Earning money is hard. Once earned, protecting your finances can be even more difficult.
There are many schemes, scams and frauds happening every day. There are phishing expeditions aimed at stealing your personal financial information that put you at risk for identity theft or financial harm. There are also get rich quick schemes. Scammers are very clever at targeting vulnerable people. Scammers often prey on their victim’s stress, along with their lack of knowledge. They are skilled at pressuring people into a quick decision.
Victims of scams commonly think, “Why didn’t I realize that I was being tricked?” But the con man set a clever trap that short-circuits the warning systems. They are called con men not because they are convicts, but because they win a victim’s confidence. They rely on the trust they established to get people to surrender sensitive personal information, transfer money for payment, or sign a bad contract.
Awareness is one key to protecting yourself. Once you know about a scam, it is extremely unlikely that you are going to fall for it.
Today, someone is sending money to a “Nigerian banker” who contacted them out of the blue via email and lures them with potential riches. Others will send money to a scammer thinking they are helping a friend overseas who lost his wallet. And grandparents somewhere are sending money to the “police” after believing it was their grandchild who called and said, “This is your favorite grandson. I am in trouble”, and hands the phone over to (fake) policeman who says he can keep the grandchild out of jail if some money is sent right way.
Knowledge, research, and patience can help you avoid being scammed.
In the "Protect Your Finances" section, we also provide you with some basic tools and information to protect you from harm if you’re contacted by a debt collector.
While there are legitimate debt collectors, there are others that will try to get you to pay a debt you don’t owe or have a legal obligation to pay. The most common complaints received by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau relate to debt collection. These collectors are known to make outlandish threats, such as you might be arrested if you don’t pay them, creating as much pressure on you as they can.
Knowing your rights is very important. We provide you with details about collection laws for the 50 States, so you can understand what assets could be at risk of a creditor gets a judgment against you
Check out the BBB’s scam tracker. Use it to see if someone who is trying to get you to hire them, buy something, or share important personal information has been called out as a fraudster by others.