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The Nitty Gritty

Five Don'ts to Protect Yourself from Scams

Fraud is on the rise, but you can avoid becoming a victim by knowing what not to do. Here are five tips to help keep your information safe:  

1. Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Scammers use apps to spoof numbers. This means they can make any name or phone number appear on your caller ID. The local phone number you see displayed may actually be placed from overseas. Once the phone is answered, scammers will know the number is valid and will continue to call.

2. Don’t call the phone number on the pop-up tech support window on your computer. Legitimate tech support will not show you a pop-up box with a phone number to call. The scam pop-ups may include a link. Do not click the link as it could download malware on your computer or give access to the scammer.

3. Don’t provide your online password, username or two-factor authentication code if asked. Only scammers ask for these things. And once they have it, they can access your online account and withdrawal your money.

4. Don’t give out your credit card number and 3-digit security code to solicitations by phone, text or email. No financial institution will reach out and ask you to provide your credit card number to verify a purchase. Hang up and call the phone number on your card to verify purchases.

5. Don’t send money on a cash app to someone you do not know. If you get a request to send money, verify the identity of the recipient by speaking to them directly first.

For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission website at