Using Common Sense to Avoid Scams and Fraud
The Scarecrow in "The Wizard of Oz" wished for a brain. Fortunately, you already have one, and it is the best weapon in your arsenal against those attempting to defraud you! The informed consumer is least likely to become a victim.
Fraud can take many forms, but the goal is the same - get you to reveal personal information, then use it to steal money, assets or more information from you. Thieves use a lack of knowledge or catch you when you are "busy", as we all are. Emails, texts, or telephone calls are a favorite method used by these creeps. How do you fight back?
First, Stop and Think! DO NOT open the email, text or answer the call if you do not recognize it. Put yourself in the position of the caller trying to get information from you. TEST EVERYTHING. Ask yourself, "why does the caller only say vague things like 'Hi! This is Carla from the warranty department!'" Or a text or email that looks exactly like it's from your credit card company? On a telephone call always STOP, and ASK FOR THEIR NUMBER TO CALL THEM BACK (but don't ever call them back. If they hang up on you it was fake). Then get the real number from the back of your card or statement and contact your company to report it. NEVER GIVE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION VIA ANY ELECTRONIC OR VERBAL COMMUNICATION METHOD without first verifying it is legitimate.
NO creditor, government agency, or legitimate company you have business with contacts you asking for information they already have! Protect yourself by simply not giving out information. Thieves are very authentic and official sounding, and will try to make you emotional or fearful something bad will happen if you do not give them what they need right away. Do not believe them! Why would anyone call you and treat you like that?
Remember, you have the information they are attempting to get, and they will say anything to extract that information from you! Stand up for yourself, THINK first, and you will be better off in the long run. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact any representative at Family Credit. We are happy to help!