5 Ways to Avoid Fraud

Scam artists are always trying new ways to get you to hand over your personal information or cash. Here are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:

1. Scammers try to pretend to be someone you trust like a family member, the IRS, or a company you normally do business with. Never send money even if the person says it has to be immediate. Scammers like to push you to act quickly and not allow you much time to think the scenario through.

2. Know the in and outs of signing up for a free trial, including the cancellation policy. Some companies will take money out of your account after the free trial is over.

3. Usually if something sounds too good to be true, it normally is. Some scammers will say you have won a big prize, but in order to receive it you must pay the taxes first. They will ask for your personal information or tell you to wire money.

4. Do your research. If you receive a phone call, e-mail or text that doesn’t seem right, go to your favorite search engine and describe your situation using words such as scam or fraud.

5. Talk to someone you trust about the situation. If something doesn’t seem right or you’re questioning its validity, ask someone you trust what they think. This also gives you time to think about the situation without being pressured into doing something that might cost you in the long run.

As always, we are here to help. Contact your banker if you think you have been contacted by a fraudster.