‘Scam’; even the word is ugly.
No one wants to get scammed, and when we think of these kinds of schemes, we generally think of poorly worded emails promising us multi-million dollar jackpots on the Ugandan lottery. Or we think of a shady character promising to cut us in on a deal if we get twenty other people to sign up first.
But not all scams are so easy to spot. And if we fall victim to them, they can leave us embarrassed, ashamed, severely out of pocket or even worse.
This is why scam workshops and classes are such a good idea. These informative services keep us savvy, aware and – most importantly – safe from harm.
What is a Scam Workshop?
Scam workshops or classes are basically seminars and meetings where people can gain advice and learn about how to stop themselves being cheated or defrauded. The format and content of the workshops may be different depending on who is taking the course. For example, information important to seniors and pensioners may not be so relevant to small business owners or teachers.
Often, these scam workshops are held by community groups, city councils, sheriff’s offices, care centers and other organizations with strong reputations for helping people in their local area.
The service these workshops provide is not only helpful, it is necessary. Barely a day goes by without more news breaking of a scam or fraudulent activity. And in the age of the internet, the risk is growing. As recently as December 2016, FBI agents in Alabama warned of a Facebook scam involving a criminal posing as a hit man to extort money. While authorities in Missouri warned of scammers setting up fake websites to trap post-Christmas shoppers.
As the risk of being scammed grows, develops and changes, scam workshops and classes are becoming increasingly important.
What Topics are Covered?
Scam topics vary between seminars and courses. Frequently, scam workshops will tackle a few of these key areas;
- How to spot a scam
- How scam artists try to trick their victims
- How to assess risk
- How to protect loved ones from falling victim
- Statistics and case studies in your region
- What you can do if you feel you are being, or have been, scammed
The workshops will be conversational and collaborative.
This means you will have the chance to ask any questions you might have. You will also receive advice specific to your situation.
To find a scam workshop or class near you, and to protect yourself against shady tricksters and dishonest individuals, contact your local sheriff’s office or police station. They will be able to confirm that the course providers are qualified to offer this important service.
You may also find a workshop by contacting the FINRA Investigation Foundation (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), often working with the BBB (Better Business Bureau).
For more great information on how to protect yourself, follow FINRA on Twitter.
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This information is provided for general consumer educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice.