Protect Yourself from Imposter Scams
There are ways that you and your loved ones can protect yourself against imposter scams.
- Never wire money to someone before you have verified the identity of the person with whom you are communicating. This may mean hanging up and calling the person back, or checking with other family members, or a trusted advocate or friend, to get their opinion on whether the call is legitimate.
- If you get an unsolicited phone call or email from a business trying to sell you something, discontinue communicating immediately. If you are talking by telephone, do not answer questions or continue the conversation in attempt to be polite.
- If you are asked for personal information, such as your date of birth, social security number, address and/or financial information by telephone – just say no. This information can be used to steal your identity. If someone calls and indicates there is a problem with your bank account, visit the bank in person.
- If you are informed that you have won a prize, it is almost certain that the correspondence or call is a hoax. And never pay money (i.e. taxes or a fee) in an attempt to collect that prize.
- If someone calls representing that they are from law enforcement (i.e. the police or the FBI), and that they need your assistance in resolving the fraud, request that the meeting occur in their office and have an advocate attend along with you.
- Consider placing your telephone number on the ‘Do Not Call’ registry. To register by telephone, consumers may call 1-888-382-1222: for TTY call 1-866-290-4236. You must call from the telephone number you wish to register. You can also register by going to www.donotcall.gov.
- Consider having a trusted family member or professional serve as an advocate on your financial accounts by giving them ‘read-only’ access. This will enable them to help keep an eye on what’s going on with your finances, without giving them details regarding personal information, such as the balance on your accounts, or the ability to move any of your funds.