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Protect Your Finances from Scammers

There have been staggering financial losses due to scammer activity in the last few years. A 2022 Federal Trade Commission report states that scam losses increased more than 70% in the previous year, resulting in $5.8 billion in total losses.

With the high rate of scammers targeting consumers, protecting your financial assets and personal information is vital. Learn more about the common-sense steps you can take to protect your finances from scammers.

Why Scammers Target You
Scammers target consumers for various reasons. Many scammers want to gain access to financial information such as bank or credit card numbers. Other scammers want to obtain personal information like social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses to steal your identity.

The goal of every scammer is to trick their target into giving them money, information, or access so they can profit.

The success rate of scammers varies. Insider reports that 53% of consumers targeted by scammers on social media lost money. 4% of people targeted in phishing ads lose money, and 12% of people scammed by fake debt collection agencies experienced a financial loss. Nearly 47% of people lost money in online shopping scams, and 15% of consumers suffered a financial loss after engaging in lottery sweepstakes and prize scams.

What are the Tell-Tale Signs of Scams?
Scammers are adept at tricking consumers; however, there are several tell-tale signs you can look out for to avoid falling prey to these predators.

Email

  • Email from an unknown sender
  • Lots of misspellings or strange wording
  • Threats of blackmail
  • Promised monetary reward or award
  • References to products, services, or sweepstakes you never entered

Text message

  • Non-responsive answers (sound robotic)
  • Asks for personal or financial information
  • From an unrecognized number
  • Regarding fake refunds or lottery wins
  • Says itís from the government or your bank
  • Invites you to click a link to verify or provide

Mobile apps

  • Asking you to provide personal information
  • Pressuring you to move to another app for communication
  • Telling you, youíve won a sweepstakes or prize
  • Asking you to send money

Phone calls

  • Asking for money under any circumstances
  • From an unknown person or organization
  • Asking you to provide bank account, credit card, or personal information
  • Pressuring you into buying a product or serviceMaking threats or blackmailing you
  • Refusing to answer questions directly or provide a legitimate website or contact details

How You Can Stay Safe and Protect Yourself From Scammers
To protect yourself from scammers, you can take the following actions. They include keeping your passwords safe and not communicating with unknown senders.

Never share passwords
Don't share your passwords with anyone, especially people you donít know. If anyone asks you for a password online, via email, or by phone, disengage from the conversation. Donít write your passwords down or put them in an unprotected location, such as an email or GoogleDocs document.

Use a password manager
To keep your passwords in a safe place, use a password manager like Google Password Manager or LastPass. These systems store your passwords in a protected cloud so you can assess them when needed while keeping them safe from scammers.

Look carefully at the message sender
Before replying to emails, messages, or phone calls, look carefully at the sender. If the senderís address or information seems strange, or you donít know them, donít respond.

Many scammers use improper spelling and grammar. You may also see incorrect capitalization in their personal or company name and poorly pixelated logos. If you receive a strange email, look at the address. Foreign addresses can indicate the sender is part of a scam.

Never enter your password on strange or unknown sites
Never put in your password or information on unknown websites. You may visit the site by accident or receive a request from an email or text message. Donít enter your password or other personal information if you donít know or trust the site.

What to do if Youíre a Victim of a Scam
If you fall victim to a scammer, take the following steps to prevent further loss. These steps also help prevent the scammer from targeting other victims.

  • Change passwords
    When you engage with a scammer, your accounts become vulnerable. The first action to take is to change your passwords for all important accounts. Pick new passwords and incorporate a mixture of capital and lowercase letters and symbols to deter future attacks.
  • File a notice with the credit bureau
    To prevent damage to your credit, report the scam to the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. Also, report the scammer to your local consumer protection agency.
  • Contact your card issuer
    If the scammer targeted your credit card, contact your card issuer as soon as possible. If they gain access to your bank account, contact your bank. Ask your bank or credit card issuer to place a hold on the account and reject unauthorized purchases.
  • Look for unrecognized charges
    Following engagement with a scammer, look for unrecognized charges on your accounts. If you notice purchases for items you didnít buy or that occurred in locations you haven't visited, contact your bank or lender and immediately alert them to the fraudulent activity.

Take Steps to Protect Your Finances From Scammers
Scammers can adversely impact your finances by gaining access to your passwords, accounts, and personal information. They use manipulative tactics to trick you into giving out your protected data so they can make a profit. Take simple steps like using a password manager and not giving out your passwords or information to keep your finances safe.




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We Accept

* Quickbooks® Intuit® and quicken® are a registered trademark and are not affiliated and not owned by Tech Checks ÔŅĹ Tech Checks offers its own brand of checks that are compatible with all versions of quickbooks® Intuit® and Quicken® software's
Copyright © 2024 Tech Checks, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.