Sunday, April 11, 2021

How to Avoid the Most Popular Scams

Avoiding Popular Scams

In today’s age, with the proliferation of possible platforms available, it’s easier than ever to run a scam against someone. It follows then that, with so many ways for scammers to target you, it is easier for you to become a victim.

You need to know not only what scams exist, but also how to avoid those scams. These are some of the most popular scams out there, so you can learn how to avoid them more effectively in the future.

Charity Scams

People are more likely to give to charities than to just hand credit card information over to an individual stranger. That’s why some people will pretend to take donations for a charity to get you to give over your financial information. If you’re approached by someone claiming to work for a charity, make sure you get the person’s identification information and double-check that the charity actually exists before you donate.

Sweepstakes Scams

Everybody loves winning something for free. That’s the logic sweepstakes scammers use to trick you into handing over personal information. Don’t enter a sweepstakes that you find randomly around the internet unless you’re able to verify it. Additionally, if you get information about a sweepstakes you “won” but that you don’t remember entering, assume it’s a scam and ignore it.

Census Scams

The 2020 Census has brought census scams to the surface again. But census scams can happen at any time, not just during the time that a real census is happening. If a census taker shows up at your door, verify the individual’s name and ID number. And don’t be afraid to call the official Census phone number to check the individual’s ID. You should also brush up on the information the census taker can legally ask about.

Overpayment Scams

In this kind of scam, an individual will pay for something with a check or money order, but will send an amount far higher than whatever you’re asking. The individual then asks you to just send the excess money back. The check or money order is fake, but the bank won’t realize that for multiple days, by which time the scammer will be gone. The best way to avoid this is never to take overpayment. Instead, insist the other person repay with the correct amount.


This is one of the most popular scams there is. Phishing is when someone claims to be from a reputable company to scam you into providing financial or personal information. One of the best ways to stay alert for phishing is to pay close attention to email addresses. If the email address doesn’t match the official company’s website, be extremely suspicious. And hover your cursor over any buttons or links in an email to verify the legitimacy of the URLs before clicking on anything.

Romance Scams

Love can make people do strange things, and that’s one of the reasons romance scams can be so effective. You should always make sure you’re on the lookout for romance scams, especially in the course of online dating. In general, trust your gut, make sure you take common-sense safety precautions, and don’t send money to people you’ve never met in person.

Medicare Scams

Medicare is an easy target for scammers because it’s common for elderly and disabled individuals to have access to Medicare. That means scammers don’t have to narrow down the potential audience very far. If you have Medicare or are eligible for Medicare, just remember that the government won’t demand payment over the phone or require that you pay premiums immediately to avoid losing coverage.

Make Sure You Know Who You’re Talking To

A great way to try and avoid scams in general is to make sure you know the person who’s talking to you. Whether you’re dealing with an online date, a potential client, a Craigslist seller or just a friend on the Internet, it’s important that you really know who’s on the other side.

Using a people search engine is one of the easiest ways to verify people’s identities and understand more about the people you talk with every day. You can perform a people search with someone’s information to make sure that it matches up with actual public records information. It’s a quick and easy way to try and avoid ending up in a scam.


Scammers try many different tactics to take people in. Although you can prepare for the most popular scams, they’re inventing new ones every day.

With PeopleFinders, you can try and keep yourself safe, no matter what type of scammer targets you. Also be sure to read the PeopleFinders blog on a regular basis, so you can stay up-to-date on the newest types of scams to avoid.

Image attribution: magele-picture –

PeopleFinders was launched in 1999 to give people easy access to public records data. The PeopleFinders mission is to find, organize and make information accessible - empowering people with meaningful answers.

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