Scammers are always trying to con victims out of their information and money. They are, unfortunately, often successful. Scammers are expert impersonators, using sophisticated technology and their best acting skills to convince you they represent a business, institution, or government agency you may trust. They also tend to prey on the most susceptible victims, including those who are down on their luck or are exceptionally naïve and trusting.
Here at Stark FCU, our biggest priority is your financial wellness, and that includes keeping you and your money safe. To help you achieve it, we’ve put together this guide about recognizing the signs of fraud and protecting yourself from scams.
Five red flags of Scams
While the details surrounding the way a scam plays out can vary greatly, most follow a similar theme. They try to get victims to share personal information or to pay for a service or product that doesn’t exist. Here are five ways to spot a scammer:
Who are the targets?
Scammers usually cast a wide net to ensnare as many victims as possible. However, lots of scams focus on a subset of highly vulnerable targets. Here are some of the most common targets of scams:
What do scams look like?
Here are some of the most common scams:
10 ways to protect yourself from Scams
Keep yourself safe by following these rules:
1. Never share personal information online.
2. Don’t open unsolicited emails. If you already have, don’t click on any embedded links.
3. Never send money by insecure means to an unknown party.
4. Protect your devices by using the most up-to-date operating systems, choosing two-factor authentication, and using strong, unique passwords for every account.
5. Choose the strongest privacy settings for your social media accounts.
6. Keep yourself in the know about the latest scams and learn how to protect yourself.
7. Educate your kids about basic computer safety and privacy.
8. If you have elderly parents who spend time online, talk to them about common scams and teach them to protect themselves.
9. Don’t take the identity of callers at face value, even if your Caller ID verifies their story. If a government agency, utility company, or financial institution reaches out to you and asks you to share personal information, tell them you’ll contact them on your own and then end the call.
10. Never accept a job or agree to pay for a purchase or service without thoroughly researching the company involved.
Above all, remember the golden rule of scams: If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.
Once an individual falls prey to a scam, there is very little that can be done to mitigate the loss. Full financial recovery can take years. It’s best to protect yourself from scams before they happen by educating yourself and asking Stark FCU for help.
4100 Dressler Rd. NW
Canton, OH 44718
Loan Dept.: 330.493.7602
Loan Dept. Fax: 330.493.1619
Cleveland Ave. Branch
3426 Cleveland Ave. NW
Canton, OH 44709
1281 S. Sawburg Ave.
Alliance, OH 44601
Minerva Area Federal CU Shared Branch
(Cash and deposits only)
3570 Union Ave. SE
Minerva, OH 44657