How to quickly recognize a fraudster

Scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to lure people out of money or confidential data to access accounts. But whatever the legend, there are five signs by which you can immediately figure out the scammers.

Sign 1. They come to you by themselves

A stranger calls you, sends you an SMS message, an email or a link in a messenger. Whoever he introduces himself as — an employee of a bank, the police, a store, your second cousin-a millionaire from Zimbabwe — be wary. Since he initiated the contact, he needs something from you.

It will not be possible to quickly check whether he is who he claims to be. The number that is displayed on an incoming call can be substituted, accounts or websites of famous people or organizations can be forged. So it's worth being vigilant and not taking anyone's word for it.

Sign 2. They talk to you about money

The main task of scammers is to gain access to other people's money. Cheating schemes are almost always related to finances: you are offered to transfer all the money to a "safe account", pay for "insurance to get a loan" or "very profitable" to invest your savings (in fact, in a financial pyramid).

Legends can be anything, but it's always about money — which you can lose or get.

Sign 3. You are being asked to provide data

If thieves need the keys to the apartment, then social engineers need the "key" to the money in your accounts. This may be confidential data of your card, including the expiration date and three digits on its reverse side. Or logins and passwords to the personal account on the bank's website or mobile application. And almost always — codes from bank notifications.

A real bank employee will never ask for secret card details, PIN codes and passwords.

When the bank notices a questionable payment or transfer from your account, you are contacted to confirm or reject the transaction, and that's all. Confidential data is not required for this. If they are asked about them, be sure, they are not calling from the bank and they are definitely trying to deceive you.

Sign 4. You are being thrown off balance

Scammers seek to arouse strong emotions in you — to frighten or please. So they confuse and dull the vigilance of a potential victim. For example, they report: "Your online bank has been hacked!" so that you, out of confusion and excitement, fulfill any requests and give out any information just to save money.

Or, on the contrary, they are stunned by the news of a sudden lottery win or promise quick enrichment. In return, you will have to "only pay a small fee", and to do this, enter your bank card details on the website. Fraudsters create phishing pages with which they steal card data and gain access to the bank accounts of gullible users.

Always maintain a healthy skepticism and don't rush to follow someone else's instructions, no matter how excited you are.

Sign 5. You are under pressure

Scammers are always in a hurry to not give you time to think about the situation. They force you to do something, they set conditions: "now or it will be too late." A situation in which you are not given the right to choose and are forced to act immediately is suspicious.

If you feel psychological discomfort, it is better to immediately stop communicating. After all, the longer you talk to a scammer, the more he will put pressure on you. The cheaters have prepared answers to all your questions, which only escalate the situation.

Never make hasty decisions, especially if they concern your finances. Always take a break to figure out what's going on. Make it a rule to double-check any information in the original source.

Are they calling from the bank with disturbing news? Put down the phone and dial the bank's hotline number yourself to clarify the real situation.

Have you sent a strange notification on behalf of the Federal Tax Service (FTS)? Create a personal account on the FTS website — you can check the amount of taxes in it and pay them immediately.

Have you received a "letter of happiness" about the state payment? Look for news about this in the business media. Or even better — find the law itself, a decree or a resolution that introduces payments. Pay attention to the conditions to whom they are assigned.

It is not always when communicating with a scammer that you will notice all five signs of fraud. But in any situation, it is worth being vigilant.