Ways to recognize scams

Protecting your personal data as well as your finances is crucial, especially against cybercriminals.

It’s important to recognize and protect yourself from scams that could harm your personal information. Ask yourself this question – can you spot the scam?

Spot the scammer

You can recognize the signs of a scammer before you fall victim to one. Some of the signs include:

  • Pretending to be from an organization you know.
  • Saying there’s a problem or a prize.
  • Pressuring you to act immediately.
  • Telling you to pay in a specific way.

Spot the targets

Some of the most common targets include:

  • The unemployed: Don’t respond to emails offering a position you never applied to.
  • Seniors: Scammers target seniors as they may be lonely, willing to listen, and are more trusting.
  • Children: Strangers can gain access to children’s information, using it to steal their identity.

Spot the scams

Some of the most common scams include:

  • Charity scams: A thief poses as a real charity and creates a name that sounds real to get money. These often happen during the holidays, natural disasters, or emergencies.
  • Debt collection scams: Scammers pose as debt collectors to get you to pay debts you don’t owe.
  • Grandparent scams: Someone poses as a grandchild or relative asking you to wire or transfer money to get them out of trouble.
  • Imposter scams: Scammers convince you to send money by posing as someone you would trust like a state or government official.
  • Mail fraud: Mail looks real, but the offers are fake. One sign is a letter asking to send money to receive something valuable later. These include prizes, sweepstakes and vacation offers.
  • Romance scams: Someone tricks you into falling for them when they just want your money. They can start in different ways, usually online. Scammers will spend time with you, develop trust, and then ask for a loan or access to your money.
  • Wire or money transfer fraud: Fraudsters use wire transfers to steal money. One example is the grandparent scam. Once the money is transferred, there’s little you can do to get the funds back.
  • Phishing scams: Cyberthieves uses emails to bait you into sharing information. They can then hack your account or steal your identity.
  • Telephone scams: Scammers try to steal information through phone calls, robocalls, or text messages. They make false promises with opportunities to buy products or invest money, for instance.
  • Ticket scams: Scammers use tickets as bait to steal money. They usually sell fake tickets, or you pay and never receive it. It’s common for concerts and sporting events when they sell out.

Avoid the scam

What can you do to avoid a scam? Some tips include:

  • Block unwanted calls and text messages. Register for the National Do Not Call Registry to block your phone number from unwanted calls. If you receive a text message, you can filter and block unknown numbers by selecting either “I” on an iPhone or “Details” on an Android device and blocking the caller or spam.
  • Don’t open unsolicited emails. If you do, don’t click on the links.
  • Protect your devices. Use the most current operating system, choose two-factor authentication, and use strong, unique passphrase for each account.
  • Educate children and the elderly. Teach them about basic computer safety and privacy as well as common scams and protection.
  • Stay informed. Keep yourself educated about the latest scams.
  • Don’t give out your personal or financial information. Adirondack Bank won’t call, email, or text to request your personal information including account number and Social Security number.
  • Resist the urge to act immediately. Legitimate businesses give you time to act; scammers don’t.
  • Know how they tell you to pay. If they insist that you pay with a gift card, money transfer, or check, it’s a scam.
  • Talk to someone you trust. Inform your family and friends about the incident. They could help you realize it’s not real.

Report the scam

If you’re a victim, you can report it by:

  • Submitting a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Contacting your local police or sheriff’s department.
  • Reporting it to your state attorney general.

The information is this article was obtained from various sources not associated with Adirondack Bank. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. Adirondack Bank is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the information provided or the content of any third-party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. Adirondack Bank makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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