Scammers may try to take advantage of you through misinformation and scare tactics. They might get in touch by phone, email, postal mail, text, or social media. Protect your money and your identity by not sharing personal information like your bank account number, Social Security number, or date of birth. Listed below are some common scams to learn more you can follow the link here to FBI’s List of Common Scams and Crime.
“Pretexting” is the practice of getting your personal information under false pretenses. Pretexters sell your information to people who may use it to get credit in your name, to steal your assets, or to investigate or sue you.
Pretexters use a variety of tactics to get your personal information. For example, a pretexter may call, claim he’s from a research firm, and ask you for your name, address, birth date, and social security number. When the pretexter has the information he wants, he uses it to call your financial institution. He pretends to be you or someone with authorized access to your account. He might claim that he’s forgotten his checkbook and needs information about his account. In this way, the pretexter may be able to obtain other personal information about you such as your bank and credit card account numbers, information in your credit report, and the existence and size of your savings and investment portfolios.
Keep in mind that some information about you may be a matter of public record, such as whether you own a home, pay your real estate taxes, or have ever filed for bankruptcy. It is not pretexting for another person to collect this kind of information.
In the Phishing Scam, citizens are contacted by email stating their Credit Union, Bank or Credit Card accounts have been compromised, or that the security of the agency has been compromised, and their accounts have been suspended. Normally the account holder is asked to click a link which then redirects them to a new web page where they are asked to enter their account or other personal information to reactivate or verify their account. This information is not being routed to the account holders financial institution, but rather to a criminal network that either sales your information, or uses it directly to steal from your account.
This type of Phishing Scam has now added a new twist. Instead of being asked to enter your personal information online, account holders are asked to call a phone number and are then prompted by an automated answering service to enter their information. This “automated service” is actually a computer program which then reads and records the information as it is entered in via your telephone keypad. The information is collected differently then the web page process but the results are the same, you have just become a victim. Below you will find a example of what a potential Phishing Email may look like when sent to your computer.
Phone scam where a caller claims to be a grandchild who needs money urgently to get out of jail or travel home. The caller often gets the victim to provide a grandchild’s name, when the victim says something like, “Steven is that you?”, and the caller replies “yes it’s me Steven”. The caller will instruct the victim to withdraw cash from their bank and wire it to them or buy pre-loaded gift cards or iTunes cards and provide the code numbers from the cards to the caller.
Caller claims to be from the IRS and they have found an error in your taxes! Caller says that if you don’t send payment immediately an arrest warrant will be issued, sometimes they claim the police are on the way. Caller will typically convince the victim to obtain a pre-loaded payment card, iTunes card, etc. then have the victim provide the code from the card over the phone. In similar versions the caller will claim to be the police calling about an outstanding warrant or the Court Clerk claiming you failed to appear for jury duty and must pay immediately or be arrested. The IRS will always contact you by mail first.
The scammer will send an email or connect through a dating site, attempting to establish a romantic relationship leading to requests to have money sent. Similar versions may involve the scammer posing as a soldier in need of money or foreign official who has a fortune to share if the victim will pay some processing fees or provide bank account info.
The caller claims that you have won the lottery. In order to collect the lottery winnings, they must first wire money to pay the taxes on the winnings. THIS IS A SCAM! Don’t fall victim to it. Be alert and aware of other scams in your neighborhoods.
Microsoft Impersonator Scam
The caller claims to be from Microsoft or “Windows” and claim that they have learned that the victim’s computer has been infected with a virus that will cause the computer become unusable. The ultimate goal of the fraud varies depending upon which con artists are running it. For example, they may try to sell phony anti-virus protection or trick the victim into providing bank or credit card information. Yet others convince the victim to allow remote access to their computer stealing the information on your computer.
- If receiving a suspicious phone call – HANG UP
- If receiving a suspicious email – DELETE, DO NOT RESPOND
- If a suspicious person is at your door, CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY