Saturday, October 19, 2013

Basic Scam Avoidance Practices

Many schemes and scams are easily detected and often pose no real threat to you or your family, but even though you might catch obvious and sometimes embarrassing attempts to defraud you, there are still many more that take even the most cautious people by surprise.

Following these few tips can give you an edge on the attempts to defraud you or your family.

-Get all promises and claims in writing. Ask for proof of claims.

-Require references and check them. Be aware that people may falsely give good references on a company.

-Try to get many references, not just one or two. When checking references, ask detailed questions about business procedures and performance that only a person with real experience in that industry could answer.

-Before signing any document, read it carefully. Sometimes items such as checks and purchase orders contain legal agreements that you might not realize you are authorizing. Never sign a contract that contains blank spaces.

-Be sure you understand a written business agreement completely, and if possible, get a lawyer’s help. If you can’t explain that agreement to someone else, don’t sign it. Keep asking questions until you get answers that satisfy you.

-Screen all of your mail; it is full of valuable items, such as checks and private financial information.

-Change pass-codes for telephone, voice mail, and other billable communications systems frequently. Use complex passwords at least six characters long or longer. Passwords should never consist of character combinations that can be guessed easily, such as phone numbers, birthdays, or names.

-Review all financial statements and bills, to make sure there are no unauthorized amounts on your accounts. Keep these sensitive documents in a secure place. Destroy or shred any such items that you do not want to store. 

How prepared are you?

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