scams and schemes. Unwanted emails and messages bombard us on a regular basis. Many people would ignore, delete or toss junk mail in the rubbish knowing that these messages are most likely mass-market scams, others aren’t so savvy. There are more than 3.7 billion global mobile Internet users as at June 2019 providing an endless opportunity for criminals to find new victims, and only through sustained education can we try to mitigate the divesting financial effects that scams have on the global economy.
Scammers will often use persuasion techniques like pretending to be a legitimate business and using local area codes to build trust and familiarity. Or they make time-sensitive claims to increase urgency. Some letters use images of money or prizes and even pictures of past “winners” smiling and happy. Others are much more direct with legal-sounding text, to also create the perception of a legitimate company.
People are generally most vulnerable in situations such as a sudden loss of regular income or in the case of impending retirement that have inadequate savings, are going to be prime targets for scammers. If you have been contacted by someone with a quick solution to your most critical financial situation, and they require your signature, birthdate, credit card number, a small deposit, or some other personal information or payment, it is advisable to halt all discussions immediately. If there is a legitimate solution to your particular financial problem, it will not be solved by chasing unrealistic financial opportunities.