Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud. – Sophocles
- Scammers PRETEND to be from an organization you know.
Scammers often claim they are contacting you on behalf of the government. They may say they are from the Social Security Administration, the IRS, or Medicare.
Some fraudsters will pretend to be from a business you know, such as a Microsoft or Norton Antivirus.
They often change the phone number that appears on your caller ID. So, the name and number you see might not be their actual phone number.
- Scammers identify a PROBLEM or a PRIZE.
They may say you’re in trouble with the government. Or you owe money. Or someone in your family has an emergency. Or that there’s a virus on your computer.
Often scammers will try to convince you there’s a problem with one of your financial accounts and that you need to verify some information. Some may have some of your financial information to convince you they are authentic when they are not.
Or they might tell you that you won money but must pay a fee to get it.
- Scammers PRESSURE you to act now.
Scammers want you to act before you have time to think. If you’re on the phone, they won’t want you to hang up and will threaten to arrest you, sue you, take away your driver’s or business license, or deport you if you attempt to hang up.
- Scammers tell you to PAY in a way that is unusual.
Fraudsters often insist that you pay by sending money through a money transfer company, or by purchasing a gift card, and then giving them the number on the back. Some may send you a check (that will later turn out to be fake), tell you to deposit it, and then send them money.
How You Can Avoid a Scam
Block unwanted calls and text messages. Block unwanted calls and to filter unwanted text messages. Here is a link to help show you how to do so: https://www.fcc.gov/call-blocking
Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request. Legitimate organizations won’t call, email, or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.
If you get an email or text message from a company you do business with and you think it’s real, it’s still best not to click on any links. Instead, contact them using a website you know is trustworthy. Or look up their phone number. Don’t call a number they gave you or the number from your caller ID.
Resist the pressure to act immediately. Legitimate businesses will give you time to decide. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.
Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or by using a money transfer service. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.
Stop and talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything else, tell someone — a friend, a family member, a neighbor — what happened. Talking about it might help you realize it’s a scam.
Report Scams to the Federal Trade Commission
If you were scammed or think you saw a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission, here is the webpage to report fraud: https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/
The information provided does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information is for general informational purposes only. This information may not constitute the most up-to-date information. The links provided are only for the convenience of the reader, A. Ferraris Law, PLLC and its members do not endorse the contents of the third-party references. Copyright©2022, A. Ferraris Law, PLLC. All Rights Reserved.