Scammers PRETEND to be from an organization you know. They may claim to be from the Social Security Administration, the IRS, a bank, or a well-known company, such as PayPal, Netflix, Amazon, etc.
Never give someone your password, bank information, PIN number, social security number, or personal identifying information. Never settle a debt or problem over the phone from an unexpected call that came your way.
Scammers say there’s a PROBLEM or a PRIZE. You’ve won a big prize, just make a good faith down payment to receive your winnings. If you do, you’ll never see that money again.
Scammers PRESSURE you to act immediately. Whether a scammer or salesperson, pressure to act immediately is a red flag. Hang up the phone. You are in control. Don’t cede that control to someone else.
Scammers tell you to PAY in a specific way. They may insist you send money through a money transfer company or put money on a gift card. Then, they will ask you to give them the number on the back of the gift card. Or, someone will send you a check, request you to deposit it, and ask you to send them some of the money.
Block unwanted calls and text messages.
Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect. Legitimate organizations won’t call, email, or text to ask for your personal information.
If you get an email or text message from a company you do business with and you think it’s real, it’s still best not to click on any links. Instead, contact them using a website you know is trustworthy. Don’t call a number they provided or the number from your caller ID.
Resist the pressure to act immediately. Legitimate businesses will give you time to make a decision.
Know how scammers tell you to pay. Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card, by using a money transfer service, or by setting up a PayPal account. Additionally, never deposit a check and send money back to someone.
Stop and talk to someone you trust before you act.