Scammers are working harder than ever to get your information on any form of communication or platform you use. It is important to remember that not everything that is sent to you is trustworthy.
Questions to ask yourself when determining if the message or communication you received is fraud:
- Am I being pressured to send sensitive information quickly? Many time scammers tell you to move quickly to avoid a consequence. They are just trying to rush you into making a mistake.
- Does this offer seem too good to be true? Watch out for “get rich quick” or “easy money” schemes.
- Am I being asked to deposit something into my own account to send back to them? Many times the attackers will ask you to deposit a check into your account and wire or send it back to them in gift cards. This will never work in your favor. The check will come back as fraudulent and you will be out the money.
If you have received any type of communication with a suspected fraudster and are unsure, don’t give them your information.
- Create usernames and passwords that are unique. Don’t include any personal information (date of birth, social security number, etc.). This will make it harder for people to hack your logins.
- Keep login information confidential. Once you give it out, your information can be compromised.
- Avoid visiting unknown websites or links. The site could install malware without you knowing and compromise your device.
- Beware of phishing scams. Phishing is when you receive a communication by phone, text, or social media message. They will try and get you divulge personal information like account information or logins.
- Never open emails or links in emails that you were not expecting. Scammers can compromise your device after you open them.
Everyday more people in the United States fall victim to Identity Theft. Identity theft occurs when a thief obtains some piece of personal information about a consumer, and without the consumer’s knowledge, uses the information to commit fraud or theft. Here are a few ways to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim:
- Never give out personal information like SSN, DOB, or account number unless you can verify that the requestor is legitimate.
- Never carry your Social Security Card with you.
- Always check your credit card and bank statements each month. If something appears to be wrong, notify your financial institution immediately.
- Take advantage of eStatements, Online Banking, and Mobile Banking. This can limit the amount of sensitive information placed in your mailbox.
- Always shred personal or financial information before discarding it.
- Keep all your passwords confidential. Do not give them out to anyone.