Recognizing Common Types of Fraud
Scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and anyone can be a target. To help you stay vigilant and protect yourself, here are some tips to spot and avoid common check scams:
Computer Intrusion: Be cautious of unsolicited calls claiming to be from computer or software companies offering to fix errors on your computer. Never allow remote access to your computer unless you initiated the contact. Keep your virus detection software up to date to prevent spyware or malware installation.
Identity Theft: Guard your personal information and be cautious of how it is shared. Synthetic identity theft involves creating new identities using altered personal information. Protect yourself by securely disposing of old checks and statements, reviewing your account statements regularly, and never sharing account information with unknown individuals or organizations.
Grandparent Scam: Scammers impersonate loved ones in distress, often requesting urgent cash. Verify the caller’s identity by asking personal questions only your loved one can answer. Call your loved one back at a known, correct number to confirm the legitimacy of the situation.
Inheritance Scams: Be wary of offers from overseas attorneys or individuals claiming you are entitled to an inheritance. Do not send money in advance for fees or taxes. Seek advice from a family member or trusted friend before proceeding.
Long-Distance Relationship Scam: Exercise caution in online relationships where someone requests money for urgent needs. Avoid wiring money to third parties, especially internationally. Take your time to evaluate the situation and discuss it with trusted individuals.
Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams: Be skeptical of lottery or sweepstakes notifications that require upfront payments to claim prizes. Legitimate lotteries do not ask for money in exchange for prizes. Research and verify the authenticity of any prize claims before taking action.
Remember, scammers often create a sense of urgency to pressure you into making quick decisions. Take the time to investigate and seek advice before proceeding. Stay vigilant and protect your financial security.