Red Flag #4: Request for Personal InformationThere are very few situations in which personal information such as your name, address, birthday, Social Insurance Number (SIN), credit card numbers, banking information, Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) or passwords are ever legitimately required by a business or organization. In the legitimate circumstances when this information is required, protective security features and measures are almost always in place to ensure that such information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Scammers who have previously stolen some of your private information often pose as banks and credit card service providers (via mail, fax, phone, email etc) in hopes of getting as much information as they can to steal your identity and commit fraud.
Never give out any of your personal information (especially your SIN, PIN, account numbers and passwords) to anyone, unless you have a personal reason to initiate a conversation in which such information is required. Always pay attention to what information you are giving out, and ensure you are giving it to a trusted party with the appropriate security and protective measures in place to store it.
Red Flag #5: Promises of Guarantees, High Returns and No Risk
Just about all forms of investment scams use promises of high returns, low or no risk opportunities and guarantees of riches or success, to dupe people into spending their money.
Be on the alert for opportunities that promise a great deal with little risk. No investment opportunity is without risk. Before buying into such an opportunity, be sure to carefully do your research. Understand the opportunity clearly, and make sure the person pitching it to you is reputable and trustworthy.
Join me next week for Red Flag #6: Vague and Confusing Details.