Millions of Americans are taken advantage of each year because they fail to recognize the common signs of scams - which hijack personal information and steal money. For the second tip of National Consumer Protection Week - or NCPW - Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington reminds consumers to heed scam warning signs.
Watch for red flags. Different scams show similar irregularities; knowledge is the best defense.
Red Flag: Asked to wire money out of the country? BBB says never transfer funds internationally to unknown recipients; senders struggle to retrieve lost funds and recipients are nearly impossible to trace.
Red Flag: Does correspondence contain poor grammar? Fraudulent mail, fake websites and phishing emails often mimic legitimate banks, government entities and retailers. Statistically, most scams that target Americans originate overseas; look for telltale signs, such as obvious spelling, punctuation and syntax mistakes.
Red Flag: Seem too-good-to-be-true? Foreign lotteries, online deals on underpriced vehicles and "free" government grants are all common scam attempts. Don't take the bait.
Learn more about scams and stay up-to-date on nationwide news at bbb.org/scam-source and ftc.gov.