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10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud

Scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to get your money or personal details. With clever schemes of combining new technology and old tricks we must be more cautious of how we monitor our money. Always be alert and protect yourself from being scammed by following these helpful tips.

    1. Spot Imposters – Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a family member, company and government official. Do NOT send money or give out personal information in response to and unexpected request.
    2. Do Online Searches – When using your search engine (Google, Bing, etc.) be sure to add words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam” to describe your situation. You can even search phone numbers!
    3. Don’t believe your caller ID – Technology makes it easy for scammers to disguise themselves with a fake caller ID. If someone begins to ask for money or your personal information hang up immediately.
    4. Don’t pay upfront for a promise – Sometimes scammers will ask you to pay in advance for things like credit and loan offers. They may even say you’ve won a prize but first you have to pay fees. If you pay upfront they will most likely disappear with your money without a trace.
    5. Consider how you pay – Most credit cards have sufficient fraud protection built-in but not all do. Wiring money through services such as, Western Union and MoneyGram can be risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. Be cautious of how you pay your loans, credit card, etc.
    6. Talk to someone – It’s easy to get talked into giving out your personal information. Con artists like to rush you into decisions, slow down and do some online research. Even consult someone you trust before making any further agreement.
    7. Hang up on Robocalls – If you answer your phone and you hear an automated sales pitch, hang up the phone immediately and report it to FTC. These calls are illegal and often the products are fraudulent.
    8. Be skeptical about free trial offers – Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy. Always be sure to read your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize.
    9. Don’t deposit a check and wire money back – By law, banks must make funds from deposited checks available within’ days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. If your check deposit turns out to be fake you’re responsible for repaying the bank.
    10. Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scams

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