Watch for Scams
Aside from trusting your intuition and using common sense, your greatest weapon against becoming a victim is knowledge. Stay informed on the latest scams, know how to identify red flags and take the right steps to protect yourself. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintains a scam alert website, where you can not only learn the specifics about recent scams reported to the FTC, but also browse reported scams by topic and get email updates.
Don’t Disclose Personal Information
Likewise, keep your information safe. Financial institutions, service providers, billing departments, etc., should never ask for login information over the phone.
Never give out your bank account number, Social Security number, personal identification numbers, Medicare info, credit card numbers, passwords or other sensitive information in response to an unsolicited phone call, text, email or any other kind of message.
If someone calls from your bank, credit card company or another institution asking for this type of information, hang up and call the company directly – not from a number the person on the phone gives you but the one you have on file! You can call the number you have for them and confirm whether the initial call was legitimate.
Similarly, be careful with emails asking for information. Don’t open emails from people you don’t know and be leery of clicking on links or download attachments, even if an email looks like it was sent by your bank or credit card company.