Fraud is as old as money. The Internet has simply made it easier for criminals to get your money. Heed these tips to stay ahead of cyberfraudsters and telefraudsters.
- Be skepticalof any offer– loans, jobs, debt relief, found cash or even prizes you may have won – especially if you’re asked to pay something upfront before the offer can be “released.”
- Verify the promises of any offer. Search online for combinations of the offer, its provider and words like “complaint” or “scam.” Check out the offer with one of these online verifiers: consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts, fbi.gov/scams-and-safety, www.fraud.org, irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams, or usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds, and sign up for their free scam alerts.
- Just hang up on telemarketing calls. Most of them are robocalls, not real people. Don’t even wait to tell them to take you off their contact list. Simply hang up.
- Don’t agree to anything right now.Most scammers attempt to pressure you into making a quick decision with special offers that are “only available during this phone call” or “only by responding to this email immediately.” Take time to think it through, and talk it over with someone you trust. Just don’t buy now!
- If you think it’s a scam, say something! At the Federal Trade Commission’s website, ftc.gov/complaints, you can share information and help prevent someone else from falling victim to the same type of scam.
Visit https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-central to better understand current phishing and online scams that could compromise your personal information security.