Scam Detection

Cell phone with incoming call reading scam likely.

Four Signs It’s A Scam

Are you able to spot the signs of a scam? Here are 4 sure signs you're dealing with a scammer.


1. Scammers CLAIM to be from an organization you know

Scammers often pretend to be contacting you on behalf of an entity you’re familiar with that sounds official, like your bank, the Social Security Administration, the IRS, or Medicare. Some pretend to be from a utility company, a tech company, or even a charity asking for donations. They use technology to change the phone number that appears on your caller ID. So, the name and number you see might not be real.

2. Scammers say there’s a PROBLEM or you’ve won a PRIZE

They might say you’re in trouble with the government. Or you owe money. Or someone in your family has an emergency. Or that there’s a virus on your computer. Some scammers say there’s a problem with one of your accounts and that you need to verify some information. Others will lie and say you won money in a lottery or sweepstakes but have to pay a fee to get it.

3. Scammers try to SCARE and PRESSURE you to act now

Scammers usually project a sense of urgency. They want you to act before you have time to think. They might threaten to arrest you, sue you, or take away your driver’s or business license. They might say your computer is about to be corrupted.

4. Scammers tell you to PAY in a specific way

They often insist that you pay by wiring money through a company like MoneyGram or Western Union, or by putting money on a gift card and then giving them the number on the back. Some will send you a check (that will later turn out to be fake), then tell you to deposit it and send them money.hen, the caller claims that they will send you an email that includes a link that you need to click for important information. Don’t fall for this scam!


Four Ways To Avoid A Scam

1. Don't give out your personal or financial information

Honest organizations won’t call, email, or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.  If you get an email or text message from a company you do business with and you think it’s real, it’s still best not to click on any links.  Instead, contact them using a website you know is trustworthy or look up their phone number.  Don’t call a number they gave you or the number from your caller ID.

2. Resist the pressure to act immediately

Honest businesses will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.

3. Beware how scammers tell you to pay

Never pay someone who insists you pay with cryptocurrency, a wire transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram, or a gift card. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.

4. Stop and talk to a trusted source

Before you do anything else, tell someone — a friend, a family member, a neighbor — what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam.