Centro de Servicio
Charity scams for veterans tug at heart strings and grab for wallets
Charity scammers lie about who they’re affiliated with and how your money will impact the program you want to help. Do some research to find veteran charities who use your donations wisely and avoid scams by learning more here.
Stay away from scams this Medicare Open Enrollment Period
Scammers may sound professional, say they’re from Medicare, and have your personal details. But in reality, they’re trying to steal your money, Medicare information, or your identity. Here’s how to spot potential scams and what to do...
Veteran entrepreneurs: Spot the scams
The FTC joins the country in honoring veteran entrepreneurs and their families this National Veterans Small Business Week. We offer thanks as you continue to serve communities all over the nation through your businesses. Unfortunately, scammers are ready to take your hard-earned profits and steal your sensitive business data. Click here to read more.
Veterans: Filing for benefits is free
Veterans Day is almost here and it’s a fitting time to honor veterans for their service. It’s also a good reminder that scammers may be targeting you as a veteran. Of course, many of the scams that impact civilians hit veterans as well. But scammers also try to get in your good graces by emphasizing — maybe even stretching the truth about — their time in service. Read here to learn more.
Have you been affected by a data breach?
Hackers know a secret many of us share: we reuse passwords. Don’t. That’s one takeaway from the FTC’s case against online alcohol delivery platform Drizly. Here’s what to do after a data breach and why.
Scammers are posing as your TV and internet company
Did Spectrum or another provider call with an offer to lower your monthly TV, cable, or internet bill in exchange for a pre-payment or fee? It wasn’t them. It was a scammer, and you’re not alone. Learn how to avoid being scammed by your internet company.
Now that the student loan debt relief application is open, spot the scams
The Department of Education (ED)’s application for federal student loan debt relief is now open and, of course, scammers are on the move — trying to get your money and personal information. Luckily, there are ways to stop them, so keep reading to find out how to protect yourself as you apply for relief.
Spot and avoid home-related fraud this winter
Between inflation and soaring energy prices, many of us are thinking about how much more it’s going to cost to stay warm this year. Getting an email, a call, or a knock on your door with an offer to cut your utility bill may seem like hitting the savings lottery. But before you say “yes,” know that scammers may hide behind some of those offers. They’re after your money and information and will leave you out in the cold. Learn more here.
Student loan scammers are circling. Keep them at bay?
With the recent announcement of the one-time federal student loan debt relief plan, we knew scammers were on their way. Well, they’re here. The application for debt relief is rolling out any day now, so focus on getting information directly from the Department of Education. But what do these student loan scams look like? Read here to find out.
Did you get an email saying your personal info is for sale on the dark web?
People are telling us they’ve gotten emails warning that their sensitive personal information is being sold in the shadowy marketplaces of the dark web. Some emails list the stolen information, like all or part of the person’s Social Security number, date of birth, and driver’s license number. If you’ve gotten one of these emails, take these steps to help protect yourself against financial loss from identity theft.
Let’s talk about scams that target Latinos
Tomorrow begins Hispanic Heritage Month — a time to honor all that Latinos and their culture bring to this country. At the FTC, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by providing tools and information that can help Latinos avoid scams and frauds. These resources are at consumer.ftc.gov and in Spanish at consumidor.ftc.gov.
Should we trust online reviews?
When’s the last time you checked out online reviews to decide whether to buy something? Or where to buy it? Many of us use reviews to see the honest opinions of other buyers — but how do we know the reviews really are honest? Or from real buyers? Read on for ideas about handling fake reviews.
Did you hear about the student loan announcements? Scammers did, too
You’ve probably already heard about the new government plan that will forgive some federal student loans, once it’s up and running. Also in the news: the federal student loan payment pause has been extended to December 31, 2022. But scammers are watching the news, too, so know this... Read here to find out.
Free COVID test scam targets people on Medicare
Scammers have been targeting Medicare recipients with a fake offer to get “free COVID tests.” They’re calling and running websites, online and television ads to try to convince people to give their Medicare information. But if you give them your information, they’ll bill fraudulent charges to Medicare. Please read here to learn more on how to avoid this scam.
As prices rise, keep an eye out for scammers
With the cost of groceries, housing, and many other things rising, you might be looking for ways to cut costs. You aren’t alone. Across the country, people are worried about high prices impacting their budgets. And scammers are taking notice. Protect yourself by reading more of the article here.
Shopping scams are in session for back-to-school shopping
Back-to-school season can be stressful for many kids and their parents — especially when scammers are back to work with online school shopping scams. But there are ways to get your school shopping done while avoiding scams that cost you valuable time and money. Read here to learn more.
Contacted about a long-lost relative’s inheritance? Hold on a minute
The FTC has been getting reports of people getting letters in the mail from a law firm. They are, they say, looking for the heir of a multi-million-dollar inheritance. And they think it might be you. (Spoiler alert: it’s not.) Read more to see what they offer.
Don’t click on that random text. It’s a scam
Sorry to burst your bubble. That unexpected text from the Postal Service (USPS), Costco, or The Home Depot telling you about an unclaimed package or a survey you can complete to claim a freebie is NOT from them. It’s a scam. The FTC has seen a spike in reports from people getting text messages that look like they’re from well-known names like USPS, Costco, or The Home Depot and others. Click here to read more.
