Be savvy when it comes to scams

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Have you ever been interrupted by a phone call sounding something like this? “Grandma, it’s me, I am on vacation in Las Vegas and got arrested. Please don’t tell my mom and dad. I need your help.” Or how about this one? “Good morning! I’m calling from Medicare to provide you with a new back brace completely free of charge."

If so, you are among the millions of other Americans who are being targeted with scam phone pitches, the number one type of consumer scam in America. The better you are at detecting these potential scam calls, the safer you become.

Whenever you receive a call like this, the best thing you can do is hang up. Never give anyone your personal information, credit card information, Medicare number, etc. If someone wants you to purchase gift cards to remove malware from your phone or computer, that is a scam too.  

If the IRS is calling and demanding money or threatening you over the phone, hang up. The IRS may call to set up an appointment but only after trying to notify you by mail.

Have you received an email from your bank or from a company like Amazon asking for help with your account? Never click on a link in an email. Go directly to your bank’s webpage or call your local branch directly. Never give a caller access to your computer or allow them to remote in, no matter how legitimate the call sounds.

Unfortunately, scams are becoming harder to detect. If you would like to learn about scams and fraud that is commonly found in our area, join Sheriff Mat King as he provides tips to keep us safe. This free education program will be held on Tuesday, June 21 at 10 a.m. at McLaren Port Huron’s Charles Classroom (near the Karmanos Cancer Institute Rourke Entrance). Registration is required by calling Health Access at 800-228-1484.