Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year. The coronavirus pandemic has made their efforts easier by combining new technology with old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information. Here are some practical tips to help you stay a step ahead.
1. Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with such as Eastern Savings Bank. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.
2. Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.
3. Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.
For more tips, visit: consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0060-10-things-you-can-do-avoid-fraud