Scammers impersonate US immigration officers
If you got a call from ICE, you’re not alone. (And, for the record, it wasn’t them.) Scammers are pretending to be from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Like other government impersonators, they want to trick you into giving them your money or personal information. Read more here on how to avoid being scammed.
FBI Warns of Spike in Rental and Real Estate Scams
As rents, home prices, and inflation surge in today’s highly competitive real estate market, the FBI Boston Division is warning the public about the risk of rental scams, and the need to be cautious when posting and responding to rental properties and real-estate online. Click here to learn more.
Job hunting? Look out for phony job postings
Scammers are using the names of well-known employers to post job openings that don’t exist. The purpose? Tricking you into sending them personal information or money upfront to get the job. The phony postings are hard to pass up. They offer great pay, telework options, and money to set up a home office. But here’s an example of how the scam works.
Protect your Medicare number, your other info, and your money
Scammers keep changing their stories to catch you off-guard. Some scams even ask you for your Medicare number. If anyone surprises you with a call, email, text, or message on social media and asks for money or personal information — no matter what story they tell — it’s most likely a scam. During Medicare Fraud Prevention Week this week, learn about protecting your number from health care fraud. Then, take steps to keep impersonators away from your money and valuable information!
Applying for jobs? Be on the lookout for scams.
You might have just graduated from college, but there’s still more to learn when you’re on the job hunt. Not every posting or job recruiter is legit. Learn how to spot the scams. We’ve been getting reports about a scam that starts out with a job recruiter reaching out to ask for your resume. Sounds normal — right? Well, that’s where “normal” ends. After you send that over, you’re told that the format is “incompatible.” The next thing you know, you’re asked to send your resume to a website to “reformat” it — for a fee. In other words, they’re asking you to pay for a job. To avoid job scams follow these tips.
Not enough baby formula means plenty of scammers
Scammers exploiting the high demand for baby formula have sunk to new lows. They’re popping up online and tricking desperate parents and caregivers into paying steep prices for formula that never arrives. Scammers may set up fake websites or profiles on social media platforms with product images and logos of well-known formula brands — all to make you think you’re buying products from the companies’ official websites. Before you order from an unfamiliar online store, follow this advice to help avoid a scam and find help.
How do you spot a scam? Listen to how someone tells you to pay
Like spring cleaning for your finances, Financial Literacy Month is a great time to dust off your knowledge for spotting and avoiding scams. The best way to make a clean getaway from a scam? Listen to how they tell you to pay. Click here to read more.
Did you get a text from your own number? That’s a scam
Scammers are always thinking up ways to put a new spin on their criminal tricks. This time, they’re sending spam texts to you — from your own phone number. They’ve changed (spoofed) the caller ID to look like they’re messaging you from your number, but the shock of getting a text from yourself is bound to get your attention — which is what they’re after. If you get a text from your own number, it’s a scam. Click here to read how the scam works.
Servicemembers: Reporting for duty
National Consumer Protection Week is a time to shed light on how scammers will try to rip off anyone, including the military. The FTC’s military dashboard compiles five years’ worth of reports from servicemembers, veterans, and military families. From January 2017 through September 2021, military consumers told the FTC about more than 961,000 reports related to fraud, identity theft, or other consumer issues. Click here to learn more.
Provident Bank is aware that some fraudulent text messages are being sent to customers and non-customers encouraging them to click on a malicious link. Provident Bank does not send text messages with links. If you have clicked on the link, please reach out to our Customer Contact Center for further assistance.
How to tell if someone is using your identity
Taking steps to protect your personal information can help you minimize the risks of identity theft. But what if a thief gets your information anyway? Here are some of the ways thieves might use your stolen information and signs you can look out for. Read more on how to spot these identity theft crimes.
U.S. Marshals need public's help to stop phone scams
The United States Marshals Service (USMS) needs your help to stop several phone scams targeting residents in Coastal Georgia. United States Marshal David L. Lyons reports scammers are impersonating law enforcement officers and threatening to arrest members of the public for failing to appear in federal court. In lieu of arrest, the fraudsters then offer to collect a fictitious fine through payment by gift card, phone application or other remote means. Learn more here.
Conned on social media? It’s not just you
In 2021, more than 95,000 people told the FTC that they’d been scammed with a con that started on social media. In fact, more than one in four people who reported to the FTC that they lost money to any scam said the transaction started with a post, an ad, or a message on a social media platform. And the losses amount to about $770 million. Read more here to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
Hoax Kidnapping Scam Alert
The FBI Pittsburgh Field Office wants to alert the community to a hoax kidnapping scam targeting people in our area. Last week, more than 450 calls were made by someone living in Mexico to people in the area who have a 724-area code. Through our investigation, we have determined people in Mexico are scanning social media accounts for people traveling in the Southwest border area. They are then calling the traveler's loved ones in our area. During each of the calls, the caller states the person’s loved one is in danger or has been kidnapped. The caller then requests victims to send money as soon as possible. Click here to read more.