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Tips For a Scam-Free 2016

Tips For a Scam-Free 2016

January 7, 2016

Start the year with an awareness of the many scams that target your finances and identity and learn what tools are available to help protect you.

“Government impostor, computer tech support, and sweepstakes scams were among the major threats for consumers in 2015, and there is no reason to assume they won’t continue to target us this year,” said Frank Frassetto, Division Administrator for Trade and Consumer Protection. “Remember that regardless of the narrative or pitch con artists throw your way, the operations tend to have the same goal: they want your money or personal information.”

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Spot the vast majority of rip-offs by following these simple tips:

• Be skeptical of too-good-to-be-true offers.

• Keep your personal and banking information private, and never give out these details in an unsolicited phone call or in a reply to an unsolicited text message or email.

• Don’t wire money to someone you don’t know or give them the account number from a prepaid debit card – these funds are practically impossible to track.

• Never click on links or open attachments in an email or text message from an unknown sender.

• Never pay to claim a prize.

• Protect your computer by regularly updating your operating system and antivirus software, using a firewall, creating strong passwords, and using two-factor authentication when possible.

• Remember that the IRS and your utility providers will never call and threaten you for an immediate payment.

• Decline any offer that involves you cashing a check from someone you don’t know and keeping or sending along a cut of the money.

• Research charities before you donate.

• Immediately hang up on automated sales calls WITHOUT pressing any keys.

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