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Preventing Yourself From Becoming A Victim Of Scams

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By Rosie Woods

Rupert, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) You or someone you know has likely been the target of a scam at some point.

Protecting against scams is what the Elderly Fraud and Financial Abuse Conference in Rupert is teaching community members to do.

The all day conference at the Wilson Theater covered all types of scams that could affect residents of the Magic Valley.

Knowledge is power when it comes to protecting yourself against scammers.

That's according to Idaho’s Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

"If they're armed with education, they have the ability to say no, hang up the phone and protect themselves from becoming victims of scams," he says.

So, how do you know you're getting scammed?

"What happens is an individual will call and say ‘I’m your grandson’ or ‘hello grandma’ and say they're arrested and need bail money and need you to wire the money immediately to Mexico or Canada or just across the state border. But as soon as you do that, recognize that money is gone," Wasden explains.

Scammers are getting creative, even using social media to find out personal information to make themselves more convincing.

"They are playing on the fears and the love and concern of a grandparent only to steal their money," Wasden says.

This week, the public could learn about scammers at the Scam Jam in Rupert.

"If you feel something’s wrong and they're asking for money and they're trying to give you a sense of urgency that you need to do this now or just really pushing on you, stop, think and call someone..." explains Lyle Hansen, personal finance extension educator.

Hansen also says to get on the do not call list, opt out prescreen.com to stop all credit card solicitation and to freeze your credit.

With those measures in place, the best thing to do…

"Say no and hang up the phone," Wasden says.

For more information on how to protect yourself from scammers, head to http://extension.uidaho.edu/jerome/2013/10/02/identity-theft/.


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