Sometimes your friends drain your wallet. They know when its payday – and they’re coming along for the ride! (Only without gas or dinner money). That was the old school version of a financial vampire, the friend that you couldn’t afford.
My workshops for YOU(th) delve into financial etiquette as well as financial scams.
Young and old alike, are vulnerable to new kind of financial vampire. It’s like there’s an invisible predator, using “technology” to bleed money out of your account.
It’s hard to know how to protect yourself, when you don’t know when this kind of theft is happening. But there are things to keep in mind to protect your accounts.
Be wary of using ATM’s in unfamiliar neighborhoods – some of these have been discovered to have skimmers attached that steal your information.
Be wary of email phishing scams announcing “lottery winnings” of that you are named the “beneficiary” of someone whom you’ve never heard of. These emails are from strangers, usually claiming to be from a foreign country. Don’t take the bait by giving out your financial information.
Hackers also break into online accounts and steal identities. Whenever possible, use encrypted programs and use an Internet security software to prevent this. Scan the computer frequently for viruses on a weekly basis. You can also get free credit monitoring tips from Consumer Reports.
Retailers can also have their computers hacked for your information. To avoid this problem, pay in cash. Then keep the receipt in case of any problems with the item purchased.
The worst story I’ve heard so far concerns homeowners – those with no mortgage. They are vulnerable to someone going online and discovering that the home is owned free and clear and then claiming to be the owner and “selling” the home right out from under the true owner! To prevent this register ownership of the home with the county as the owner of the deed.
It used to be that we could who the bad guy was – it was the one hiding behind the tree. Times sure have changed.