Protect Yourself from Fraud
Get the upper hand by knowing what to watch out for.
These days, you can't be too careful. Protect yourself from scammers and fraudsters by educating yourself about the games they play. Learn to recognize the signs of a scam and don't let it happen to you.
Scams take many forms and the resources below outline some of the most common tactics and scenarios used. Despite the different approaches these criminals take, they share many general characteristics. This helpful resource from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) outlines 10 steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of fraud: 10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud.
Keep reading below for more specific setups and how to avoid being taken advantage of. The more you know, the better protected you are.10 Steps to Avoid Fraud
Fraud Education Resources
Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. They’re setting up websites to sell bogus products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to take your money and get your personal information.
Visit the FTC's Coronavirus Scams Page
Health Care Scams
Scammers follow the headlines. When it’s Medicare open season, or when health care is in the news, they go to work with a new script. Their goal? To get your Social Security number, financial information, or insurance number.
You've Won Scams
You get a card, a call, or an email telling you that you won! But here’s what happens next: they tell you there’s a fee, some taxes, or customs duties to pay. Either way, you lose money instead of winning it.
Scammers will cheat you out of your money over the phone. In some scams, they act friendly and helpful. In others, they might threaten or try to scare you. Don't give out your personal or account information over the phone.
You get a call: “Grandma, I need money for bail.” Or money for a medical bill. Or some other kind of trouble. But is the caller who you think it is?
Scammers, both male and female, make fake dating profiles, sometimes using photos of other people. They build relationships before they disappear with your money.
How can you tell what charity is legitimate and what’s a scam? Scammers want your money quickly and will pressure you to donate right away. They often refuse to send you information about the charity, give you details, or tell you how the money will be used.
Home Repair Scams
Someone knocks on your door or calls you. They say they can fix your leaky roof, install new windows, or provide the latest energy-efficient solar panels. They might find you after a natural disaster and will pressure you to act quickly.
Money Mule Scams
Never agree to move money for someone who contacts you, even if they promise a relationship, job, or prize. If you deposit a scammer’s check, it might clear. But later, when the bank finds out it’s a fake check, you’ll have to repay the bank.
Tech Support Scams
You get a pop-up or email saying your computer is infected. It tells you there are viruses on your computer. You have to call a number or risk losing your personal data. Don't call the phone number or click the link.