Scammers continue to devise new methods to defraud people. Being careful with what information you share online or by phone, and maintaining a healthy skepticism, can help you escape their attempts. Avoid fraud by following these suggestions:
- Don't respond to unsolicited requests. Don't respond to phone calls, emails, or text messages asking for personal information or money.
- Immediately hang up on robocalls. These calls are illegal and should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission. Don't press any extensions to attempt to talk to a real person or ask to be removed from the list.
- Do your research. Search the name of a company you have questions about, along with words like "review," "complaint," or "scam." In addition, try searching for the phone number the call came from to see if other people have reported it.
- Beware of fake caller ID information. Fraudsters can fake caller ID information, so even if the call appears to be coming from your bank, hang up if you are asked for personal information. You can then call your bank's actual number to confirm if they were the ones who contacted you.
- Never pay upfront to receive help or to claim a prize. Anyone asking you to pay for debt relief or mortgage assistance, or taxes and fees to claim a prize, is trying to steal from you.
Part of avoiding fraud is proactively reducing your risks when banking online. Be sure to take these precautions:
- Change your passwords periodically, and make them as complex as possible.
- Use anti-virus software, and keep it up to date.
- Only use secure sites. You want to use sites that begin with "https," which means they are encrypted and secure.
- Try to bank online from home if possible. Use your cellular data plan rather than wi-fi when away from home, since you can't know what other people can see when you use public wi-fi.
Banking and doing business online is generally safe, and financial institutions are always working to add more security measures.
The information mentioned in this article is for informational purposes only, is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek the advice of a professional advisor and/or legal counsel to address your specific needs regarding the issues related to your situation. Popular Bank does not make any representations or warranties as to the content contained herein and disclaims any and all liability resulting from any use of or reliance on such content.