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Current Scam Alerts

Visit here for the latest Scam Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission.

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Types of Fraud & Scams

Identity Theft

Identity Theft is when someone obtains your personal information and uses it for their benefit. They may use the information to secure loans, run up bills, access your personal accounts and impersonate you for financial gain.  See below for tips to avoid identity theft.

Phishing schemes Phishing / Smishing / Vishing

Phishing is when you get emails, texts or calls that seemed to be from legitimate companies or people you know but they’re actually from scammers. These scammers try to get you to click on a link to give away personal information or ask you for your information so they can gain access to your accounts or steal your money or identity.

Smishing is similar to phishing, but instead of email the scammer uses text messaging.

Vishing is similar to phishing and smishing, but the scammer uses phone services such as a live phone call, a "robocall" or a voicemail to try to trick you.

Money Mule

“Money mules” are people who are used to transport and launder stolen money or merchandise. Criminals may even recruit money mules to use stolen credit card information.

Some money mules may be willing participants, but many of these money mules are not aware that they are being used to commit fraud. The most common money mule schemes are disguised as “ work from home ” opportunities. These advertisements often target unsuspecting people who are interested in the convenience and flexibility of these types of jobs and since there are companies that legitimately offer opportunities to work from home, people may not recognize malicious offers. Learn more about money mules here.

Online Auctions, Classified Listings and Overpayment Scams

These scams involve a scammer offering to by an item or pay for a service in advance. They then send you a cashier's check for an amount higher than what was agreed upon; they apologize for mistake and ask you to refund the overpayment. The scammer's goal is to get you to cash or deposit the check before you or the bank realize it's fake.

Grandparent Scams

These happen when a scammer hacks into someone's email and sends out fake emails to friends and relatives claiming that the account owner is stranded abroad and might need you to wire money or share our credit card information so they can get home. If you receive an email like these, make sure you contact the sender through another means before sending any money or information. Learn more about grandparent scams.

Imposter Scams

There are many types of Imposter scams, but they all work the same way: a scammer pretends to be someone you trust to convince you to send them money. Learn how to spot an imposter scam .

Fraud Prevention

How to Recognize Fraud

It’s not always easy to recognize fraud because fraudsters have worked really hard to make their scams seem legitimate. It’s important to always consider the following things:

  • Ask yourself if the offer seem too good to be true?
  • Do an online search for the name of the company or product with the word “scam” and search for online reviews.
  • Websites or emails with poor spelling and grammar are often scams.
  • Beware of requests for unusual payment methods like cryptocurrency, prepaid debit cards, gift cards or wire transfers.

Tips to Avoid Identity Theft

Stay safe online

  • Never share your personal information with a stranger.
  • If you’re using a Wi-Fi connection, ensure the connection is secure before logging into sites to access personalinformation.
  • Use strong passwords with 8 or more characters that includes a mix of numbers, symbols and uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Review your financial transactions regularly for any signs of unusual activity.
  • Request your credit report at least once a year at annualcreditreport.com

Tips for Online Shopping

  • Do not click on links in unsolicited emails or texts.
  • Check the security of websites before entering your personal information or ordering by looking for the website’s trust seal and http s :// at the beginning of a web address.
  • Beware of websites or individuals selling products claiming to prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19.

Resources

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information Scam Alerts
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information Privacy, Identity and Online Security
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/privacy-identity-online-security

National Cybersecurity Alliance
https://staysafeonline.org/covid-19-security-resource-library/

Report suspected scams to the FTC at 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) or at ftc.gov/complaint

Report suspected COVID-19 fraud to [email protected]

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