Safe in 60: Protect Yourself From The Most Common Financial Scams

Jun 3, 2019, 7:00 AM | Updated: 9:43 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Thieves are always looking for ways to take your money and personal information, and they’re getting more sophisticated.

The Salt Lake City Police Department sees up to a dozen victims a day from some type of financial scam.

Here are three of the most frequent scams financial detectives with the department are seeing right now.

  • Telephone Scams: A caller claims your Social Security number has been compromised or that you are wanted by the IRS or the FBI. They demand payment or information. This one has been around for years, but we still see people falling for it.
    • Remember – the IRS, FBI or Social Security Administration will never call you demanding money, gift cards or money orders.
  • Credit Card Skimmers: These steal information from anyone who swipes their credit card through the device. They are becoming smaller and harder to detect. Crooks usually put them on gas pumps but police still see them on some ATMs as well.
    • Go to pumps that are in front and in full view of the clerk, or pay inside. And if possible, go into the bank for money withdrawals rather than the ATM.
  • Computer Scammers: Someone calls claiming to be with Microsoft or another software company and says your computer has been compromised. They either ask for you to give them remote access to your computer or for personal information to ‘fix’ the problem.
    • Hang up immediately. If you have a question, call the company yourself to see if there truly is a problem.

Here are three quick tips to help protect you from becoming a victim:

  • Never give personal or financial information to anyone to contacts you by phone. Hang up immediately.
  • Check your bank and credit card statements at least twice a year for any fraudulent charges – some people pay into fraudulent scams for months or years before they realize it.
  • Get a credit monitoring app that notifies you every time there is a charge to your card.

As scammers become more clever, we need to become more vigilant. If you do find yourself the victim of fraud, call your local police department.

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Safe in 60: Protect Yourself From The Most Common Financial Scams