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Cell phone scams and spoofs: stay vigilant!

Relief organizations call to help Ukraine? Your energy company leaves you an alarming message about recent storm damage?

Wherever there is conflict or stress, we are likely to feel fear and unease. And financial predators are never far behind! Remember these tips and you’ll avoid trouble:

•    Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers – even numbers from your same area code. Scammers can “spoof” their number to look like they come from your neighborhood.

•    Don’t respond to questions and never give out personal information (account numbers, Social Security numbers, etc.) to unexpected callers. 

•    If the caller says they are from an important agency or organization like the IRS, hang up and call the group back after looking up the correct phone number yourself. Remember, if someone REALLY needs to get in touch with you, they will usually send a letter in the mail.

•    Pay attention to your emotions. If someone has called with an emergency and you find yourself filled with fear and uncertainty, learn to recognize this. Pause to ask yourself how you can verify what the caller is telling you.