Outsmarting Fraudsters

Tips for Keeping Your Money Safe!

Each year, scammers and identity thieves steal billions of dollars from unsuspecting consumers. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) data show that consumers reported losing more than $10 billion to fraud in 2023, a 14% increase over reported losses in 2022.

Consumers reported losing more than $4.6 billion – yes, billion! – to investment scams, and nearly $2.7 billion from imposter scams, which saw significant increases in reports of both business and government impersonators. “Digital tools are making it easier than ever to target hard-working Americans,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Here are some of the most common types of scams according to the FTC:

Imposter Scams

Imposters pretend to be someone you know, like a family member or a friend, a representative from a government agency like the National Credit Union Association (NCUA), IRS, or Social Security Administration, a tech support company, or a company you do business with. These imposters try to make you trust them so they can steal your personal information or ask you to buy a gift card, send digital currency, or transfer money.

Government agencies, including NCUA, do not ask for money or your personal and financial information. When unsure whether they are who they say they are, DO NOT send money or share your information. Instead, end the call and call the organization to authenticate the communication.

Online Shopping Scams

Online shoppers can be scammed in many ways, including not receiving products despite the payment to losing money and payment information to fake websites and apps. Scammers develop fake websites mimicking popular retailers’ sites and take your money and payment information without delivering products.

Be sure to read refund and return policies before making a purchase. If your order didn’t arrive or your refund request is denied, dispute the charges. Using a credit card for online purchases can make the dispute process much easier. Watch out for suspicious websites and apps and only use official retailer websites and apps, which may offer stronger security. Monitor your credit and debit card transactions regularly to increase the chance of spotting unauthorized purchases or withdrawals in the early stage of this fraud.


Scammers send an email, text, or message on social media that appears to be from a legitimate business and lure you into providing your information by visiting a website that looks almost identical to the real one. Once you click the link, you may be asked to provide sensitive information for verification purposes, such as your Social Security number, login credentials, mother’s maiden name, or place of birth. Once the information is provided, scammers use it to access your accounts to steal money or sell your information to other scammers.

Legitimate businesses and financial institutions will never call you to verify your account information or to ask for sensitive information. DO NOT click links in emails or messages. If you believe the contact may be legitimate, contact the business or visit the official website yourself. Never provide your personal and sensitive information in response to an unsolicited request over the phone or the Internet.

If you ever suspect fraud on your account, call us immediately at 877-769-4766.


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