Have you heard the expression, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”? That is a good rule of thumb to spot a scam. Educating yourself is the best defense against fraud, identity theft, and scams. National Consumer Protection Week, sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), takes place March 5 to11, 2017. It’s the perfect time to learn about and share ways to make informed choices and protect yourself. To learn more or to get involved, visit the FTC website. Continue reading
Natural disasters bring out the best in people. The ever-present generosity of Americans is front and center right now, as we try to help the victims of the Louisiana flood. Millions have given their time and donated to the relief funds and charities.
Unfortunately, times like these also bring out people looking to profit from others’ misfortune. For example, by creating fake charities and devising other ways to take advantage of donors. Continue reading
Every year, millions of Americans become victims of identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personally identifiable information and pretends to be you. They can use this information to open bank or credit card accounts, file taxes, or make new purchases in your name. Continue reading
With the tax season wrapping up, scammers are out in full force. Perhaps you received a phone call demanding payment from the IRS. They may threaten you with legal action if you do not pay immediately, or say things like, “we are sending the police to arrest you.” While these calls may seem scary, it is important to understand that they are not legitimate. This scam, which started in October 2013, has claimed over $29 million from its victims. Unfortunately, this is just one of many scams designed to make you believe you are speaking with a legitimate government official. Continue reading
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is alerting people about the dangers of identity theft, specifically in instances where people have started an application for disability benefits. Scammers try to get personal information from applicants by pretending to help complete applications. For example, these scammers may ask you to give, or confirm, your Social Security number or bank account numbers.
Don’t become an identity theft or phishing victim. You can read the FTC’s advice on how to protect yourself while applying for benefits here.