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 Contact Tracing Scams
With COVID-19 still a concern, you’ve probably heard about contact tracing. Local and state health departments use contact tracing as a system of identifying people who have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, contacting the exposed individual, and instructing them to quarantine and monitor for symptoms. Learn more about contact tracing here.
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.
Ten things you can do to avoid fraud.
Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year. They often combine new technology with old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information. We have some practical tips to help you avoid becoming a victim and stay a step ahead.
How to recognize tech support scams.
The abundant use of technology is bringing a flood of tech support scams. Posing as representatives of reputable companies, scammers are offering anything from free security scans to helping you with your "infected" computer. What's worse, they're very convincing. Know what to look for and how to avoid their trap.