In October 2017, The Balance published a description of typical scams which explains how criminals steal people’s money using money exchanges such as Western Union (and in the news right now is that victims of scams conducted via Western Union should apply for a refund of their losses). There are many such lists, published by many professional and government bodies, reporting agencies and independent experts. But none of these lists is exhaustive, and getting the word out is not enough to solve the problem.
Scammers continue to do these things because too often they succeed. And they succeed because too many people believe ‘it won’t happen to me’. Well, think again: It can happen to anyone. We are all potential targets.
Read the lists of typical scams so that you might protect yourself – but know that the lists are only a drop in the ocean because scammers adapt their methods all the time.
This means that people who have already been scammed one time might know a lot about that one method, and probably won’t be vulnerable again in that specific way – but don’t let that make you complacent, because next time could be so different that you won’t recognize it.
There is a lot of information available on the internet which doesn’t get nearly enough attention, obviously, because people continue to get scammed. Perhaps that information is hard to find. Therefore, I intend to build a library of reliable resources here at Resilience101.com, and if there’s something in particular you would like to read more about, please leave a note in the Comments, below any Resilience 101 post, or send an email via the Contact page.
In the meantime, the key to preventing your losses is to be skeptical about all communications involving financial and/or personal information.
Dr Kerri O’Donnell
Certified Fraud Examiner