Times are hard and like they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Every day dubious and lazy men adopt new means of getting clients or defrauding people. These so-called clients are unsuspecting victims or what some persons would call ‘Maga’, who fall for the whims and caprices of the scammers. In this article, Ezra Akintonde Esq, a legal practitioner at Mainland Solicitors discusses 6 Red Flags that indicate that you are about to be defrauded.
To be defrauded or scammed can lead to financial trouble. A person who was once rich can become poor overnight. Families have gone from being happy together to being separated. Businesses that were once booming had been forced to close down, and people who once had the freedom to choose their lifestyles have been reduced to a life of penury and anguish.
According to Donald Trump, one of the reasons the rich get richer is because they have sound financial knowledge and know how to invest their money.
The quest for financial knowledge never ends as there is always a new thing to learn every day, a new way to invest and make more money and new business ideas that can potentially increase your ROI exponentially.
But in the quest for investing and making more money, the first step is to get a clear understanding of the investment you are about to throw your money into. Making money is not really about taking chances or hoping that someone else will do the brain work. It is however about learning everything there is to learn about the venture before venturing.
This is very important because one of the most painful thing is losing your money on a cheap scam that you could have detected if only you took a little bit more time to look a little bit more closely.
There are many red flags that raise their ugly heads in faulty transactions, but most times, people don’t (or choose not to) see them.
Red flag #1
Your regular scammer would want you to keep secrets. If you are involved in a transaction or you were contacted by someone out of the blues, be as open as possible. Ask as many questions and never agree to be hushed on any opinion. You should also not agree to a request to keep the business transactions a secret from everybody. Be ready to bail out if your prospects is insisting on your secrecy. If you must keep it a secret, talk to your lawyer. Lawyers go by the rule of confidentiality and are legally bound from disclosing their client’s businesses with third parties.
Red flag #2
Many fraudsters are gifted with ingenuity giving them the power to create amazing stories that are actually fictional non-realities. A good scammer is like a great sales person knowledgeable in the art of deception. When the story is too good, that’s when you need to start asking questions.
Do not buy strange or bogus stories from strangers especially if they start telling you sub stories. Fraudsters who come as business partners can make bogus claims about their product. Make sure you verify.
Red flag #3
He Doesn’t Want A Lawyer Involved
Sometimes circumstances could make a good person turn around and become the villain. For instance, a person who was defrauded, may want to recover his money back by preying on you. If he succeeds, he justifies his actions by saying, “You shouldn’t complain, because it was done to me, I did not complain, I picked up myself and became wiser.”
Also, someone who is in dire need may decide to do desperate and dangerous things. So from the onset when they say they don’t want a lawyer involved, help them by understanding that bringing a lawyer into the transaction is for their own safety, not yours.
Red flag #4
Don’t fall for an impatience trick. If the person is in a hurry to sell, then don’t buy until you have fully covered your ground. Smart scammers would love to box you into a corner. It’s a game of psychology used to force people to have sleepless nights until they pay. Keep your money to yourself as long as possible.
Many people have fallen for the distress sale idea thinking they can buy cheap but end up buying nothing or buying at a price that is far higher than normal. Don’t fall for this trap. Always investigate.
Red flag #5
Putting Too Much of Your Details Out There
Avoid placing sensitive personal details on classified ads websites, social media sites and other sites that are not backed by good privacy policies.
You also have to limit the information you provide on social media. Most people like to post pictures of their wealth, their financial status, their family members, and other kind of posts that give away too much information about themselves.
For instance posting a picture of yourself just returning from an overseas trip and displaying lavish and exorbitant living can attract fraudsters, robbers and even kidnappers to you. It’s always good to be moderate in all things. Social media is not a place to display your wealth or brag about how much money you have made.
Red flag #6
Trusting Every Email, Phone call or Text Messages Without Verifying
If you are receiving a message from your bank or a well known company and there is an instruction that says click here, kindly ensure you check the email particulars before you click.
Scammers have developed ways to spy on you through your email. If you click a wrong link, a silent software may be downloaded on your computer that will steal your passwords and most sensitive data. These kind of software are called phishing software and have been around for long.
Also note that your bank will never send you a message about recovering your password without. Always ensure you look out for signs of fraud when receiving unsolicited emails, text messages or phone calls.
In Summary here are a few things that make you vulnerable this year.
You do not verify Information from strangers before you take action
You are eager to make quick money
You Easily trust strangers
You are putting too much information in the public domain
You keep your affairs strictly to yourself
Your businesses do not enjoy legal advise
You part with money too quickly
You do not seek to learn and be informed on a regular basis
You don’t engage professionals
You are always planning to get expensive things at a cheaper price