Scammers use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year. They often combine new technology with old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information.
Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. 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.
Here are some practical tips to help you stay a step ahead.
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.
Don’t pay upfront for a promise.Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things likedebt relief, credit andloanoffers,mortgage assistance, ora job. They might even say you’ve wona prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.
Talk to someone.Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, doan online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.
Protect Your ATM Card. Your ATM cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring moneythrough services like Western Union or MoneyGram is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. Avoid SMS From People claiming they are bank officials telling you your ATM card has been restricted or blocked.
Scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information. They may try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or BVN numbers. If they get that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts.