Most scams are easy to spot but others appear to be genuine offers. How can you tell the difference?
Err on the side of caution
Most scams require some action on your part in order to work – sending money, clicking on a link, giving out personal details, etc. Your Credit Union will NEVER ask you to complete these tasks, and neither will legitimate companies.
To stay safe, follow these tips:
- If an offer sounds too good to be true – it probably is. Use your common sense – avoid products that offer miracle results, read all fine print before you sign up, be wary of investments that promise high returns for little/no risk, etc.
- Never click on links in emails. It’s safer to type the link into your browser.
- Do not open suspicious or spam emails – it’s best to just delete them. Do not respond to spam email, even to unsubscribe.
- Legitimate companies will never call asking for personal information. Always be on the safe side, and call a company directly to confirm someone’s employment before giving out information. Do not give personal or financial information out over the phone unless you initiated the call.
- You should never accept deposits from or send money to someone you do not know. You could be held responsible for any account overdrafts and often the wired money cannot be recovered.
- Never send money to pay for fees or claim a prize.
- Be wary if someone asks for a fee up front or pressures you to act now.
- Don’t just throw out old statements, bills or anything with personal information on it – invest in a shredder or cut everything up, always cut up old credit or debit cards even if they are expired.
- Keep your computer protected with up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Keep your operating system up-to-date too.
- Make your passwords complicated – don’t use anything that would be easy to guess, it’s best to use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols and change your password regularly.