Can you spot an impostor? Eighty-five percent of adults are confident they can, according to a recent AARP survey. But the majority of the survey participants then flunked an “Impostor IQ” quiz that measures the ability to spot a liar (take the quiz at aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork).
Welcome to what experts call the illusion of invulnerability — the belief that frauds happen to others but not you. Overconfidence in your ability to spot bad guys is a dangerous thing. Impostor fraud is among the fastest-growing scam types precisely because so many of us think we are immune to it.
To help, here is a small sampling of actual impostor scams now playing out across America. The takeaway? Never accept a pitch or give any information to a stranger — on the phone, in person or over the internet — without first independently verifying that it’s legitimate.