Financial scams are becoming a problem everywhere. Fraudsters target people from all walks of life, in search of information and money. Con artists often want you to think they’re working for a bank or a government office. Impersonating a real institution can make them seem credible. They will go so far as to steal logos and create similar web addresses to try and trick you.
Other scammers may create websites and pose as a lender online. They don’t conduct business like legitimate lenders, and may say they don’t need to verify things like income. Scammers might also demand unusual things like gift cards. These are both bad signs. No matter the kind of scam, texts and emails are often used to communicate with targets.
There are ways to tell who a text or email is really coming from. Real businesses and government offices have rules about communications. For example, the IRS website outlines the ways they actually contact people. They never reach out to taxpayers via email or text. Their website also provides examples of common scams people should be aware of. Most banks have a similar page.
There are some simple steps experts agree can help keep you and your accounts safe
- Passwords Use unique passwords for all of your accounts online. People who use the same password everywhere are much more likely to be hacked. Change your passwords: you shouldn’t use the same one for years. Finally, never give your password out to anyone else. This will make it harder for scammers to access details about you.
- Trust Your Gut Would you ever request payment for something in gift cards? Scammers will often ask for unusual or hard-to-trace forms of payment that aren’t well regulated. Examples include prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or cryptocurrency. Scammers will also try to force you to use apps that transfer money instantly. Services like CashApp may not be able to refund your money once you’ve sent it.
- Be Careful Where You Click If a text or email seems suspicious, don’t open it. Delete it right away. Be especially careful about attachments and pop-up windows.
- Take Your Time Scammers will want you to rush. They pressure people to act quickly, because they want you to act without thinking. If someone is demanding money from you, ask clarifying questions. If their answers don’t make sense, stop the interaction. Hang up the phone. Stop responding to emails. Consider checking the FTC website and reporting the interaction.
- Be Secure Before completing a transaction, check that the website you’re using is legitimate and that the address is spelled correctly. Set up two-factor authentication where possible. Never use public wifi in places like airports or coffee shops for banking. Limit those transactions to private, password-protected wifi networks.
At Alliance Leasing, we take information security seriously. We’ve been in business for over 30 years because we do things the right way. Our application process is secure and efficient. We provide decisions to most people in 24 business hours. Bank loans are not the best fit for every customer. That’s why we do what we do. We provide a pragmatic alternative, financing used equipment in good condition, and covering soft costs. As a legitimate provider, we never ask for things like gift cards.
Do business with someone you can trust. We’re a member of the AACFB. We print our customer’s testimonials. And our application process is simple and transparent. Working with Alliance Leasing is a great way to protect yourself from common financial scams.