Tips to Protect Yourself & Your Money

Source: Federal Trade Commission
Do Not Believe Your Caller ID
Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information. The name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for personal information or money, hang up! If you think the caller could be telling the truth call back a number you know to be legitimate.

Search Online
Type a product or company name into your preferred search engine with words like “complaint,” “scam,” or “review.” You can also search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS phone call.” Or you can search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.

Do not Deposit a Check and Send Back Money
By law, banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, however, uncovering a bogus check can take weeks. If you deposit a check that turns out to be phony, you’re responsible for repaying the bank. 

Hang-Up on RoboCalls
If you answer the phone and hear either a recorded or live sales pitch, hang up and report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). These types of calls are illegal, and the products are often fake. Do not press 1 to speak to a representative or to be taken off the list. Doing so could lead to just more phone calls.

Watch for Con Artists
Con artists often pretend to be someone you trust, like a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Do not send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request – whether it comes as a phone call, text or email.

Talk to Someone You Trust Before Acting
Before you provide personal information or hand over money, talk to someone you trust. Scammers want you to make decisions in a hurry. They may even threaten you. Slow down, look into their story, do an online search, consult an expert – or just tell a friend about the situation.

Think About How You Pay
Credit cards have considerable fraud protection, but some payment methods do not. Sending money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram can be risky because it is almost impossible to get your money back. 

Social Security Suspending Benefits
The Social Security Administration has seen a new scam. The SSA will never call to threaten your benefits, they will never ask you to wire money or send cash or put money on a gift card.
Stay up-to-date with press releases and a newsletter that highlights the efforts the Federal Trade Commission to protect consumers. Sign up at: 
www.ftc.gov/stay-connected