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Identifying scams: what you need to know

Published On: Apr 18 2014 12:44:51 PM CDT

Mike Harrison from the mid-Missouri BBB explains how to tell if someone is a scam artist.

How are scammers able to be so effective and persuasive when trying to steal your money and identity?

They establish a connection to gain your trust and try to build a relationship so you do not question their motivation. They may use social media to find out more about you to personalize their sales pitch.

They do what they can to show you they are a good person. They take advantage of source credibility. They claim to be from a legitimate business that use fake websites to try and collect your information.

Many scammers play on emotion by using our desire to help a loved one or after a natural disaster to collect donations for a fake charity. They want you to make a quick decision before having time to think and researching the charity.

What are some of the behaviors of those who are most often victims of scams?

They sold by persuasion tactics and are more likely to attend sales presentations that offer free items or to enter personal information into a prize drawing.

They're less likely to take preventive actions. Don't sign up for Do Not Call List or ask for references before conducting business with a company.

Many expose themselves to many sales situations by allowing sales people into their homes to make presentations or open and read every piece of mail they receive.

To report a scam, visit or call 573-886-8965. BBB relies on consumers to report scams in order to provide information through alerts on scams to the public.


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