If you get a call from someone who sounds like a grandchild or relative asking you to wire or transfer money or send gift cards to help them out of trouble, it could be a scam.
Romance scams typically start online with a scammer spending time getting to know you and developing trust before asking you for a loan or for access to your finances. Be smart about who you connect with and what information you share online. Learn more about how to avoid romance scams.
Ransomware is a form of malware used by cyber criminals to freeze your computer or mobile device, steal your data and demand that a “ransom”; typically anywhere from a couple of hundreds to thousands of dollars — be paid. Visiting unsafe, suspicious or fake websites can lead to malware. Be cautious when opening e-mails or attachments you don’t recognize even if the message comes from someone in your contact list. Learn more.
Imposter scammers try to convince you to send money by pretending to be someone you know or trust like a sheriff; local, state, or federal government employee; or charity organization. Remember, caller ID can be faked. It is best to call the organization or government agency and ask if the person works for them before giving any money. Read more about imposter scams.
Mail fraud letters look real but the promises are fake. A common warning sign is a letter asking you to send money or personal information in order to receive something of value later. Examples of mail fraud might include notices of prizes, sweepstakes winnings, vacations, and other offers to claim valuable items. Click here for a list of common mail fraud schemes.
Money transfer or mobile payment fraud
If someone you don’t know asks you to send money to them, it should be a red flag. Scammers often use mobile payment services to trick people into sending money or merchandise without holding up their end of the deal. For example, a scammer may sell you concert or sports tickets but then never actually give them to you. Never send money to someone you don’t know. If you think you made a money transfer to a scammer, contact your bank or the company you used to send the money immediately and alert them that there may have been a mistake.
Thieves will pose as a real charity, or make up the name of a charity, in order to get money from you. These scams often increase during the holiday season as well as around natural disasters and emergencies. Be careful when any charity calls to ask for donations, especially ones that suggest they’re following up on a donation pledge you don’t remember making. Always ask for detailed information about the charity, including address and phone number. Look up the charity through their website or a trusted third-party source to confirm that the charity is real. Learn more about how to avoid a charity scam.
Call the bank. If you think you've been a victim of a financial scam, call us immediately and ask us to take action to help protect your accounts.
Report the scam. Report the scam to local law enforcement, credit and debit card companies with whom you have accounts, your local state attorney general's office, and/or the Better Business Bureau.
Don't be embarrassed. Fraudsters don't discriminate. They will prey upon whoever will listen. If you think you're a victim of fraud, don't let your embarrassment get in the way of help. The sooner you act, the sooner you can reclaim your peace of mind.
The American Banker's Association has a page dedicated to consumer scams, safeguarding your finances and more. Read More.
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