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Spot Scams

Home Fight Fraud Spot Scams

Common Scams

You receive a phone call or email notifying you that there's been a BIG purchase on your online shopping account. They say "if you didn't authorize this purchase, contact us immediately by clicking on this link or calling this number". SCAM! Do not contact them via the method they request of you. Go to your online shopping account directly and check your order history. If you don't see anything abnormal, you know it was a scammer reaching out to you. If you do see something abnormal, contact the company directly through your account. 

Enter our FREE Sweepstakes for a chance to win! Sounds good, right? But when you go in to sign up, they want your debit card information? That doesn't sound FREE! SCAM! These sweepstakes or raffles often have hidden fees or verbiage in their fine print that authorizes them to take money out of your account for future sweepstakes or raffles. They will provide some statement about why they need your card information that will seem legitimate at the time, but free means free. There is no legitimate reason for them to have your debit card information unless they intend to charge a transaction to it. If you want to move forward with your entry, do yourself a favor and READ the disclosures, agreements and "fine print" before completing the entry.

You click on a link on your computer and suddenly your computer is not working. Someone reaches out to you by chat, email or phone call to let you know they can take care of the virus on your computer. SCAM! Immediately disconnect your computer from the internet and contact your anti-virus provider, IT Company or someone in person that can help you get the virus off of your computer. 

You WON something!! Just click on the link to collect your prize. Ask yourself... did you sign up to win something? More than likely... SCAM! 

We've got the product for you! Try a free SAMPLE! SCAM-ISH. The company may be legitimate, but you have to READ THAT FINE PRINT. You are authorizing a company to send you a free sample that you agree to pay shipping for and you think that's all. Often times, you are actually agreeing to allow the company start sending you a monthly supply of that product unless you cancel in "X" amount of days. Make sure you understand what you are agreeing to when you accept their offer of a sample or free "30 day supply". If you receive anything in the mail you did not expect to receive, reach out to the company and return the product immediately. 

You're scrolling through social media and find an advertisement that has some awesome shoes for DIRT CHEAP that are normally very expensive. If it seems too good to be true, it is. SCAM! Ads are a great way for scammers to get your attention and send you to a website that is not legitimate. If you see an ad that intrigues you, skip clicking on the ad and go to the company's website directly to look for the deal on their website. If it's not there, more than likely the ad was a scam. 

Speaking of social media. You are looking for a new gaming system for your grandson for his birthday and you come across a steal-of-a-deal from someone selling one on social media. Just pay shipping!! SCAM! Buying from someone online through social media can be very risky. Do the best you can to find out who the person is that is selling you the item. Ask yourself the following questions: Are they a real person? Do you know anyone that knows them? How can you verify they truly have the item? Scammers are very good at making fake posts look legitimate. Once you send them the money, it's gone and you will likely be unable to contact them again! If someone/something seems fishy, don't do it! If they are asking you to pay a way you are unfamiliar with and not comfortable doing, DON'T DO IT! 

You receive a phone call that a family member is in prison in another country and you need to pay to get them out quickly. SCAM! Hang up and contact the family member directly. 

You are notified by phone that you owe the IRS money and need to pay them immediately. SCAM! Government agencies, like the IRS, typically conduct business through mail.

You get an email or call to find out you inherited land or money from a long lost relative. SCAM!

Someone reached out to you because you won something or they are offering you money to do something for them or anything that's out of the ordinary and to pay you, they've sent you a check. But oops... they realized they sent you too much and ask that when you receive the check, you send them back the difference. SCAM! It takes days for a check you deposit to clear. These scams hurry you to send them money from the check before the check can be returned to the bank as fraudulent. By that time, the scammer has the money you sent them and you are in debt to the financial institution to cover the check. 

Be familiar with your financial institution's fraud procedures. Scammers are sending fake text message, making fake phone calls, and sending fake emails pretending to be your financial institution. They will ask you for your card information to research potential fraud on your account. Most institutions will not request your full card number to do fraud research. If you're being contacted from a different phone number or method than normal, more than likely this is a SCAM! Contact your financial institution directly before giving any information!