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Why Educating Yourself is The Best Prevention Against Scammers

Aug 18, 2022
street smart neon sign

In my previous post discussing the different types of solutions to protect yourself against scammers (link to blog post), I began to cover why education is the best prevention.

As a refresher, no product or service can stop scammers and fraudsters from swiping your data. Once you have shared your personal information with anyone, it is readily available for criminals to steal. 

While credit monitoring, identity monitoring, and financial monitoring solutions help in detecting anomalies and finding scammers, they do not teach you to think like a scammer and know how to avoid them altogether.

This is why education is the best prevention method. By educating yourself on the various ways that scammers can try and outsmart you, you are putting yourself in the best position to outsmart them.

A common scam example 

Let's cover a common scam example and highlight how educating yourself can help to curtail a messy situation. 

Let's say that you receive a text message from Wells Fargo (like the one below) saying that there is an unusual sign in attempt to your account.

 

Scenario A:  Act without any education on scams and fraud

Without having any street smarts education on scammers, you may be inclined to click on this link right away. Once you do this, it will lead to a whole host of problems. Why? Because this is indeed a scam message.  

What will likely happen, is you will enter your login credentials thinking you are logging into your real bank website, but when you click the login button, the page won't function properly.

The reason is, the site is a fake, and has now stolen your login credentials.

Essentially, the scammers now have unfettered access to your bank account. 

A nightmare indeed.

Let's rewind and try a better approach

Scenario B: Act by pulling from the knowledge you have learned about scams and fraud

When receiving this message you would notice a major red flag. This text message is coming from a random phone number, not a short code or 1-800 area code. You indeed know from this one red flag that this is a scammer. 

You then delete the message and move on with your day. 

This is night and day, better outcome in this situation and it really didn't take much effort to decide to do nothing in response to the message, and simply delete it.

All it takes is a little bit of awareness which is easy to learn.

How scammers get you to engage

99% of the time fraudsters engage you by intriguing or scaring you to respond to a message and then convince you to share personal information through text messages, phone calls, emails.

When you see a message like the above one, your natural instinct (if you have a Wells Fargo account of course), is to click on the message and figure out what is going on. However, when you educate yourself and realize the different ways they try to play tricks on you, you will end up making the smart decision and in the end avoiding the scam outright. 

When you are able to spot scammers in their tracks and not engage with them, you are beating them at their own game.

They always say education is the best prevention, because knowledge is power. 

At Fellow Fox we teach a super simple, yet powerful framework that will enable you to handle any scam situation that comes your way.

Here are what our customers have to say about Fellow Fox (embed testimonial video)