Even with COVID, shutdowns, natural disasters, and elections underway, scams remain an ever-present danger. There’s no such thing as being too cautious when it comes to your financial security or identity’s protection, especially in trying times.
If you’re a business owner, your risks are even greater. With public exposure being a part of your essential operations, vulnerabilities are around every corner. The COVID economic downturn has people out of jobs, desperate, and looking for a quick buck, regardless of who suffers as a result.
To keep your finances and identity safe, you must arm yourself with knowledge and skepticism. There are many different kinds of scams criminals have at their disposal. The ones used on you could be a result of your age, profession, internet activities, or just downright bad luck. In any case, the ways to protect yourself are the same:
Tips for Protecting Yourself from Scams
- Be skeptical of every unsolicited or surprising contact made by an “authority” (a governmental agency, an organization, or a business)
- If you are contacted by an “authority,” do not contact them through the contact information they provide. Instead, look up the contact information for the agency or organization independently and inquire through it.
- Use uncommon, hard-to-guess passwords and don’t use the same one for every password-protected account or service.
- Follow the recommendations of the Federal Trade Commission here.
Other Scam Awareness Resources:
- Common Scams and Crimes (FBI)
- Theft and Internet Scams Tip Sheet (CISA)
- Report Fraud and Abuse from COVID-19 Scams (Treasury Department)
- Scams and Fraud (AARP)
Remember, your best protection from theft and fraud is yourself. Double-check, remain skeptical, and seek answers before responding to any suspicious query.
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