Charity Scams

1) Beware of Charity Scams (Source: https://on-ajc.com/2MuvyKB)
There are scammers who turn tragedy into profit...Keep an eye out for fake and sham charities when you’re donating to organizations and fundraisers that raise money to provide aid to struggling individuals, poor communities, and victims of natural disasters, etc.

How to Prevent:
Before you enter your bank information, research the organization. Just because you see a fundraiser on social media, doesn’t mean it is legitimate. Check with websites that help determine the validity of charities…like Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, or Guidestar. For those “text to donate” charities, where texting the dedicated number a word automatically adds a charge on your mobile phone bill… confirm the number with the source charity before you hit send! If you think you’ve mistakenly donated to a sham charity…REPORT IT to the federal trade commission! Go to www.FTC.gov/complaint to help prevent more people like you from being scammed.

Check the Validity of Charities BEFORE you donate:
Better Business Bureau https://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/public/Accredited.aspx?bureauID=9999

Charity Navigator https://www.charitynavigator.org/

Guidestar https://www.guidestar.org

Robo-Calls

2) Beware of Robo-Calls that Record Your Voice (Source: https://abcn.ws/2Dmabeg)
This voice scam happens when you answer the phone and the person or recording on the other line asks “Can you hear me?” and you respond “YES.” Your voice is unique to you, and is potentially being recorded to obtain a voice signature for scammers to sign up for bogus accounts in your name, and authorize other fraudulent charges over the phone.

How to Prevent:
To help prevent this, DO NOT RESPOND, do not hit any buttons, just hang up! Be sure to find out through your phone provider if you can block unwanted calls or if they have a telemarketer service that screens known scams and unwanted calls. And put your number on the Do Not Call Registry.

Free Wi-Fi

3) Beware of Free Wi-Fi Scams (Source: https://go.bbb.org/2P9tluc)
Scammers set up free Wi-Fi hotspots that don’t require passwords and once logged in, they can track and trace EVERYTHING you do online while connected. So anytime you enter your credit card info, type a password, log into your bank account or type your social security number they can easily access this information to RIP YOU OFF! Any information you send over an open Wi-Fi network is accessible. So, don’t be a victim!

How to Prevent:
When you’re getting your morning coffee at your local café and you connect to the Wi-Fi, or ANYWHERE you can access free internet, confirm the network name with an employee before you connect! And even when using the right network, still be careful…Hackers have been known to hijack your info while connected to the same public network.

Grandparent Scam

4) Beware of the Grandparent Scam (Source: https://bit.ly/2OlsBNt)
Recently scammers have been targeting the phone lines of seniors in hopes of convincing them to wire money. They’ll call and someone on the line will say “Hi Grandma “or “Hi Grandpa” pretending to be a grandchild of the victim and then apologize for their voice sounding strange because they have a cold or got their nose broken. They then tell a story with limited details that ends with “Please don’t tell mom or dad but, I need money RIGHT AWAY to” –insert issue here: “Pay my student loan, post bail, pay for an ambulance” et cetera. Many victims will wire money to these crooks without question.

How to Prevent:
Tell the seniors and grandparents in your life about these kinds of scams before they fall prey. And contact authorities if they get scammed. You can find many resources and numbers to call on www.JUSTICE.GOV/ELDERJUSTICE

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