Tips to Avoid Scams
Don't fall victim to scams!
Review the information below to protect your family and finances.
Here are some examples of popular scams:
- IRS Impersonators
- Romance Scams (Catfishing)
- Elder Fraud
- Grandchild Scam
- Rental Scams
- Debt Relief Scams
- Hitmen/Virtual Kidnapping/Bomb Threats
According to an article by trustify.com internet scams continue to mature into one of the leading forms of crime. In 2017 according to the Federal Trade Commission, Imposter Scams, like the above mentioned, had over 350,000 reports in 2017. An estimated $328 million was stolen, and these were just in cases that were reported.
Most of these scams begin through some form of electronic message or phone call. What could seem like an innocent email or friend request on Facebook can often lead to phishing, the act of stealing someone's passwords to access their accounts, or more in depth "relationships" that lead to individuals being scammed out of thousands of dollars.
Here are a few tips for avoiding scams
- Don't accept emails or friend requests from people you do not know.
- Research individuals online before engaging in conversation.
- Go slow and ask a lot of questions.
- Be aware of individuals who may move too quickly or seem too perfect.
- The IRS does not call and demand payment or threaten to bring law enforcement to your home.
- If someone promises to meet in person but always finds an excuse to not show up. If you haven't met them in person, you have good reason to be suspicious.
- Never send money to anyone who you have not met in person. If you refuse to send money this will reveal the person's true motives.
- Change your passwords often, don't make them too easy. For example- avoid using birthdays or anniversaries.
- Don't login to personal accounts on public devices and never use public, insecure, WiFi access to login to your bank account or online shopping.
- Install and run virus protection on your computers regularly.
For more information about fraud prevention review websites such as www.fraud.org, www.irs.gov, and www.FBI.gov. You can also call law enforcement agencies in your area.
Have questions about suspicious activity on your account? Call 740-775-3331 and speak with a Homeland Credit Union professional who can assist you.