Data Security

Staying Safe from Fraud

Avoid these three common scams

Cryptocurrency Scams

While cryptocurrency is a hot topic of conversation, scammers are also using this currency to defraud unsuspecting victims. Oftentimes, the victim is contacted at random and given a promise of a huge return if they invest in the currency. However, the person contacting the victim is not a reputable investment broker, rather they are a scammer. They will often tell you that you can invest your own money in their scheme and in so doing you are likely never able to make a withdrawal and get those funds back. They usually claim you have to pay “taxes” on the earnings before you can make a withdrawal… essentially getting you to send more money to them! If the victim does not have money to invest or pay “taxes” with, then they may provide you with a fraudulent check or other item to deposit. Once you send the money in cryptocurrency to them, the check may later return leaving your bank account at a loss for the amount of the check! Always remember, if you are being contacted to invest in cryptocurrency or anything else without requesting such a contact be made, it is likely a scam. It is best to hang up the phone and verify the activity by calling a reputable business contact from the phone book or a trustworthy internet search.

Are You Receiving Packages You Didn’t Order?

If so, this could be a sign that you or your home are being implicated in a fraudulent scheme. In one form of the scheme, your identity could have been stolen and/or your online account with a merchant was hacked and they are using your identity or payment methods to ship items to your home. In the other and most common form of this scheme, your house is simply being used as a drop-off point for merchandise purchased with stolen funds from other victims. What makes your home an attractive target? Criminals love abandoned homes, homes where the owner is gone most of the time, or homes that are for sale. Their goal is to pick up the goods before anyone else does. If they are caught, they might claim to work for the shipping company and that they need the package back as it was delivered in error. The best way to protect yourself is to make sure you are not reusing passwords across multiple websites and are not accepting packages you weren’t expecting. Remember you can contact the merchant for more information, notify your financial institution if you feel your account is exposed, and consider filing a police report with your local law enforcement if you experience this activity.

SSA Scam – New Numbers and Fees

Scammers are now calling victims and claiming that they work with the Social Security Administration. During the call they may say that your social security number has been compromised and you need to pay for a new number. At times they may request as much as $10,000 to allegedly assign a new number to the victim! They may even threaten legal action against you, if you do not get a new number. However, this is a blatant scam and you should not send any money to them. It is usually very rare that a new social security number is assigned to someone and if a new number is assigned, such an exorbitant fee is not charged to the victim. Remember, if you are being contacted you cannot fully verify the caller is with the SSA without calling the agency from a number that you know is good or visiting your local SSA office.