Scams come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of sophistication. However, they all share the common goal of exploiting people for money, and the victims are the ones who pay the price. Being informed and aware are our best defenses against scammers.
Here are a few simple tips that can help consumers avoid becoming a victim:
- Be skeptical of any unsolicited personal contact, telephone calls, letters, emails, or social media messages.
- Do not use the telephone numbers, email addresses, or website addresses from unsolicited contacts to verify the validity of the information provided. Independently verify contact information through several sources before responding.
- Get details in writing before signing agreements, sending money, or giving financial information.
- Do not respond to high pressure tactics. Take the time to verify information and seek counsel from family, friends, or trusted professionals.
- Be wary of anyone requesting payment through money transfer, money order, or by sending cash or gift cards.
- Avoid using debit cards whenever possible. Purchases made by credit card will allow a consumer the ability to dispute charges.
- Use unique, strong passwords and avoid using public Wi-Fi or public computers when making online transactions. Update your computer and protect it with firewall, antivirus, and anti-malware software.
- File tax returns as soon as possible to avoid identity fraud.
- Check your credit report 1-3 times a year through www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Check a company’s complaint history at www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com under “Business/Complaint Lookup,” or by calling 1-800-435-7352. If the business is regulated by FDACS, be sure to find out if they are registered.
- Use “Check-A-Charity” at www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com or call 1-800-435-7352 to verify a charity’s registration status and to check their financial information.
For additional information,
Contact Flag Credit Union at (850) 488-6781 or (800) 458-3524,
or email us securely through – Secured Email
Contact FDACS at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352),
1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832) en Español
or visit www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com