How to identify and protect against potential scams?

1. Start by being aware of common scams: Become familiar with the different types of scams and the tactics scammers use. Common scams include investment schemes, charity fraud, scams posing as government agencies, and advance fee fraud (such as the Nigerian letter scam).

2. Don’t give out personal information: Never give out personal information such as your Social Security Number, bank account numbers, or credit card details over the phone, online, or through email unless you are sure you know who is asking for it.

3. Hang up on suspicious calls, texts, or emails: If you receive a call or text message that appears to be a scam, hang up or delete the message immediately. Also, be wary of any emails that ask you to click on a link, open an attachment, or provide any personal information.

4. Research the offer: Before you get involved with any offer or investment opportunity, take the time to do some research. Check out the company or organization’s website, read reviews, and speak with experts or other people who have previously used their services.

5. Be careful with financial offers: Be cautious about anyone who offers a financial solution that sounds too good to be true, such as promises of “easy” money. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

6. Question unexpected emails, calls, or payments: Be wary of any unexpected emails, calls, or payments from individuals or organizations you don’t know. Before taking any action, verify the source and research any requests for personal information or money.

7. Report suspicious activities: If you think you may be a victim of a scam, contact your local police department or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as soon as possible. Sharing your experience can help protect others from falling victim to the same scam.