Here is a heads up about imposter scams that we need to watch out for. Unlike those who show up at the door asking, “trick or treat?” These scary characters reach out to us via phone and internet.
Here are a few things that they all have in common: they try to feed of our emotions of fear, despair, excitement, or the need to be loved. They also will not meet in person and will do whatever they can to get us to wire money or pay them with prepaid debit cards like I-tunes or eBay. Many of them pose as a government official, demanding money or personal information related to taxes or Social Security, someone from tech support telling you that there is a problem with your computer, a landlord with an apartment or vacation rental at a rate that is too good to be true, or someone who wants to establish a romantic connection, but cannot meet in person and is in need of money.
If you get a call or you connect with one of these people online, be careful.
Before releasing personal information or providing any type of payment, stop for a minute, and consider whether this could be a scam. Check things out with consumer organizations like the federal trade commission, better business bureau, or our Call 4 Action office. You might also be able to do a search on your own to find out if the caller or online connection is legitimate.
If you fall for an imposter scam, never be too ashamed or embarrassed to speak up and ask for help. If you contact our Call 4 Action office, we can keep your information confidential while we try to help. You can also file a complaint with police, the Better Business Bureau, or the Federal Trade Commission. Your information can help warn others, catch these imposters, and put a stop to their actions.