If you spot a scam it is important to report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). By filing a complaint, you can help the FTC’s investigators identify scammers and stop them before they can get someone’s identity and hard-earned money. Call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY 1-866-653-4261. To file a complaint online, visit https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.
To protect yourself from fraud, consider these tips from the FTC:
• Know who you’re dealing with. Try to find a seller’s physical address (not a P.O. Box) and phone number. Research the company and look for reviews.
• Don’t reply to messages asking for personal or financial information. It doesn’t matter whether the message comes as an email, a phone call, a text message, or an ad. If you didn’t initiate the contact with a trusted organization/business, chances are it is a scam.
• Don’t click on links or call numbers included in a message because scams often try to trick you into revealing sensitive information. It is best to simply hang up on a robocall or imposter.
• Read your monthly statements. Scammers steal account information to run up charges and commit crimes in your name. If you see charges you don’t recognize or didn’t approve, contact your bank, card issuer, or creditor immediately.
• Use a calendar to record all of your medical appointments and any tests or prescriptions that you get. Compare this information to insurance explanation of benefits documents and any bills you receive. Be sure the details of each service are listed correctly.
• When enrolling in a health insurance plan, cell phone plan, subscription, housing agreement or other type of contract be sure you understand the terms and conditions clearly before making a commitment. Verbal promises are not binding; make sure any agreement is in writing.
• Remember that nothing is ever “free.” Don’t accept offers of money or gifts for free care, products, and services.
• Never wire money to someone you don’t know and can’t fully trust. Wiring money is like spending cash. It is nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace wired money.