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Three Common Scams to Avoid

If you’re reading this article and you have a cell phone, I’m sure you’ve gotten at least one robocall in the past year. Okay, maybe more like a hundred. Robocalls are just one example of cyber criminals and scammers trying to collect your personal information. Once they collect enough information, they can possibly steal your identity and make unauthorized purchases in your name. Cyber criminals are always honing their skills, so I am going to touch on three types of scams that are prevalent today.

The first scam is a phone call from someone claiming they are with the Social Security Administration. These calls are usually targeted towards older individuals who are already claiming Social Security benefits. The caller will tell you that they need your personal information (address, Social Security number, etc.) or your benefits will be halted. This is a scam. The Social Security Office will not call you unsolicited. If they need to contact you, they will do it by regular mail.

The next type of scam is another phone call that you may receive from someone claiming they are with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They may claim that you owe the IRS money and that payment is required immediately. The caller can even be threatening and aggressive. This the same type of scam as above. The IRS will never call you unsolicited. If they need to contact you, they will also do it by regular mail.

The last type of scam I want to highlight is an email phishing scam. Email phishing scams attempt to steal your data by getting you to click on a fake hyperlink and enter your personal information. Here are a couple of signs that could indicate a phishing attempt:

•    Incorrect grammar

•    Strange font and page spacing

•    Requests to download files by clicking a hyperlink

If you receive an email with any of the above characteristics, be sure to check the sender’s email address before clicking on any links or providing any usernames or passwords.

Scammers don’t take vacations. They are always on the lookout for new ways to steal your personal information. It can be hard to keep up with all the latest scams, but the Better Business Bureau® provides a great resource for all the latest information:

https://www.bbb.org/us/news/scams

This is also another great time to mention the importance of freezing your credit with all three of the credit reporting agencies. This is an absolute must in today’s world with all of the breaches and hacks that happen each week. You can do this online, by phone, or by mail. Send us a message if you need another copy of the credit freeze instructions. If you ever have any questions or concerns about a scam relating to your personal finances, please give us a call. We can help verify the legitimacy of any phone calls, emails, or letters. Thank you for reading!