Don’t get scammed!
First things first: Scammers are dishonest creeps who are out to steal as much as they can from you – your identity, life savings, and everything in between. They use advanced technology to their benefit and become better at subterfuge every day.
How to beat them at their own game:
Hackers can get to your information when computer updates are not current. Update your Windows operating system (OS) or Mac iOS regularly. Or, set all devices to automatically update: desktop, laptop, smartphone, and pads.
Do not store your passwords, bank routing or other important information on your device. Use a good security app in the cloud to hold your sensitive information.
Don’t believe your caller ID. Scammers can spoof (fake) both company phone numbers and numbers in our area code to look legitimate. The same is true for email addresses and website homepages.
Hang up! You do not have to listen to anyone on the phone or give them any information.
Call whatever company or government agency directly to determine if you did indeed receive a phone call or email from them.
Don’t click email links or open attachments
Links, if clicked, can download computer viruses or malware that enable them to either steal your identity or lock your computer for a “ransom” to free it. Without opening, move suspicious emails to your “spam” folder.
Protect your social identity
Set your social media (Facebook) privacy settings to “private.” And set sharing to “friends only,” be careful what you share (like being out of town on vacation), and don’t accept invitations from strangers.
Ignore unknown phone numbers
We all know how frustrating “robocalls” are, with their recorded spiels pitching services. Ignore any unknown numbers to prevent being patched through to nefarious companies that may try to steal your identity or rack up hidden fees.
Pay by credit card
Credit card fraud protection will protect you if someone uses your card information without your knowledge. By federal law, you will only be liable for $50 if your account is compromised and you report it.
Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scams.