Personal fraud protection is education, and knowing what defensive steps prevent fraud from happening to you.By creating your own defensive plan before you get ripped off, you are reducing your chances of getting caught up in a scam and improving your own personal fraud protection.
Be Your Own Personal Fraud Protection
You need to realize that people can be impostors. They very well can be fake!
Ask yourself “Is this person really who they say they are?” Whether it is a service person or bank manager, or even CEO of some corporation, you need to find out if they are the real deal.
By doing so before hand, you are your own personal fraud protection.
Payment Requests By Mail
It is highly unlikely that a bank or utility company, or anyone else for that matter, will ask you for a payment.
They will contact you by mail, and send a late notice,but not online or by email.
Companies will give you a number to call to verify account numbers, or status of your account. Banks do not call or email you to verify account numbers or ask for payments, ..period.
Before you agree to send any payment, call the numbers posted on the companies official website.
Inquire about the person you talked to and ask whether the reason they called is legitimate or not.
Beware of Changes to Your Accounts
Do not accept changes to your account by email only! Double check to see if your bank, or any other company or service, whoever it might be has recommended these changes to your account. Use their standard phone numbers to their customer service,or billing dept.
Go through a completely different dept to be sure, check with account services about a billing question, get names, and verify, be diligent and persistent.Remember, you are your personal fraud protection.Be smart.
Never Use Numbers That Have Been Sent to You
The latest scams use fear of missed payments,or account mistakes,or financial problems with you credit or debit cards. Then they give a number to call or a link for you to use to contact them(the scammers) to explain the problem.
One such scam involved emails being sent out to utilities customers telling them their accounts were past due.
Then the customers were instructed to make immediate payments over the phone.
Operating under the guise of city officials made their claims sound official.
But in reality, the money went directly to the scammers.
Be smart, verify first! Call and ask about it, using official phone numbers, and real website links. You can not and should not send any money unless you are absolutely sure people are not fakes!
Technology today enables these crooks to build fake sites that look like the real thing! Go in person if at all possible!
Always check your financial accounts frequently
Check your financial records as often as you can, even daily if possible. This way you can spot any fraudulent activity as soon as possible, making disputes and recovery more likely.
Look for any unlikely charges, or items you never purchased, withdrawals you never made, or checks you never cashed.
Any different number or checks out of sequence, or made out to cash in an amount that you wouldn’t normally write or didn’t even write at all. This is a big read flag!
Here is another type of scam, you get an email and it asks you to verify your account, and click the link below. These are Phishing Emails
Never click on any links unless you are absolutely sure it is a legitimate link!
If the email says something like ..login in using your password to verify it is you.
DON’T DO IT!
This is how crooks steal your password!
Sometimes, they use the reason that “your account has been compromised” or hacked.
This is one of the most common frauds today. Beware and be safe!
Sometimes they use fake websites that look like a paypal or ebay site, and give a link to use.
Fake and unsecured links have no(s) like this http.//.Financial website use secure links that look like this https.//. Always be skeptical,and verify before any payment is made.Make sure you see the green lock on all your financial sites!
Just doing that may very well keep you from losing your money to the scammers and crooks.If it looks fake or suspicious and sounds a little fishy,it usually is.
You are capable of being your own personal fraud protection. And, it is not as hard as you might think. It takes a little time and attention to details, but could pay off big time.
To read more about common scams and how to protect yourself, go to the FBI.gov/scams and safety website
If you have any questions or just like what you read, Please leave a comment!
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