While all the developments in technology are incredible and often helpful, there is a downside. With more opportunities in general, there is also more opportunity for scam and fraud. As we continue to evolve as a society, consumers must protect and educate themselves to avoid falling victim to any of these ploys. In today’s blog from Volt Credit Union, we offer a few things you can arm yourself with to guard your personal information.
Guard That Data
First, keep your data and information guarded. Just as a rule of thumb, anything that isn’t publicly known about you should be kept private. Identity theft is continually growing in the United States, and a large number of it is preventable. Keep your passwords complex and varied, keep credit card numbers hidden, always shred sensitive paperwork, and don’t leave mail unattended for long periods.
It’s also important to be mindful when browsing online or using the internet. Don’t share anything that scammers can use to gain unwarranted access to your personal life. Things like addresses, phone numbers, and more can give criminals an open door to victimize you. Use caution with any websites that require you to enter your social security number or credit card information. Please do your research and make sure it’s a reputable and safe website before divulging personal information.
Join the Do Not Call Registry
Remember, there is a National Do Not Call registry. This is a ledger of Americans who have opted out of unsolicited calls. Rather than differentiating between legitimate calls or spam, you can join the registry and have it sorted for you.
If you don’t want to join the registry, here are a few tips to guide you with unsolicited callers. First and foremost, be skeptical. Even if the call looks legitimate, with caller ID and everything, ask yourself, “why are they calling me?” or “does this make sense?”
With today’s technology, scammers can falsify everything. Advanced scammers can use software to make it seem like they are from the Social Security Administration or any other organization that fits their narrative. Remember to be on guard and check to see if the call makes sense, even if it looks natural.
Beware of Urgent Calls/Emails
There will often be a call to action of some sort. Whether they claim your social security number is compromised or that you’ve won some prize, there will be an incentive to make you act. Usually, the situation they present has some urgency, such as suspected identity theft that you need to take action against or a prize with a limited window to claim. This will add pressure for you to act quickly or immediately. Scammers will create a situation where you need to decide on the phone without researching or consulting a parent or spouse. This is to minimize the chances of you realizing the true nature of the call.
If you do find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. Don’t believe that your social security number has been leaked or that you have an active warrant out for your arrest. Resist the pressure that the scammer is putting on you to act immediately. Get off of the phone as quickly as possible and block the number as soon as you do.
Suspect Fraud? Call Us Today
Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to prevent these things from happening. As good technology progresses, so does nefarious technology. However, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve done your research and have armed yourself as best you can. If you ever have questions about a situation or want someone on your side, talk to the experts at Volt Credit Union. Call us today at 417-862-0471. Your security is our priority.