It’s National Fraud Prevention Month as declared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Government of Canada. After almost becoming a victim of a speaking scam, I’d like to share my thoughts on how you can spot a scam so you’re not a victim.
1. Separate yourself from the situation
In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to fall for the charm of the scammer. They seem helpful, empathetic and professional. Get off the phone or leave your computer quickly. Take a walk, take a showever, anything so you can separate yourself from the spell being cast on you.
My dad tells people who call him that he has to check with his board of directors before he makes a decision (and then hangs up the phone). His board of directors are me and my 2 sisters. In his mind, if he wants something, he’ll go out and get it. He doesn’t need someone calling him to tell him what he needs. Take on my dad’s mindset and you’ll be safe.
2. Talk to a family member or trusted friend
Don’t make your decision in isolation. Speak to someone about what you’re going to do. When I chatted to my mom about the speaking scam, she made a wise comment. She said “Leesa, when you usually speak overseas, you typically tell me months in advance. This one seems so quick.” She was right. Reputable event planners start organizing their events at least a year.