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EDITORIAL: Scammers aren’t slowing down

Posted 7/15/22

Given the plethora of scams out there, it’s easy to become paranoid when your phone rings or dings to alert you of a new email or text message. Is it a text message or email from a legitimate …

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EDITORIAL: Scammers aren’t slowing down

Posted

Given the plethora of scams out there, it’s easy to become paranoid when your phone rings or dings to alert you of a new email or text message.

Is it a text message or email from a legitimate source or a scammer trying to steal your personal information?

What about the person calling you on the phone?

Is it a legitimate call or a scammer pretending to represent a company or government agency?

Nationwide, officials have seen an increase in scammers using robocalls to target residents. Scammers often use legitimate phone numbers to make incessant robocalls that swindle consumers out of their hard-earned money.

Consumers need to keep their guard up and stay alert if they receive a suspicious call. Don’t panic and don’t give away any personal information.

Here are some other tips:

• Hang up. Ending the conversation is the quickest way to stop a scam.

• Verify the call. If the caller claims to represent a particular government agency, hang up and call the main number for the legitimate agency to see if that agency was trying to reach you.

• Don’t trust your caller ID. Scammers have been known to falsify or “spoof” calls to make them appear to come from a legitimate source.

• Don’t give in to the scammer. Scammers are hoping consumers will panic and surrender the information or money they are asking for out of fear.

• Report the scam.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the main agency that collects scam reports. Report the scam to the FTC online, or by phone at 1-877-382-4357 (9:00 AM - 8:00 PM, ET).

The FTC accepts complaints about most scams.

Consumers are urged to never share personally identifiable, financial and otherwise sensitive information without verifying the legitimacy of the recipient.

The same goes for never agreeing to send cash, wire money or provide numbers associated with a credit/debit card or bank account.

We should all be careful when responding to an unsolicited call, text or email.

Be mindful of the fact that there are scammers out there who are trying to steal our personal information.

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