Scamming/phishing is another time-tested method of obtaining your information by identity thieves. Go to consumer.ftc.gov and click on “Scam Alerts” to stay aware of current scams.
- Never give out any personal information over the phone. Never reply to messages asking for personal information, whether the message was sent over the phone or by email, text message, or ads.
- Never send money or account information in reply to notices that you won a prize or lottery.
- Give only to established charities. Avoid pop-up charities that suddenly appear after disasters. Check a charity’s trustworthiness at give.org, the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance Site.
- Don’t fall for pressure tactics. Never react quickly or impulsively to offers or requests.
- Be wary of imposter scams in which a scammer pretends to be someone close to you or an entity you’re unlikely to question.
To report a scam or fraud, contact:
- You’re local police department
- The Federal Trade Commission at gov or call 1-800-TTC-HELP
- The Internet Crime Complaint Center (if internet related) at gov
- The US Postal Inspection Service (if mail related) at uspis.gov or 1-877-876-2455.
The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force website offers more information about where else to report specific types of fraud activity. Go to stopfraud.gov.