COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Say goodbye to 2022 — another year filled with money and personal information lost to scams, according to the Better Business Bureau.
As 2023 begins, the BBB recommended making some resolutions to help keep you free from fraud this new year.
- Be cautious with emails. Judy Dollison, president of the BBB of Central Ohio, said scammers can make them look like the real deal.
“They can look so legitimate. They, they have the website set up, it has the logo and the company’s colors,” Dollison said. But you should never click on any links or open attachments that are sent to you.
“Even if it’s a well-known company, you need to take the precautions and do your research before responding,” she said.
- Don’t send money to strangers. Scammers will trick you into transferring funds by making the situation seem urgent.
“The pattern is, you get a phone call, a text, or an email, they’re asking you to take some type of action and it’s always urgent because they don’t want you to think about it,” Dollison said. If you haven’t met a person face-to-face, don’t send money.
- Research before you buy. When shopping online, ask, “Is this a business that I know and trust? Is customer service accessible? Where is the company physically located?”
- Use your best judgment before sharing anything personal.
“Never give your personal information to strangers or, even if it’s a legitimate company, if it’s an unsolicited email, text or phone call even, don’t follow that link,” Dollison said. Doing so opens the door to identity theft, she added. Keep your finances, birthdate, and social security number to yourself.
- Be smart with social media. Only connect with people you know and think twice before buying products from social media sites.
And any time something appears to be suspicious, or if you encounter a scam, report it to agencies like the BBB.