There are numerous types of emails and phone scams that the public should be aware of, anyone receiving an email or phone call that appears to be from a legitimate source should verify the authenticity prior to providing information.
Below are a few types of scams to be wary of, though there are others, most will be similar, but will vary the information to appear legitimate.
You may have heard about identity theft (people stealing other people's personal information to use for illegal purposes). Using a scam called "phishing," Identity thieves trick people into providing their financial account numbers, PIN numbers, mothers' maiden names, and other personal information by pretending to be someone they're not.
The most common form of phishing is through emails (though this can also done via telephone) pretending to be from a legitimate retailer, bank, organization, or government agency. The sender asks to “confirm or verify” your personal information for some made-up reason (ie. your account is about to be closed, an order for something has been placed in your name, or your information has been lost because of a computer problem).
Another tactic phishers incorporate is to say they’re from the fraud department of a well-known company and ask to verify or confirm your information because they suspect you may be a victim of identity theft!
Scammers use these links to lure people to phony Web sites that look just like the real Web sites of the company or organization, they’re impersonating. If you follow the instructions and enter your personal information on the Web site, you’ll provide it directly into the hands of the Scammers. To check whether the message is really from the company or agency, call it directly or go directly to its Web site.
You should only open email attachments if you’re expecting them and know what they contain. Even if the messages look like they came from people you know, they could be from fraudsters and contain programs that can steal your personal information.
Legitimate credit card issuers and other companies may contact you if there is an unusual pattern of purchases indicating that someone else may be using one of your credit cards. Usually they only ask if you have made particular transactions; they will never request your account number or other personal information. To be on the safe side, ask for the person’s name, the name of the agency or company, the telephone number, and the address. Look up the main number from the phone book, the Internet, or directory assistance, then call to verify if the person is legitimate.
If you’re asked to make a charitable contribution via phone or email, consider the following:
Below are a few examples: