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Does your personality make you more vulnerable to fraud?

Certain behaviors increase your risk

According to the Federal Trade Commission, more than $480 million was lost to imposter scams in 2018. And that number doesn’t look like it’s decreasing this year. While anyone can fall victim to fraud, the experts say there are certain personality traits that make folks more vulnerable. These characteristics might be the same ones that make you likable, trusted and respected—but if you recognize any of them in you, you may want to take a closer look at your habits.
Read on to find out more.

You’re a rule follower who respects authority

Criminals who impersonate police officers, the IRS, attorneys, government officials and the like are counting on the fact that you respect authority. They know that many folks won’t question someone who holds a powerful position and because of this, will use the fraudulent act to take advantage of you. Remember, government offices, including the IRS, social security, etc. and other authoritative agencies won’t ask for personal or financial information over the phone. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a representative of any of these organizations, hang up immediately.

You think it won’t happen to you

Many people who are victimized by scammers say they are too smart or savvy to be scammed—and that’s precisely why they were able to be tricked. Thieves are not only creative, but they’re continuously looking for new ways to steal your identity or your money. So abandon that “not met” attitude and remember to be vigilant about protecting your confidential information.

You’re going through a difficult time

Sadly, many criminals prey on those who are going through a family loss. They scan the obituaries to get names of people who may have recently lost a loved one and inherited money or valuable property. Most of us are more vulnerable during a stressful event and can easily let our guards down, especially if someone offers some sort of help. So even though it’s difficult, always be aware of who’s reaching out to you and what kind of information they are asking for—or better yet, ask a close friend to manage certain tasks while you’re grieving or struggling with a crisis.

You’re socially active

Being friendly is never a bad thing—unless you’re letting your guard down and socializing with those who are out to scam you. Social media puts everyone at risk, especially if you accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Make sure you’re on top of who you’re connecting with and never post information that reveals anything too personal.

You’ve been scammed before

If you’ve been scammed before, the harsh reality is you are more likely to be scammed again. Not because you’ve done anything wrong, but because victims often end up on scammers lists. This information is shared with fellow thieves and thus your risk of exposure is increased. So even though you may think it could never happen again—stay alert and be on the lookout for anything suspicious via email, phone calls, and even snail mail.

There are many ways to avoid becoming a victim of ID theft, including following the tips above. Any personal information that is readily available to the public, poses a risk. Be cautious with what you post online, be sure to shred outdated documents, junk mail that has your name and/or addresses on it and devices that you no longer use. Give us a call and we can assist you with permanent destruction. All Points Mobile Shredding is here to help you protect yourself and your family against identity theft and fraud.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Mobile Shredding. All Points Mobile Shredding is a family-owned and operated on-site document destruction company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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