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How do you find out if someone is a scammer?

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Quick Answer

Find out if someone is a scammer by referencing lists of online scams at sites such as the FBI’s Scams and Safety section, OnGuardOnline.gov and ConsumerFraudReporting.org. Scams also commonly feature particular characteristics, such as an organization with no Internet presence, requests for personal information and claims of prize winnings.

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Full Answer

One easy way to identify a scam is to search online scam databases, which attempt to catalog the various deceptions scammers use. On websites such as OnGuardOnline.gov and ConsumerFraudReporting.org, users can browse or search for scam descriptions. Many scam organizations may already be listed on these sites, and users may also be able to identify specific language or promises scammers use.

Scammers often employ common tactics that make them easy to recognize. One easy way to identify scammers is to search online for information about the organizations they claim to represent. Often, these fictitious groups and companies have no web presence, making it obvious that they are not legitimate.

Requests for personal information are another clear sign of a scammer. Any unfamiliar individual who makes requests for bank account information, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers or any other personal information is almost certainly perpetrating a scam. These requests may come under the guise of collecting contest winnings, which is another clear sign of a scammer. Anyone who calls or emails with reports of contest or lottery winnings, particularly from an unfamiliar organization, is likely a scammer.

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