Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who try to take advantage of others for their own gain. In this case, we’re talking about identity theft. Identity thieves can be really tricky and intricate in their scams, so it’s important to stay vigilant in protecting yourself, your information, and your finances. Our credit counseling advice is to stay smart and don’t fall for these scams!
Don’t Fall For These 4 Scams
Not all identity theft happens on the internet. Many scammers use the phone! These scammers pretend to be from your bank, the IRS or other government agencies or even pretend to be a loved one in trouble. These thieves can try to gather enough information over the phone to gain access to your accounts. These include social security number, answers to common security questions, etc. If a caller asks for your banking information, take caution. Don’t give out your information over the phone unless you know who you’re speaking with. Sometimes, scammers call the elderly pretending to be a loved one in trouble and asking for money. Pretexting is the practice of getting your personal information under false pretenses. Pretexters may call under the guise of being from a survey firm and gradually collect your personal information.
Identity thieves send emails that appear to be from your bank, credit card company or other institution. They ask that you click on a link or call the listed number to verify your information. Be careful – these emails can look exactly like those of your bank! These scams can be hard to detect – that’s why it’s important to contact your bank/credit card company directly to confirm. Use the number on the back of your card; not the number listed in the email!
Fake Credit Report Sites
Have you ever gotten an unsolicited email offering credit reports? Some of these online operators may not actually provide credit reports but may be using these sites as a way to capture your personal information. From there, they may sell your information to others who use it to commit fraud.
Secured Credit Card Scams
While secured credit cards can be an effective way to build credit, some marketers make deceptive advertising claims to entice you to respond to their ads. These ads can cost you a lot of money, so be careful and read the fine print!
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.