Beware of scammers who often impersonate well-known organizations, including government agencies. If you receive a letter or text demanding immediate action, payment, or personal information, exercise caution, as it might be a scam. Here's how to protect yourself:
- Block unwanted calls and text messages.
- Never provide personal or financial information in response to unexpected requests. Legitimate organizations won't contact you by phone, email, or text to solicit sensitive details like Social Security, bank accounts, or credit card numbers.
- When in doubt about an email or text from a known company, click on links sparingly. Instead, contact them through a trusted website or find their contact information independently. Do not use the number provided in the message or caller ID.
- Refrain from succumbing to pressure to act immediately. Reputable businesses grant you time to make decisions. Scammers rushing you to pay or divulge personal information should be treated with suspicion.
- Familiarize yourself with common payment methods scammers use. Never pay someone insisting on cryptocurrency, wire transfers, payment apps, or gift cards as the sole means of payment. Avoid depositing a check and sending money back.
- Seek advice from a trusted individual. Before taking further steps, confide in someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, or neighbor. Discussing the situation may help you recognize it as a scam.
Remember to report scams to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. For additional information on recognizing, preventing, and reporting scams, visit the FTC's website. Stay vigilant to protect yourself from fraudulent schemes.