Don’t be fooled! Thieves are getting more and more sophisticated in their scams to steal your money and your identify. Gone are the poor grammar and bad spelling errors that used to indicate scams. Smart people get fooled. The scammers are that good. Beware of scammers by knowing about 3 common scam themes, including:
- THREATS – Scammers threaten you or a family member with arrest, deportation, fines, etc., unless you send them money, either in gift cards (you read off the numbers to them) or crypto currency. They are convincing and scary but are fake and should not be complied with.
- OFFERS OF HELP – Scammers claim to need information because one of your accounts has been compromised. They are very convincing and official sounding, to get you to give them your info, but they are fake, and your account hasn’t been compromised – yet.
- REQUESTS FOR HELP – A classic con job. They pretend to be the authorities (FBI, SEC., etc.) and need your help to catch some criminals. They need you to transfer some money to set up the “bad guys”. They play on people wanting to help, and they steal the money you provide them.
Fight back and protect yourself against scammers with these helpful strategies:
- Do NOT answer phone calls from numbers you do not know. Just don’t answer. Legitimate callers will leave a voicemail that you can listen to on your own time, verify, and ask others if they’ve received similar calls. Yes, you may miss a call from your plumber, doctor’s office, or a job offer. It’s that important. Just don’t answer.
- Do NOT click on links in emails without checking the source independently, and not just by looking at the email address. Those can be faked; ask the FBI about that. Check the email source, content, subject line, content and other information to independently verify if it is a legitimate source or not. Many scam emails look EXTREMELY real.