Consumers inadvertently leave themselves vulnerable to scams that have devastating effects on their financial lives. Door-to-door salespeople, for example, may look harmless, but some are trying to trick you into buying defective products. Online money management in particular leaves the door open for intruders; identity theft, social network bugs, and viruses that track your every move on the Web are among the most egregious. However, if you know the warning signs, you can keep the scam artists at bay and keep your money in your bank account—not theirs.
1. Phishing emails.