According to Vocabulary.com. a scam involves “a sneaky or dishonest activity meant to con someone.” And of course, we want to avoid being scammed. Beware how hard some scams are to recognize. Furthermore, as reputable marketers, we must not engage in the activities noted in today’s post.
What to Know to Avoid Being Scammed
Let’s examine two aspects of identity theft scams. First, how to recognize different types of identity theft scams. And second, how to protect yourself from these scams. For both aspects, we turn to information from Molly Clark, writing for the AAA.
Different Types of Identity Theft Scams
In her report, Clark identifies these types of scams:
- Phishing Scams. Occur when scammers send E-mails disguised as legitimate businesses so you provide personal data. Such as account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers. Typically, these E-mails are cleverly crafted. Using exact logos and return E-mail addresses that seem legit.
- IRS Refunds and Winning Lottery Scams. In these cases, scammers send official-looking letters or E-mails with news of huge IRS refunds or winning lotteries. All you have to do is send them your bank account number so they can deposit the funds. Once criminals have your bank account number, they can do all kinds of financial damage.
- Medical Identity Theft Scams. A thief can steal your personal information and use your identity to see doctors, obtain prescriptions, or file claims with your health insurance provider. During the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers pitch free vaccines, home testing kits, and other fraudulent promises.
- Confirming Your Information Scams. Scammers pose as officials from your bank or credit card company and ask for your account numbers, passwords, or PIN numbers to update their records.
How to Handle Identity Theft Scams
To conclude, Clark offers the four tips:
- Never give out personal information over the phone or through E-mail.
- Keep tabs on your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report annually from AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Report potential scams to the FTC. Use this link to file a fraud complaint with the FTC.
- Discuss the latest identity theft scams with your family members.