Phone, email, and internet scams are nothing new, but it seems like every week a new one starts making the rounds, so it keeps getting harder to filter the crap from the legit.

With the holiday season upon us our inboxes will be crammed with all kinds of store promotions and deals, so you really need to be on the lookout for scams lurking in the midst.

6 Biggest Signs It's a Scam

No matter where you look, most experts agree that these are the 6 biggest signs that scream I'M BEING SCAMMED:

Pretending to Be Someone You Know
Sheriff Winnebago County via Facebook
Sheriff Winnebago County via Facebook


  • There's a Problem or a Prize - You may receive a text/email/phone call stating you won a large prize, or my favorite, "there is a problem with your shipment" (and you haven't purchased anything lately that required shipping). If the message includes a link to find out more or demands immediate payment...don't click or do it!!
  • There's a Sense of Urgency -  If you receive a notification that threatens some kind of punishment like arrest, or massive fees if you don't do something before time runs is likely a big load of crap.
  • It Asks for Specific Types of Payment - If someone you don't know asks you to send payment via gift card, cash, or a money transfer app like Venmo or Paypal that is harder to trace...don't do it.
  • Action Requires Clicking a Link - This one is a biggie because pretty much all internet behavior involves clicking links, BUT if you don't know the sender and didn't expect a message of this type, DON'T CLICK THE LINK.
  • Asking You to Verify Personal Information - I promise you no valid institution or business will ask you to verify personal info like your birthdate, social security number, credit card numbers, or PIN over the phone or via email, so NEVER give it to someone you don't know or don't trust.
  • As your social and to-do calendar quickly fills up and you barely have time to think, PLEASE don't fall victim to any scammers. It is too easy to do during hectic times, and scammers like to feast on the most vulnerable. Don't be one of them.

    The Most Bizarre Items Ever Stolen From Illinois Residents

    My mom once told me that "people will steal anything that's not nailed down." Times certainly have changed since then. The thieves now have nail removers.

    LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

    These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]


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