Here are ten tips to avoid scams from the Federal Trade Commission. The list is available in a trifold PDF. If you have a group or class that could use this type of educational piece, it can be ordered in quantity at no charge from here or you can view the PDF here.
Ten tips to avoid scams from the FTC
- Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.
- Research companies online by using the company name in conjunction with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.”
- Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real.
- Don’t pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, prizes, mortgage assistance, or a job.
- Credit cards are a safe way to pay. Debit cards can be risky, but wiring money through services is very high risk. You won’t get your money back if you send money via a service such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
- Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down and check out the story before making any commitments.
- Robocalls are illegal and the products are often fakes. Hang up immediately. If you press 1 to speak to a person, you may receive more calls in the future.
- Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products, then bill you every month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy. Also, review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize.
- Never deposit a check and wire money back. If a check you deposit turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for repaying the bank.
- Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scams. Get the latest tips and advice about scams sent right to your inbox.