07-08-2014 06:28 AM
Each year, through email, snail mail and free-lunch seminars, some 30 million Americans are defrauded to the tune of more than $50 billion, a 2011 Financial Fraud Resource Center report states. One big reason, says Gerri Walsh, president of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) foundation, is a startling lack of fraud awareness. In fact, about four in 10 people miss what should be obvious warning signs of fraud.
Here are few tips to help decipher offers and stay safe on the Internet.
- Be wary of phrases like “fully guaranteed,” “incredible gains,” “breakout prices,” and “huge upside; no downside.”
- Roll your cursor over any URL sent in an email to reveal where it really goes.
- Beware any URL that is excessively long or uses numbers (such as 188.8.131.52) instead of a traditional URL format.
- On social media, scammers are using a new type of fraud called card popping. Be careful about clicking on links and offers on Facebook®, Twitter®, Instagram® and more.
- Boomers: be particularly cautious. Those 65 and older are more likely to be targeted for fraud and 34 percent more likely to lose money in a scam than someone in their 40s.
Safety guidelines are not intended to be all inclusive, but are provided for your consideration. Please use your own judgment to determine what safety features/ procedures should be used in each unique situation.
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