Electro will never ask for your account numbers, card numbers, zip code, passwords, pin numbers, passcodes, or usernames. If someone contacts you unexpectedly and requests this information, do not provide it.
Fraud Prevention Center
Don't fall victim to fraud. Arm yourself with the knowledge to effectively prevent scam artists and identity thieves. These thieves utilize various methods such as phone calls, emails, text messages, postal mail, and other tactics to extract information or deceive unsuspecting consumers into parting with their money.
Cyber crime is more than fraudulent emails and websites allowing scammers to take your money. It can involve tactics such as ransomware, where criminals encrypt files and demand a ransom for their release, or hoax phone calls where scammers impersonate tech support representatives to obtain personal information.
Taking these precautions can help protect yourself from a range of cyber crimes:
- Create strong passwords and share them only when necessary.
- Don’t respond to spam e-mails.
- Download with caution.
- Monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent activity.
- Don’t visit suspicious websites or follow links to sources you don’t trust.
Government Imposter Scams
Scammers sometimes pretend to be government officials to trick you into sending them money. They may promise lottery winnings or threaten you with arrest or lawsuits to make you pay a fake debt.
But remember, real government agencies and employees never ask for money for prizes or loans, and they don't accept wired money or prepaid debit card payments. Don't fall for their tricks!
Here are five ways to protect yourself from a government imposter scam:
- Avoid wiring money to someone you don't know, especially when a carrot of getting back more money is dangled.
- Never pay for a prize.
- Don't share your financial or personal information with the caller.
- Don't trust the name or number displayed on your caller ID.
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry at donotcall.gov.
Debt Settlement and Elimination Scams
Some companies may request fees from you before they resolve your debts. However, according to the Federal Trade Commission's Telemarketing Sales Rule, companies that offer debt settlement or other debt relief services over the phone are not allowed to charge fees until they have settled or reduced your debt.
It's important to be aware that some companies may not disclose the potential risks of their programs, such as high drop-out rates among clients, negative impact on credit reports, or ongoing calls from debt collectors.
Our partner, GreenPath offers Debit Management Plans (DMPs) and guidance on Credit Repair for free to members.
Advance Fee Loans
Beware of companies that promise you a loan in exchange for an upfront fee, which can vary from $100 to several hundred dollars. It's important to resist the urge to pursue these advance-fee loan guarantees, as they may be illegal.
Be cautious of supposed credit repair clinics that claim to fix your credit history for a fee. You can do anything these companies can for a fee on your own — for free. You have the right to dispute and correct inaccurate information in your credit report, but accurate negative information cannot be removed by anyone, despite their claims. The only way to improve your credit report is through time and responsible repayment of your debts.
Scams Targeting Seniors
The elderly in America are at high risk of being exploited and abused in various ways. Financial crimes, in particular, are frequently targeted at older adults and unfortunately, often result in success. It's important to learn more about this issue.
Phishing, SMishing, and Vishing
Phishing is a fraudulent activity where cyber criminals pose as legitimate businesses in order to deceive individuals into divulging their personal information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details.
SMishing is a scam that tricks you into sharing personal and financial info through text messages or SMS. Scammers may use URLs or automated voice systems to collect your information.
Vishing is a type of scam that tricks people over the phone. Scammers can hide their identity using caller ID spoofing. To stay safe, don't share any information with the caller. Instead, contact your credit union or credit card company using trusted contact information to verify the call.
It's important to note that reputable businesses never request sensitive information through insecure channels.
- Don’t select links in e-mails that ask for personal information.
- Never open unexpected attachments.
- Delete suspicious messages, even if you know the source.
If a cybercriminal gets your name and Social Security number, they can file a tax return in your name and fake financial info for a big refund. This is common in electronic tax-refund fraud since W-2 forms aren't required for electronic filing. Cybercriminals find it easier to do this electronically as it's straightforward and hard to detect compared to paper tax fraud.
Make sure to keep your personal information safe and only share it with trusted sources, especially online. Tax fraudsters can obtain your information through methods like phishing emails, social engineering, and the black market. Taking steps to protect your personal information is crucial to prevent tax fraud and identity theft.
Learn more about tax identity theft.
Knowing how scammers operate can help you avoid fraud and protect your money. Wise investing can help you achieve your financial goals. Here are some tips to avoid scams:
- Educate yourself on investment fraud, including recognizing red flags and knowing where to seek help.
- Take measures to protect yourself online, including securing your social media accounts.
- Be aware of various types of investment fraud, including those that occur online and in social media.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission provides information on how affected investors may recover money.
If you have a question or concern about an investment, or you think you have encountered a fraud, please contact the SEC, FINRA, or your state securities regulator to report the fraud and to get assistance.
Report a Scam
Incidents of fraud are on the rise. If you become a victim of fraud, here are some steps you can take:
- Report the fraud to the relevant authorities, such as the police, Social Security Administration, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or other appropriate agencies.
- Contact your financial institutions, such as banks or credit card companies, to report the fraudulent activity and take necessary steps to protect your accounts.
- Keep records of all communication and documentation related to the fraud, including emails, letters, receipts, and any other relevant information.
- Consider freezing your credit to prevent further unauthorized activity.
- Review your credit reports for any suspicious activity and report any inaccuracies.
- Seek assistance from reputable resources, such as consumer protection agencies or legal professionals, to understand your rights and options for recovering lost funds or resolving the situation.