Scammers know how valuable your personal and financial information is — and they’ll do or say almost anything to get it. What can you do to keep it safe?
The best way to protect your info from scammers is to recognize a phishing scam, but how do you know what to look for? Here’s an example.
Say you get an unexpected text, email, or call that looks like it’s from a company you know, like Microsoft or Apple. They claim there’s a problem with your account and say you need to click a link or call a number to update your info as soon as possible. They might even say they’ve noticed suspicious activity or log-in attempts on your account. The alert may seem like it’s coming from a company you know, but it’s a scammer who wants to steal your info — which could lead to identity theft.
Here’s how to keep your info safe from scammers:
- Don’t give your info to anyone who contacts you out of the blue. Honest organizations won’t call, email, or text to ask for your info, like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.
- Don’t click on any links. If you get an email or text from a company you know and do business with, contact them using a website you know is real. Or look up their phone number — but don’t call a number they gave you or the number from your caller ID.
- Update your security software. This will protect your computer and phone from security threats, which could expose your personal or financial info to scammers.
You might spot these frauds — but someone you know might need support. Please share this info with your friends, family, and fellow servicemembers and veterans during Military Consumer Month and all year round. And report scams to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
By Andrew Rayo, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC