Financial Scams

Avoid Common Scams

Most of the current schemes are re-packaged versions of the same old scams. Some of the common ones involve a lottery scenario or a sure fire investment. Yet, despite the modifications, a common theme remains - scammers request personal information such as your bank account number, Social Security, or date of birth, in exchange for a reward or service. Often, scams may come through phone calls from real people, text messages, or robocalls. The old caution still applies, if it sounds too good to be true, back off.

Recent Scams

Here are a few recent scams to avoid if you encounter them.

 Canadian Lottery Scam

  • Letter indicating grand prize winner of large sum of money
  • Requests personal banking information
  • Requests payment by victim as “taxes” or "surcharges”

 Mystery Shopper Scam

  • Online notification for employment or letter through mail
  • Requests personal information
  • Suspect delivers counterfeit check for victim to deposit

 Nigerian Scam

  • Online notification for help or by U.S. mail
  • Requests personal banking information
  • Instructions for wire money transfers to suspects

 Loan Modification Scam

  • Online, mail, and television
  • Requests pay up front for services to assist victim
  • No assistance rendered

 Investment Scam

  • Safe, secure, and high rate of return guaranteed
  • Upfront investment with monthly payment returns of interest
  • Interest payment stops after one to three interest payments made to victim

 Injury Scam

  • Usually targeted to elders
  • Phone call to victim regarding a family member being involved in an accident or acting like a family member in need of quick money
  • Suspect requests money for medical bills be wired through Western Union to a specific location
  • Keep accident information confidential
  • None of the information is true

Protect Yourself

Make a few personal rules for yourself, including:

  • Check personal credit every six months to monitor activity.
  • Use passwords on accounts rather than mother’s maiden name or social security numbers.
  • Mail bills and checks from a post office rather than your home mailbox if it is not a locking type.
  • Don’t reveal banking or personal information online or on the phone.
  • Don’t respond to online job advertising through email.
  • Never rely on phone reports about family. Call back to them directly for verification.
  • Don’t open bank accounts as part of an employment process.