Protect Yourself From The Scammers

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copyright 2015 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

Here are some suggestions of things you can do to help protect yourself and anyone who you feel might be vulnerable. Please use your own best judgement.

1. If you live in the United States, consider registering all your phone numbers (fax, cell, etc.) with the National Do Not Call List (U.S. only).

2. Shred (cross-cut) any printed material that have ANY personal information and/or confidential information on them before you throw it in the trash. Some cross cut shredders accept certain materials like credit card or CD's in them, but be sure to check the owner's manual. Thieves collect trash and can find your name, address, bank account numbers, social security numbers, etc., if you throw those things into the trash. Ideally burning the paper is the best, but depending on where you live, time of year, safety requirement to burn, access to a fireplace, etc. If you do burn it, please use extreme caution when burning papers and only burn acceptable items in a fire safe environment at a fire safe time of year.

3. Get removed from the major marketing lists through your state or country (the Direct Marketing Association U.S. only).

4. Don't sign up for sweepstakes, free gifts, free magazines, etc. or anything else that divulges your name, and contact information.

5. Be careful when giving out your legal name, social security number (or country ID number), contact information, password/s, and/or financial information to anyone.

6. Unsubscribe from email lists.

7. If anyone calls/writes/emails you, and says they are from your financial institution, Government agency, etc, always confirm it directly with that organization first. When confirming who the person is, always use the contact information you have on record (not the contact info the person approaching you had given you) for the financial institution/Government agency/etc. before you give the individual approaching you any of your personal information. Especially if they approach you about an "alleged" debt, fee, or tax you owe.

8. If anyone contacts you, alleging you won a lottery or raffle, unless it's your local Church, it's probably a scam, especially if they require a credit card, money order, or compensation of any kind in order for you to "secure" your winnings.

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