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Your Personal Information is Always at Risk

Fraudsters can create spoof emails, text messages, computer pop-ups and phone numbers that look like legitimate communications. Keep your personal information safe by following these tips.

Refuse access

Refuse access to, or control of, your computer from unsolicited requests. Messages that appear as pop-ups can ignite concern, but it’s best to disregard them. Pop-ups such as, “Your computer has been infected with a virus, please call customer support at 888-888-8888 to fix this problem IMEDIATELY!” should be ignored. Don’t click on the pop-up and contact your trusted computer vendor for assistance.

Investigate origin

If you receive a request to send a payment, don’t do anything until you verify if the request is valid. Law enforcement officers don’t call people with a warrant and request payment for bond. The Internal Revenue Service will not call and request a prepaid card, gift card and/or money wire for back taxes. These phone calls are fake and it’s best to hang up immediately.

Another scheme that may lure parents and grandparents is the fake phone call from a child or grandchild requesting money. “Grandma, I'm in jail and need bond money!" Before sending money, reach out directly to the child or grandchild making the call and verify they are truly in need.

Online dating is a popular pastime for many. If you participate, don't trust requests for money from people you meet online. This is a common trap and fraudsters will "love you" until you're out of money.

Stop. Don't click, don't send

When reading email and viewing text messages, don't click on links from unsolicited sources. When an unsolicited email is received, mark it as spam and delete it; for text, delete it. Email and text messages may appear they are coming from reputable sources and can be very convincing. Look for spelling errors, incorrect logos and urgent phrasing. Protect yourself — don’t click any links or reply to these messages.

Keep your information secure

Keep your personal information secure by shredding documents, especially financial information and legal documents, before throwing them in the trash. Be cautious and never give out your credit card number, debit card number or Social Security number when contacted by an unsolicited phone call, text message or email. If you receive a request for personal information, verify the caller’s identity using a trusted number.

Be safe and implement these tips to protect your personal data from fraudsters.

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