Top 9 Things to Do to Avoid Fraud
Each year, millions of people fall victim to fraud. Crooks combine new technology with old tricks to convince people to send money or give out personal information. We want to help you from becoming a victim of fraud. Read on to learn about 9 things you can do to avoid fraud:
1. Don’t always believe your caller ID.
Scammers use technology to create fake caller ID information, so the name and number that shows on your phone aren’t always real. Don’t always believe what your caller ID says. If someone calls you asking for money or personal information, hang up the phone. If you believe that the person who called you is telling the truth, you can call back the number you know is authentic.
2. Learn how to spot imposters.
You should also learn how to spot imposters. In most cases of fraud, scammers pretend to be someone you trust — a government official, a family member, a company you do business with, etc. Regardless of who they are pretending to be, don’t send money or give out personal information when it is an unexpected request. These requests can come in the form of text messages, phone calls, and emails.
3. Do online searches of companies and products.
When you get unexpected calls, texts, or emails asking for money and/or personal information, do an online search of the company or product name. Type the name in Google, followed by words like “review,” or “scam,” and see what pops up. You can also search for phone numbers to see if they’ve been reported as scams.
4. Don’t pay upfront for a promise.
Scammers might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief or credit and loan offers, or ask you to pay taxes or fees to “claim your prize.” If you give them money, they are likely to take the money and disappear.
5. Think about how you decide to pay.
You also want to think about how you pay. While credit cards have fraud protection built in, not all payment methods do. Wiring money is one payment method that can be risky. When you wire money through services like Western Union, it’s almost impossible to get your money back. This is also true when it comes to reloadable cards. Any honest company or government office won’t require you to use any of those forms of payment.
6. Hang up on robocalls.
If you answer your phone and get a recorded sales pitch, hang up the phone. These calls, also known as robocalls, are illegal. Most of the time, the products they’re selling are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the calling list because this could lead to more phone calls. Just hang up.
7. Talk to someone you trust before giving money.
Before you decide to give money to anyone, talk to someone you trust. If it’s a fraudster, they’ll want you to make decisions in a hurry and might go as far as threatening you. Slow down, do an online search, and talk to a friend or expert about it.
8. Be skeptical about free trial offers.
You should also be skeptical about free trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products, and then they will bill you every month until you cancel. Before you sign up, be sure to research the company and review the cancellation policy. Also look at your monthly statements to see if there are any charges you don’t recognize.
9. Keep an eye out for fake check scams.
Another tip for avoiding fraud is to be aware of and keep an eye out for fake check scams. Fake check scams are one of the most common forms of fraud. A scammer will offer something like an advance on a sweepstakes you’ve won, or paying you to work from home, and send you a fake check. Funds from deposited checks are available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take several weeks. If the check you deposit turns out to be fake, you’re responsible for repaying the bank.
At Tennessee State Bank, we’ve taken steps to alert you to potential debit card fraud. With TSB FraudWatch, your debit card transactions will be monitored for potential fraud. We look at many variables to determine if a transaction is suspicious or potentially fraudulent. If we identify a transaction that may be fraud, we will alert you of the transaction using one or more of the following methods:
- TSB FraudWatch App
- SMS (text message) delivery
- Voice delivery
- Email delivery
Click here to learn more about TSB FraudWatch.
About Tennessee State Bank
Tennessee State Bank has been serving our local community for over 48 years. With branches in Sevier County, Knox County, Cocke County, and Jefferson County, we offer convenient banking services in East Tennessee. Whether you’re looking to open a checking account, obtain an auto loan, or apply for a home mortgage, we make the process as simple and straightforward as possible. Tennessee State Bank’s motto is “Banking at its Best!”SM, and we strive to live up to that creed every day. Let us know how we can help you by sending us a message via our Contact Form.
Tennessee State Bank is Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.
“10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud.” Federal Trade Commission, https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0060-10-things-you-can-do-avoid-fraud
“Fake Check Scams.” American Bankers Association, https://www.aba.com/advocacy/community-programs/consumer-resources/protect-your-money/fake-check-scams