Scams happen to people of all ages and walks of life.

Know That Scam

The Spoofing Scam

Spoofing is when a scammer deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity.  Scammers use this technique to appear as a local number or as a number from a company or a government agency that their potential victims may already know and trust.
When answered, they often utilize scripts with scare or intimidation tactics to steal money or valuable personal information for fraudulent activity.

Avoid a Spoof Scam

  1. If the caller is asking for personal information or pressuring you for money, hang up and call the company or agency using a known number such as by checking their website or on a bill or statement.
  2. Report spoofing scams to the real organization and to law enforcement, the FCC and the FTC.

The Tech Scam

Tech support scammers pretend to be a computer technician from well-known companies such as Microsoft or Apple.  They often contact potential victims through a pop-up, email or even a spoofed phone call to say they’ve found a problem with your phone or computer.  They typically ask you to give them remote access to your computer and then pretend to run a diagnostic test.

Avoid a Tech Support Scam

1. Legitimate tech companies won’t contact you by phone, email, or text message to tell you there’s a problem with your computer.
2. Security pop-up warnings from real tech companies will never ask you to call a phone number or click on a link.
3. Be sure to keep virus protection tools up-to-date.

The Romance Scam

Romance scams are most often initiated online to prey on vulnerable people.  Scammers create fake online profiles and attempt to build phony emotional attachments until potential victims are comfortable sending them money.  Often they will use the victim’s own Social Media accounts to learn more about them while developing their scheme.

Victims can be both men and women.

Avoid a Romance Scam

  1. Be cautious and go slow in developing an online relationship. Research and ask questions if someone seems to good to be true.
  2. Be suspicious if the person fails to show up for multiple attempts to meet and always has an excuse.
  3. Beware if you are asked for inappropriate photos or financial information. Do not send money to people you meet online and have never met in person.

The Online Shopping Scam

This scam often involves fake websites that are so similar to the popular retailer’s site, it tricks consumers into providing payment information.  To attract potential victims an ad may be placed on a legitimate website or on social media linking to the fake site.  In other cases, individuals may see a posting or receive an email or pop-up advertising an extraordinary – better act fast – deal .

The scammers will either infect the user’s computer/mobile device or collect their information and payment, but never send the product.

Avoid the Online Shopping Scam

  1. Check the site address on the top of your browser.
  2. Watch for poor grammar or misspelled words in an apps’ description or on the website.
  3. Be cautious of posted deals – If it sounds to good to be true it probably is.  Do some research before providing your payment information.

The Phishing Scam

This online scam targets individuals through sent e-mails that appear to be from a known source such as a bank, utility or government entity.  The email directs the person to provide personal information such as social security numbers, birthdates, bank information, etc.  The phishing scam’s cousin “smishing” performs this same scam by text while its other cousin, “vishing”, does so by phone.

Avoid this Phishing Scam Family

  1. If asked for personal information or pressuring you to act fast, delete the message or hang up the call.  Contact the real company or agency by checking their website or on a bill or statement.
  2. Regularly update your virus protection tools and setup automatic system updates.
  3. Report the scams to the real organization, report phishing to and forward smishing scams to SPAM (7726).
  4. If you suspect a scammer has information such as your Social Security, credit card, or bank information, go to and notify your financial institutions.
  5. If you clicked on something concerning, run a virus scan.

The Prize/Lottery Scam

Most of these scams have some commonalities, the potential victim has won a large amount, it is a large cash prize, they need help delivering the winnings and always require victims act fast.  This scam is sent by mail, email email, text, online and by phone.  The goal is usually to either to have victims send money with the promise of more in return or provide financial information like account details.

They want you to think you’ve won a government-supervised lottery or sweepstakes.

Avoid the Prize/Lottery Scam

  1. The government won’t demand money so you can collect a prize.
  2. To win a lottery or sweepstakes you would have had to enter it.
  3. Be cautious and do your research and contact the true organization to verify legitimacy.

The Investment Scam

These scams claim to make a lot of money quickly or easily with little to no risk — usually by investing in the financial markets, cryptocurrency, real estate, or precious metals and coins.

Scammers may start by offering free training or seminars which quickly lead to hefty fees for additional training or coaching to increase success.  Some investment scams claim they have access to experts that do everything or claim to have inside tricks.  Many of these scammers falsely assure individuals early on that the investment is risk free.

Avoid the Investment Scam

  1. Like many scams, if fast cheap easy money sounds too good to be true, it probably is so do your research.
  2. Resist pressure tactics that require buy in now.
  3. Report investment fraud and scams to the FTC and the SEC.  Report precious metals or commodities fraud to the CFTC.