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How to avoid scam calls

04.16.2019

How to avoid scam calls

Recently an SHA resident was the victim of a scam and tricked into providing their Social Security number and date of birth to a caller.  When the resident contacted the official Social Security Administration to report the incident, the representative was familiar with the type of scam they had encountered.

Criminals are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and they often have access to information that makes them sound credible. Be very suspicious and use caution when someone calls, texts or emails asking for personal or financial information.

Government entities and financial institutions will never request personal information by calling, texting or emailing you.

Scammers may pose as government officials, law enforcement or employees from financial institutions to steal your personal information.

Never trust caller ID or email addresses.  Always validate the organization by calling them back through an official phone number – not through a number the caller has provided.

In some of the most common scams, you may be:

  • Told there is fraudulent activity on your bank account, Social Security account, or other financial account
  • Asked to confirm your bank account number, Social Security number or asked to provide other personal information, such as your date of birth
  • Pressured to send money
  • Threatened with law enforcement action
  • Told to purchase gift cards and provide codes as a form of payment
  • Asked to cash a check for a stranger
  • Instructed to make a cash deposit for sweepstakes
  • Offered more than you are asking for something with a request to send the overpayment elsewhere

Learn how to identify and avoid scams by becoming an educated consumer. The IRS, SSA and other government websites frequently post information about known scams. Check their websites to be informed. Financial institutions often have valuable information on their websites on how to protect yourself from scams.

 Resources:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts

https://blog.ssa.gov/category/fraud-2/

https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/bureaus-offices/bureau-consumer-protection

https://www.atg.wa.gov/scam-alerts