Community and Business

Fraudsters are ramping up their efforts to use people to move money and scam consumers.

LifeStore and the Federal Trade Commission or “FTC,“ provides these tips to help consumers protect themselves.

The FTC, in a recent bulletin “Money Mules,” warns: Someone might offer you a job, say you’ve won a sweepstakes or call and offer you a refund. Whatever the story, next they want to send you money – and then ask you to send it on to someone else. They often say to wire the money or use gift cards.

But that money is stolen. And there never was a job, a prize, or a refund – only a scam. That scammer was trying to get you to be what some people call a “money mule.”

Another phone scam to beware of is a technical support scam. “If someone calls to offer you a refund for tech support services you paid for, it’s likely a fake refund scam. The caller will ask if you were happy with the services you got. If you say, ‘No,” they’ll offer you a refund. No matter their story, they’re not giving refunds. They’re trying to steal more of your money. Don’t give them your bank account, credit card, or other payment information.

Here’s what you can do:
1. Keep your money to yourself. Never agree to move money to someone who contacts you, even
if they promise a refund, job, or prize. You could lose money and get into legal trouble.

2. No matter how real or urgent this seems — it’s a scam.

3. Don’t pay. Don’t wire money, send a check, overnight a money order, or pay with a gift card or cash reload card. Anyone who demands payment in these ways is always, always, always a scammer.

4. Pass this information on to a friend. You may see through these scams, but chances are you know someone who could use a friendly reminder.

Checkout the LifeStore Blog, it provides helpful tips and timely information.

For additional resources on these topics, reference these links from the Federal Trade Commission.