Too often we see the devastating effect financial scams have on unsuspecting people. Education and awareness are the best defense against deception. These tips and resources can help you spot and stop scams before they steal your hard-earned savings.
Preventive Dos & Don’ts
- Don’t say “yes” to any request for money or personal/financial information.
- Don’t be afraid to say “No.” Don’t let scammers scare you into doing what they want. Just say NO, hang up, close the door, or turn off your phone/computer.
- Do verify the source. Check out the info by calling the business or government agency directly. (Don’t use any contact information the stranger provides.)
Imposter scams are prevalent, particularly those with scammers pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service or Social Security Administration. Scammers like to call saying you owe “fees” and demand payment with a money transfer or gift
card. Legitimate agencies and businesses will never ask you to pay fees or fines with a gift card. Note: Gift and reload cards have virtually no fraud protections; credit cards have the strongest.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) warns about these scams:
- Lottery and Fake Prize Scams trick you into believing you’ve won a lot of money and just need to pay “taxes and fees” to receive your prize check (which will not clear when it arrives).
- The Emergency Scam tugs at your heart strings when the caller insists a relative has been in an accident, or is in the hospital and needs your financial help immediately.
- Tech Support Scams often start with an alarming pop-up message on your computer that insists you contact someone to provide your password, banking number, or other personal identification to fix a problem with your
account. Remember: No bank or business will ask for your personal information this way. Contact the bank or business directly to check on your account.
- IRS Imposters will call or email, insisting that you pay “unpaid taxes” immediately to avoid going to jail or paying a hefty fine. Their goal is to get your credit card numbers, other personal info, and/or have
you make money transfers. Don’t give them anything and call the IRS to validate: 1 (800) 829-1040.
RCU is committed to protecting your financial well-being. If something doesn’t feel right, contact the Redwood Credit Union Security Center for help.