Stay vigilant against scams and safeguard your personal information. Are you prepared to protect yourself and your finances?
Gift card scams
Be cautious if you are asked to purchase gift cards under the guise of payment for back taxes, services, or to help a loved one in trouble. Remember, government authorities do not accept gift cards as payments.
QR code scams
Do you want to see what’s on a QR code? Use your phone’s camera when scanning QR codes instead of downloading a QR reader app, which can have ads that lead to phishing websites. Avoid using unfamiliar apps.
Online purchase scams
Social media online ads with eye-catching sales are being created that impersonate a reputable store. The ad’s link will take you to a website that appears legitimate but will potentially steal your information.
Protect yourself from scams
Tips to protect yourself and your family
Be suspicious of unknown persons calling you. Phone scams aim to heighten your emotional state and create a false sense of urgency—from claiming you owe money to saying you’ve won a prize. Advanced techniques, such as AI technology to impersonate a family member’s voice, have also been used. Hang up and try to make contact directly with the entity or person they claim to be representing. Don’t provide any personal or financial information to scammers.
Research a product before purchasing an item from a social media advertisement. See a great deal on vitamins while scrolling through your social media? If it seems too good to be true, there’s a chance it could be a scam. Consider learning more about the company first before buying the item. If you have made a purchase, check your statements for recurring charges.
Going on a trip? Use trusted travel websites. Scammers will often create false websites to advertise for cheap travel. Use trusted travel agents or diligently research websites when booking travel.
Staying fully safe from online scams involves a mix of caution, awareness, and some best practices. Here are some tips:
- Verify Sources: Be cautious with unsolicited emails, messages, or calls. Verify the sender’s identity before sharing any personal information.
- Use Strong Passwords: Create strong, unique passwords for different accounts and enable two-factor authentication where possible.
- Secure Websites: Ensure websites use HTTPS encryption, especially when providing sensitive information or making online payments.
- Update Software: Keep your devices and software updated to patch security vulnerabilities.
- Beware of Phishing: Don’t click on suspicious links or download attachments from unknown sources. Double-check the URL and sender’s email address before clicking.
- Research Before Purchasing: Investigate before making purchases from unknown or new online stores. Read reviews and check the site’s legitimacy.
- Protect Personal Information: Avoid sharing sensitive information like Social Security numbers or bank details via unsecured channels.
- Be Wary of Deals Too Good to be True: Scammers often use unbelievable deals to lure victims. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
- Educate Yourself: Stay informed about common online scams and how they operate. Awareness is key to avoiding traps.
- Use Reputable Platforms: When engaging in online transactions or services, use reputable and secure platforms.
- Report Suspicious Activity: If you encounter a scam or suspicious behavior, report it to the relevant authorities or the platform being used.
It’s important to stay vigilant and continually educate yourself about new tactics scammers might use.