If you have a pulse, and we assume that you do if you are reading this, you've probably been contacted to participate in a scam. Each week we hear about new scams, and unfortunately many people fall victim to the false lotteries, Craigslist offers and "hostage situations". Perhaps you have been contacted by one of these scam artists and aren't exactly sure what to do when you pick up the phone. Here's a few strategies the next time you get an email or phone call and aren't sure what to do.
Ask Specific Questions
There are definitely instances where you throw your business card into a raffle and your name is picked...and you've completely forgotten about it so you get a phone call saying you've won and you're clueless. Let's just be real for a moment though. If you don't remember signing up to win a trip to the Bahamas or $10,000, it's probably not legitimate. If you've ever gotten a call that lets you know that you've won something, make sure you ask specific questions to the person on the line like "How did I win this, where was the drawing, what organization do you work for, etc". If it's legitimate, the person on the other line shouldn't have an issue with you asking all of those questions.
Hang Up And Call Back
If you get a call from someone and you feel suspicious about where they say they are calling from, tell them you are going to hang up and then call back to verify that it's relevant. If someone calls you and says they are from Taconnet FCU and they want specific sensitive information, it's probably not legitimate (We don't ask for your account number or SSN over the phone). If you feel uncomfortable at all, we really do encourage you to hang up and call us back to verify it's us. We won't be offended. You can also check out the area code on your phone. If they say they are from Maine, and they don't have an area code that matches with your area...it's probably not legitimate.
Stay Up To Date With Scams
If you stay up to date on scams, you'll know them when you see them. No, a Nigerian price is probably not related to you and ready to leave you lots of money, and chances are your granddaughter hasn't been captured in Mexico. If you have any questions when someone has contacted you, PLEASE CONTACT US. We do our best to stay up to date on what is happening in the world, and know of many of the current scams that are out there. When in doubt, ask a professional. We don't mind. We want to protect your hard earned money!
-The Taconnet Team