Watch Out for Scams
by Tony Leahy, CENTS Executive Director
The Federal Trade Commission has reported a surge in scams that start on social media platforms like Facebook. Think of all the ads you see on social media sites offering jobs or a good deal on something to buy. These things can all be faked. Anyone can create a Facebook ad, and it’s easy to make it look like it’s a reputable source.
Watch for scams that have “too good to be true” deals, and be wary of unfamiliar sites. You can check their ratings and reviews, but even those can be faked. If you pay with a credit card for something that turns out to be a scam, contact your credit card company to dispute the charges, then ask for a replacement card with a new number.
Scammers may threaten to cut off heat or other utility services in a phone call or text but remember that Caller ID numbers can be faked. If you’re not sure if it’s legitimate, gather information and contact the utility or company involved directly through contact information you know is correct. Don’t rely on the contact information the scammer provides!
To help stop a scam, report it at the ReportFraud.ftc.gov website. If you are scammed, contact your local police department and whatever financial institution that was used in the scam.