Common Signs & Tips to Protect Yourself Against Imposter Scams
Imposter scams are a common type of fraud where crooks pretend to be someone you trust, such as a family member, a friend, financial institution, a government official, a tech support agent, or a charity worker. They try to convince you to send them money or share your personal information, often by creating a sense of urgency or fear. It's important to know how to spot these scams in order to protect yourself.
Some common signs of an imposter scam are:
- The caller or sender claims to be from a reputable organization, such as the IRS, the Social Security Administration, or your bank, and asks you to verify your identity or account information.
- The caller or sender demands immediate payment for a debt, a fine, a fee, or a tax that you do not owe or are not aware of.
- The caller or sender threatens you with arrest, legal action, or other consequences if you do not pay or comply.
- The caller or sender asks you to pay with unusual methods, such as gift cards, wire transfers, prepaid cards, or cryptocurrencies.
- The caller or sender asks you to keep the conversation secret and not tell anyone else.
If you encounter any of these signs, do not respond to the caller or sender. Hang up the phone, delete the email or text message, and block the contact. Do not give out any personal or financial information, such as your Social Security number, bank account number, credit card number, passwords, PINs, or security codes.
To protect yourself from imposter scams, follow these tips:
- Do not answer calls from unknown numbers. If you do answer and suspect a scam, hang up immediately.
- Do not click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails or texts. They may contain malware that can infect your device and steal your information.
- Do not trust caller ID. Scammers can spoof phone numbers to make them look like they are from legitimate organizations or local numbers.
- Do not pay anyone who contacts you unexpectedly and asks for money. Verify the identity and legitimacy of the caller or sender before making any payments.
- Do not share any personal or financial information with anyone who contacts you unexpectedly and asks for it. Only provide such information when you initiate the contact and know who you are dealing with.
Greenfield Cooperative Bank and Northampton Cooperative Bank will never call or email you for personal information.
If you are unsure of the legitimacy of a phone call, text, or email, hang up and do not respond. Call the bank (877) 682-0334 and we will be able to assist you.