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Too Good to be True: Three Tips to Avoid Telemarketing Scams

In today’s hyper-digital world, it may come as a surprise that fraudulent telemarketers are still in business. Unfortunately, it shouldn’t.

Over-the-phone scams costs victims thousands of dollars each year, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Scammers don’t discriminate based on age, either – Forbes reports that Millennials are often victims of fraud.

Phone scams usually involve luring victims in with the promise of a luxury vacation or a sweepstakes prize. When it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Here are three quick-and-easy tips to ensure phone scammers don’t steal your information.

1. Be Smart

The likelihood that you’ve been selected to win an all-inclusive trip to Saint Lucia is probably low. And, what’s more, you don’t even remember entering to win.

Often times scammers will inform you of grand prizes that seem too good to be true. Maybe you’ve won the lottery, or have been “exclusively” selected for a one-time bonus payment. Bad actors (scam artists) then ask for your credit card information or social security number in order to secure your prize.

Generally speaking, if the call sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Any hint of suspicion should be a sign you’ve been targeted as a fraud victim.

On the other end of the spectrum, scammers may also threaten you to access your information. Some fraudulent callers might claim you failed to appear in court and need to pay up to avoid arrest.

2. Never Give Out Your Personal Information

Never give out any sensitive or personal information if you suspect you’re being scammed. Ask yourself if the call seems legitimate – and if it doesn’t, hang up.

Don’t fall for a scammer’s claim that you need to make a decision immediately, either. If in doubt, hang up and contact the Federal Trade Commission or visit the Better Business Bureau’s website to confirm any information you think is questionable.

3. Turn the Tables

Don’t let fraudsters have the upper hand. Ask them for their website or how to get more information on their company. See if they have a profile with the Better Business Bureau.

Ask for a number where you can reach them for more information. If they are able to produce a phone number, look it up online to see if it’s legitimate. If they say they’re with your bank, give your financial institution a call to confirm. A little research often quickly reveals if a call is fraudulent or not.

Don’t feel pressured to make a quick decision, either. It’s your right to get the necessary information and understand what is being asked of you.

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At Sunrise Banks, we value our clients’ security. Learn more about identifying fraud at our Security Center.

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