Avoiding Scams: Best Practices
|Main Types of Fraud||Definition||Top Ways to Defend|
|Identity Theft||Someone uses your social security number or other personal information to open new accounts, make purchases or get a tax refund.||Protect your information, monitor your|
credit statements and report suspected ID
|Phone Fraud||Someone calls – sometimes from a number that looks authentic – and tries to get account information.||Do not give information to incoming caller, offer to call back on number you know.|
|Targets consumers with significant debt,|
falsely promising to negotiate with creditors or adjust credit reports
|Do not give information over the phone or pay any upfront fee. Take their number and research authenticity before calling back.|
|Fake Charities||Pretends to represent a charity and asks for donations, often after tragic events or natural disasters.||Plan in advance to call back, then research the charity at guidestar.org. If donating, do so with protected credit card.|
|Imposter Scams||Pretends to be family member or organization you trust to convince you to send them money – scare tactics are often used.||Validate all calls and don’t give information over the phone or via email. Government agencies will never call and threaten jail time for non-payment.|
|Fake Lotteries / Sweepstakes||Asks for your bank account information to deposit winnings or urges you to send money to cover fees, taxes, shipping, etc.||Do not provide information. If you didn’t enter, you didn’t win. Legitimate sweepstakes do not require you pay to collect winnings.|
|Phishing||Uses email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information.||Don’t click on links in any suspicious email; instead do research and contact the company directly.|
How to Avoid COVID-19 Scams
Recent events during the COVID-19 pandemic have provided scammers with the opportunity to swindle you out of your money. Learn how you can avoid these common scams.
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