Protecting Yourself from Scams
Unfortunately, there are bad people out there. A lot of those bad people are constantly trying to trick good people into disclosing personal and confidential information. The disclosure of confidential information to a scam artist will often have an adverse effect on your financial standings and quality of life. We at Citizens want to make sure that you know what to do in the event you have an instance where this happens to you. The best defense against scam artists and identity thieves is by having a good knowledge base and knowing where to go when you feel that you might be in a situation where you could be taken advantage of.
- Banking, Credit Card, and Online Accounts: Scammers send emails or text messages that appear to be from your bank, a financial institution, or an online payment service. They usually claim that there is a problem with your account and request that you verify your details on a fake but convincing copy of the bank’s website. Card skimming is the copying of information from the magnetic strip of a credit card or automatic teller machine (ATM) card. Scammers skim your card by putting a discreet attachment on an ATM or other card reading machine. They may even install a camera to capture your pin. Once your card is skimmed, scammers can create copies and make charges to your account.
- Charity: Charity scams involve scammers collecting money by pretending to work for a legitimate cause or charity, or a fictitious one they have created. Often scammers will exploit a recent natural disaster or crisis that has been in the news. They may also play on your emotions by claiming to collect for a cause that will secure your sympathy, for example to help sick children.
- Medical: Medical scams offer a range of products and services that can appear to be legitimate alternative medicines, usually promising quick and effective remedies for serious medical conditions. The treatments are often promoted using false testimonies from people who have been cured.
- Job and Employment: These scams involve offers to work from home or set up and invest in a business opportunity. Scammers promise a job, high salary, or large investment return following initial upfront payments. These payments may be for a business plan, training course, software, uniforms, security clearance, taxes or fees. These scams are often promoted through spam email or advertisements in well-known classifieds, including websites. If you own a small business you can be targeted by scams such as the issuing of fake bills for unwanted or unauthorized listings, advertisements, products, or services.
- Lottery, Sweepstakes, and Competition: An email, letter, or text message from an overseas lottery or sweepstakes company arrives from out of nowhere. It says you have won a lot of money or fantastic prizes in a lottery or sweepstakes competition you did not enter. These scams try to trick you into giving money upfront or your personal details in order to receive the prize. Scammers typically claim that you need to pay fees or taxes before your winnings or prize can be released. You may also have to call or text a premium rate phone number to claim your prize. Remember you cannot win a prize if you haven’t entered.
- “You’re in trouble”: This type of scam is when you will receive an email, text, or phone call stating that you are in legal or governmental trouble. You may receive a call from the “IRS” saying that unless you call and give them your social security number and banking account information that you will be taken to jail for defrauding the government of taxes…the IRS does not do this. An increasing amount of scammers have been trying to trick people into sending money to investigate a warrant or legal matter. Before attempting to call these bogus numbers, investigate the matter further by conducting an internet search of the subject matter and typing “scam” at the end of the search field; you may be surprised by what you find.
We value your security and financial well-being! Please click on some of the links below and arm yourself with the resources to prevent scams from happening to you or those that you care about.
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If you would like to learn more about the process of obtaining a personal loan (or any of the other types of loans we provide) from Citizens Savings & Loan, we encourage you to contact us today or stop by any of our convenient locations. You can also get the process of applying for a loan started now, simply fill out our online application form and a friendly Citizens representative will contact you!