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Chances are good that someone you know has been scammed. They may not talk about it, but the statistics do.

The truth is that sharing what you know can help protect someone who you know from a scam.

Yes. You. People listen to you because they trust you. You’re a friend, a neighbor, a relative.

And that’s why we created these articles, presentations, video and activities — to help you start that conversation, and pass on some information that could help someone you know.

 

 

Identity Theft

Someone gets your personal information and runs up bills in your name. They might use your Social Security or Medicare number, your credit card, or your medical insurance — along with your good name.

How would you know? You could get bills for things you didn’t buy or services you didn’t get. Your bank account might have withdrawals you didn’t make. You might not get bills you expect. Or, you could check your credit report and find accounts you never knew about.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Protect your information. Put yourself in another person’s shoes. Where would they find your credit card or Social Security number? Protect your personal information by shredding documents before you throw them out, by giving your Social Security number only when you must, and by using strong passwords online.
  2. Read your monthly statements and check your credit. When you get your account statements and explanations of benefits, read them for accuracy. You should recognize what’s there. Once a year, get your credit report for free from AnnualCreditReport.com or 1-877-322-8228. The law entitles you to one free report each year from each credit reporting company. If you see something you don’t recognize, you will be able to deal with it.

Please Report Identity Theft

If you suspect identity theft, act quickly. Please report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Report identity theft online or call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY 1-866-653-4261. The FTC operator will give you the next steps to take. Visit ftc.gov/idtheft to learn more.

 

Identity Theft Resources

 


 

Imposter Scams

You get a call or an email. It might say you’ve won a prize. It might seem to come from a government official. Maybe it seems to be from someone you know — your grandchild, a relative or a friend. Or maybe it’s from someone you feel like you know, but you haven’t met in person — say, a person you met online who you’ve been writing to.

read more...

 

Charity Fraud

Someone contacts you asking for a donation to their charity. It sounds like a group you’ve heard of, it seems real, and you want to help.

read more...

 

Health Care Scams

You see an ad on TV, telling you about a new law that requires you to get a new health care card. Maybe you get a call offering you big discounts on health insurance. Or maybe someone says they’re from the government, and she needs your Medicare number to issue you a new card.

read more...

 

Paying Too Much

Everyone pays all kinds of bills. Some are higher than you think they should be. Sometimes, unexpected charges appear on your bill – or sometimes, you might see a fee for a service you don’t recall ordering. Are you paying more than you should?

read more...

 

"You've Won" Scams

You get a card, a call, or an email telling you that you won! Maybe it’s a trip or a prize, a lottery or a sweepstakes. The person calling is so excited and can’t wait for you to get your winnings.

read more...

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