Imposter scams often begin with a call, text message, or email. The imposter plays on your emotions, pretending to be someone you trust to convince you to send them money or share personal information.
Individuals reported losing nearly $667 million to these scams in 2019, most frequently paying them off with a gift card. The scammers work hard to make you believe that you have won something or have an unexpected problem. For example, you will be sent a large amount of money to make your troubles disappear for a small fee. They might encourage you to pay them with a reloadable card, or they may even ask for your personal information.
Scammers call, email, or text and claim to be:
- A family member (or someone acting for them), saying your relative is sick, has been arrested, or is in serious trouble and needs money right away.
- From Social Security, claiming that COVID-19-related office closures mean your benefits have been suspended.
- From your bank, claiming they need to verify personal information before sending you a new debit or credit card.
The most widespread type of imposter scams is callers pretending to be from the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration says on its website that it does not contact people by phone.
- Be suspicious of any call from a government agency asking for money or information. Government agencies do not use threats, and they do not call you with promises of – or demands for – money.
- Do not trust caller ID – it can be faked.
- Never pay with a gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency to anyone who tells you to.
- Check with the real agency, person, or company. Please do not use the phone number they give you. Look it up yourself.
If you suspect fraud on any of your Jax Federal Credit Union accounts, call us at 904-475-8000 or toll-free at 800-443-2664.
If you spot an imposter scam, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Your report can help the FTC’s investigators identify and stop imposters.