With communication always changing, it’s important to be aware of how scammers are using technology for their personal gain. Text messages, phone calls, and email scams are on the rise, targeting people with all sorts of deceptive schemes. Here are the top three to watch out for:

#1: Smishing

Text message scams (a.k.a. smishing), involve sending text messages to people to trick them into divulging personal information or clicking on malicious links. These messages often mimic reputable organizations or individuals, tempting the recipient to respond or act.

Clues of smishing:

  • Spelling errors
  • Sense of urgency
  • Promise of a free prize or gift card

#2: Vishing

Phone call scams—known as vishing—involve scammers making unwanted calls to individuals while posing as legitimate entities. These often come in the form of banks, government agencies, or tech support. They aim to manipulate the recipients into disclosing sensitive information or making financial transactions under false pretenses.

Clues of vishing:

  • Aggressive tone
  • Request for sensitive information
  • Pre-recorded message

#3: Phishing

Email scams—also called phishing—use fake emails that are designed to deceive individuals into revealing confidential information or clicking on links. These emails often impersonate trusted organizations and use deceptive tactics to compromise your security.

Clues of phishing:

  • Spelling errors
  • Sense of urgency
  • Inconsistencies in email address

How to Avoid Financial Scams

To avoid falling for text message, phone call, or email scams, it’s important to be cautious when you receive an unsolicited message. Steer clear of clicking on links or opening attachments from unknown sources, and don’t give out personal or financial info unless you’re sure the sender is legit.

By staying informed about the common tricks scammers use and being watchful when using these communication channels, you can protect yourself from potential scams. And don’t forget to report any fishy messages, calls, or emails to the right authorities to help stop these shady practices.

Where to Report Scams

There are numerous places you can report a suspected financial scam. Here are a few:

And if you’ve lost or exposed your important information, please report it to the FTC’s Identity Theft division.


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