Don’t get scammed!

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A K-State expert cautions consumers against scams

Scammers, it often seems, never rest.

Whether it be by phone, email or suspicious website, consumers face an onslaught of characters aiming to cash in on an easy buck, or even steal an identity.

But Kansas State University family finance specialist Elizabeth Kiss says knowing the tangles that scammers often use will help consumers stay safe.

“The Federal Trade Commission has a lot of great information for consumers about fraud and they highlight signs for things that might be a scam,” Kiss said.

Some of the common signs consumers should look for include:

The scammer pretends to be from an organization you might know.

Some examples include the Social Security Administration, the IRS or Medicare. Or, Kiss notes, the caller may represent themselves as being from a utility company or charity. “They have used technology to change their phone numbers,” Kiss said, “so it looks like what you’re seeing (on your phone).”

The scammer indicates there is a problem that needs your attention.

You might be told that you owe money or someone in your family had an emergency and need your assistance immediately. On a computer, you may get an urgent message about a virus infecting your files. Another form of scam indicates that you’ve won a prize and you must act immediately to claim it.

The scammer pressures you to act immediately.

Scammers don’t want you to have time to think; they want to get your attention now. There is an urgency to the claims the person is making, whether it’s by phone or computer.

As reported in the High Plains Journal.

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