BBB Tip: Five resolutions for a fraud-free new year
Milwaukee, Wis. – Every year, millions of consumers fall prey to scams. Some lose money immediately, while others become the victims of identity theft that can lead to years of problems. Fortunately, there are practical resolutions you can make to help keep your wallet and identity safe in 2019.Add these must-dos to your New Year’s resolutions list. By taking just a few practical measures, you can help make the upcoming year fraud-free for you and your family.
I resolve to be cautious with email. Be on guard if you receive unsolicited emails from a person or a company. Remember that scammers can make emails look like they are from a legitimate business, government agency, or reputable organization (even BBB!). Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails. You may unknowingly download malware onto your computer that allows the scammer to access your personal information.
I resolve to do research before making online payments and purchases. When shopping online, or if you are asked to make a payment online, do your research before you send the funds. Ask yourself: Is this a person or business I know and trust? Do they have a working customer service number? Where is the company physically located? Would I be making payments through a secure server (https://….com)? Have I checked to see if others have complained about this entity?
I resolve to use my best judgment when sharing my personal information. Sensitive personal information includes your banking and credit card information, your birthdate, your address, your phone number, and your Social Security/Social Insurance number. Never share this information with someone who has contacted you unsolicited, and be cautious about sharing it at all
I resolve to be social media smart. Make use of privacy settings on social media and only connect with people you actually know. Be careful about including personal information in your profile and never post pictures of your home or ID cards that reveal your address and other sensitive information. Scammers may use this information to make themselves pass as a friend or relative and earn your trust.
For More Information
If you’ve been targeted by this scam, help others avoid the same problem by reporting your experience at BBB.org/ScamTracker. If you’ve been the victim of identity theft, go to identitytheft.gov for a personalized recovery plan.
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2019, people turned to BBB more than 183 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.8 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by Wisconsin Better Business Bureau
Online purchase scams become riskiest scam in the wake of COVID-19