On a daily basis I get calls from scammers trying to get my personal information. Everything from they “I see you have high interest rates” to “This is the IRS you owe us money”. There are to many scams out there to list but there are several things we can do to help keep our information an money safe.
Screen Callers Not Saved in Your Contacts
If you do not have the person saved in your contacts let it go to voicemail. Legitimate businesses will leave a message with a number to call them back. Make sure you have your voicemail activated otherwise the caller cant leave a message
The IRS and Utility Companies Typically send Letters Not Call
The IRS does not call people demanding money. There is a page from there website attached at the bottom of the post. It gives you information on how they will communicate and how they operate when you are under investigation. If it is a utility company calling, Hang Up and call the phone number listed on your bill.
If They Only Accept Prepaid Cards or Moneygram It’s a Scam
This is a real big red flag! Scammers love untraceable payments. They will even give you directions to the closest store. If they are a reputable business, they will give more options that are safe like credit cards or paypal.
Don’t Respond to Calls About Your Computer Needing Maintenance
Even if they say they are with Microsoft disconnect the call. This is a ploy to get remote access to your computer to steal all your personal information. Most of the time ransomware is installed. If this happens you are locked out of your computer. In most cases you are out of luck even if you pay the demanded ransom.
Emails Can Be Fake Too!
It is somewhat easy to make an official looking email by copying logos from websites. Many scammers pose as your bank or credit card companies. If you get an email wanting you to click links or reply with personal information, do not reply or click the link. Call the company in question to validate the email. Do not use any phone numbers listed on the email.
Unfortunately I don’t see an end to the influx of scams anytime soon. The best protection you can have is knowing the warning signs of scams and verifying individuals before giving them personal information. I have attached several government sites on scams and what to do if you get scammed. They are packed with useful information. Stay Safe!