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Imposter Scams

Wednesday, February 22, 2023Written by: Lorie Hamlin

How do imposter scams work?

In an imposter scam, a dishonest person lies and tricks you into sending money to them. They might call you on the phone, contact you through social media, or send an email or text. Imposters might try to get you to pay them by asking you to buy a gift card, wire money, or send cash to them in the mail.

yellow cartoon telephone ringingThey might say:

  • They are calling from a tech support company about a problem on your computer
  • You owe money to the IRS or another government agency
  • You just won a prize but you have to pay them fees to get the prize
  • A friend is in trouble and needs your help
  • You got a check for too much money and you need to send back the extra amount

These are all tricks! If you send the scammer money, you will not get your money back. Giving them gift card numbers over the phone or sending a wire to them is just like sending cash. Remember that gift cards should be purchased and used as gift for your friends or loved ones. You should never send gift cards, wires, or cash to someone you truly do not know.

What if the story sounds true?

Scammers are very good at fooling people! They also want to rush you so you will comply with their demands before you have time to really think it through.

Before you do anything, stop and think. Call your bank or a trusted friend or family member before making any decisions.

  • Never give anyone your online banking Access ID or Password.
  • If a caller asks you to click on an email link, don’t. This could give them access to your computer.
  • Did the scammer say your friend or family member was in an emergency and needed money ASAP? Hang up and call your friend or family member using the number you have for them. Always verify the story with someone you know before sending money to anyone.
  • Did the caller say you owe money to the IRS and may be arrested if you do not send money now? The IRS does not call you to ask for money and would never ask you to pay with a gift card or wire transfer.
  • Did the caller state that you won a lottery or special prize? This may seem exciting, but if they ask you to send money to them, it is not true.  

Never send money to these callers. If they send you a letter in the mail, do not call them. Instead, take it to your bank or a trusted friend or family member to help verify whether it is legitimate.





Article by: Lorie Hamlin

Lorie Hamlin Image
Tags: Safety Tips


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