lives. So when we get in our cars, we automatically reach for the seat belt.
We avoid dark alleys. We make sure our doors are locked before we go to sleep. We tell our kids not to talk to strangers. We try to do everything we can to safeguard ourselves and our families from harm.
And yet, we’re human. We leave our bags unattended. We open the door to salesmen. We stop to help strangers. We put our checks in the mailbox. We answer the phone. We go online.
Each of these actions opens us up to the possibility of being scammed.
Scams are nothing new. They have been around since the dawn of time and take many different forms. The only difference between the con game back in the day and the con game now is that technology has made it faster, easier and more lucrative to scam even larger numbers of people.
With the click of a mouse, identities can be stolen, bank accounts drained, credit cards charged. This is not to say that the low-tech scam no longer exists; on the contrary, it is alive and well. Being a technophobe will not protect you.
What will help protect you are a few practical safeguards and a good working knowledge of what scams look and sound like.