Consumer Watch: Consumer Protection Tips

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Take action to protect yourself.

The most recent data from 2017 shows scammers stole nearly 17-billion dollars from US consumers.

“People still need to be on their toes. Online fraud in particular has increased.”

Experts say there are three major scams to watch out for this year.

The first– phony calls from the Social Security Administration.

Caller ID will show you’re getting a call from the government demanding you validate your social security number.

“This is the kind of fraud that would work easily on someone elderly, someone depending on that money.”

Second– a Netflix-themed phishing scam.

Scammers impersonating the online streaming site and asking for your payment information.

But don’t take the bait.

“Malware will download your personal information and then they’ve got you. They can use that to steal money from you or to open new accounts in your name.”

And third– tax refund theft.

Fraudsters file taxes pretending to be you and steal your tax refund.

To avoid becoming a victim, experts say check your online accounts daily.

Review your credit score every 4 months– and look for any red flags.

“It helps you spread out the view of your credit line throughout the entire year so it may give you a better opportunity to catch something.”

And finally– shred documents containing your personal information.

If your account appears to be compromised report it to the three credit reporting agencies and place a security freeze on your credit. 
 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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