By Kyrstin Ritsema, Chief Compliance Officer
The holiday season is one of the most significant times for scams to occur! According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s (IC3) 2020 report, non-payment or non-delivery scams cost people more than $265 million. Credit card fraud accounted for another $129 million in losses.
We know they are out there, now we need to ask ourselves;
How do we recognize the scams?
Scammers are clever; their job is to trick people. If you are buying or selling online, check the individuals’ available public profiles such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. See how long they have had established profiles.
Urgency is generally a red flag. Unless, of course, you are looking for something to be shipped by Christmas, but that is your urgency, not the sellers. Suppose a seller needs payment NOW; it’s likely a scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
How can we be proactive?
Utilizing secure forms of payment helps if you do get scammed. PayPal goods and services, or a credit card, among other available options, are resources you can go back to if there is an issue, and they will help you resolve it. Never send a wire as a form of payment.
Track your shipping. Get tracking numbers, set up alerts, and confirm that the item is on the way.
If you do get a call or email from someone you “know” asking for money or gift cards, hang up and call the person directly on the phone number you have for them. Never send gift cards or codes to a new email address.
Check your Credit Card statements often. Bring unknown charges up with the CC quickly to stop any further charges and resolve the issue.
At Executive Wealth Management, we want you to BUILD your knowledge on these issues so you can DEFEND yourself in the face of a scam. ADVANCING together. All so you can ‘Live with Confidence.’
Securities offered by Registered Representatives through Private Client Services, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC
Executive Wealth Management (EWM) is a Registered Investment Advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Reference to registration does not imply any specific level of qualification or skill. Investment Advisor Representatives of EWM offer Investment Advice and Financial Planning Services to customers located within the United States.