In pretty much every article and blog post we put out, you’ll find tips to help you avoid scams. The idea is that, if you can spot a scam, and know how to avoid it, you and your money are more likely to stay together.
Today, we’re releasing a brochure that distills those tips down to the top 10 ways to avoid fraud. This brochure – available online and in print – is your one-stop resource to help you spot imposters, know what to do about robocalls, and how to check out a scammer’s claims.
Here are three things that can help you avoid scammers who try to call you:
Hang up on robocalls. If you pick up the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal. And plentiful. Don’t press 1, 2 or any number to get off a list or speak to a person. That just means you’ll get even more calls.
Don’t trust your caller ID. Scammers can make caller ID look like anyone is calling: the IRS, a business or government office…even your own phone number. If they tell you to pay money for any reason, or ask for your financial account numbers, hang up. If you think the caller might be legitimate, call back to a number you know is genuine – not the number the caller gave you.
Talk to someone. Before you give up money or information, talk to someone you trust. Scammers want you to make decisions in a hurry. Slow down, check out the story, search online – or just tell a friend. We find that people who talk to someone – anyone – are much less likely to fall for a scam.
For seven more tips to help protect yourself and loved ones from fraud order your free copies of 10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud to share in your community. And if you spot something that looks like a scam, report it to the FTC.
by Jennifer Leach
Assistant Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
Photo: Peter Steffen/EPA