With so many types of scams making the rounds through text messages, emails, phone calls, and even showing up in the mail (or on your doorstep), it can be hard to know how to really keep yourself—and your finances—safe.

In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission received a whopping 2.7 million scam reports with debt collection, identity theft and imposter scams rounding out the top three.

 

With so many types of scams making the rounds through text messages, emails, phone calls, and even showing up in the mail (or on your doorstep), it can be hard to know how to really keep yourself—and your finances—safe. Here are a few tips to help keep fraudsters out of your wallet.

 

  1. Stay up-to-date on the latest scams. While hitting up Google for information on the latest scams is a good place to start, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Make sure you’re getting your information from reputable sources like governmental or law enforcement agencies like the FBI, IRS, FTC or your local police department. (P.S. One of Verve’s seven guiding principles is to educate and provide our members with information on staying financially fit. Check out our blog for information on the latest scams and ways to keep yourself safe.)
  2. It’s OK to wait it out. If someone calls you, stops by or emails you out of the blue and says you need to act now to take advantage of a great deal, odds are, it’s a scam. Ask them for the details and let them know you need time to make your decision (and do some research!).
  3. Just hang up. It may not be polite, but sometimes you just need to hang up the phone, delete the text message or mark that email as spam. Some tell-tale signs that you’re not working with a real person include answering the phone call only to be greeted by a recording, receiving a text message with excessive caps and strange looking links, and emails riddled with typos. (Email scammers are getting smarter, though. If a company you have an account with sends a confirmation email for something you didn’t order, or asks for personal information, don’t click in the email. Go to the company’s website to login to your account or give them a call to see if they really need the info.)
  4. Avoid the shiny bait. We love a good sale or coupon as much as the next bargain hunter, but exclusive offers, one-time deals, “referrals” and other time-based offers that require you to pay (especially via an iTunes gift card or wire transfer) before you can receive the offer are signs that a fraudster is trying to get their hands on your money.
  5. Don’t keep it a secret. If you received a phone call, email, text message or letter and something doesn’t seem quite right, report it to the FTC. If you received a threat for not paying, please let your local law enforcement agency know.

 

How Verve can help

If you think your Verve account is at risk because of a suspicious phone call, text message, email or any other type of scam, call Verve immediately at 800.448.9228. One of our team members can check your account for purchases you did not make and help safeguard your account against fraud.

 

It’s Verve’s goal—in line with our guiding seven Cooperative Principles—to provide education, training and information to help our members stay financially fit. Verve is committed to keeping our members educated when it comes to their finances by providing details on financial risks and ways to stay safe. Help your friends and family stay safe against common scams by sharing this blog post.