Social Postings & How-To Lists

Below are our most popular fraud prevention tips. Written as easy-to-follow "To-Do's".

  1. Find a great topic: Simply choose any topic below to copy and paste the helpful tips as a post to any of your social media, web, blog pages, email, or printed communications.
  2. Add an image: Use one of your images or access a high-resolution image asset from our gallery to add to enhance your social media post.
  3. Post something that's trending in the news: Check our top 50 most recent fraud headline in our fraud news section and grab related tips listed below.
Watch out for Coronavirus scams
  1. Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.
  2. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is up to date.
  3. Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that have information about the virus.
  4. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  5. Ignore online offers for vaccinations.
  6. Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites.
  7. Be alert to “investment opportunities” that claim prevention, detection, or cure coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.
Avoid online classifieds scams
  1. Stay local.
  2. Avoid P2P payments, gift cards, wire transfers, cashiers's check, money orders as payment methods.
  3. Cash is the only secure currency for Craigslist transactions.
  4. Be cautious when using online escrow.
  5. Don't commit without seeing goods in person.
  6. Don't fall for job scams.
  7. Use a counterfeit pen detection pen.
  8. Most online marketplace do not certify listings.
  9. Research the buyer or seller.
  10. Don't give out personal information.
  11. Trust your instincts.
Tips for analyzing news sources
  1. Avoid websites that end in "lo".
  2. Watch out for websites that end in ".com.co"
  3. Watch out if known/reputable news sites are not also reporting on the story.
  4. Odd domain names generally equal odd and rarely truthful news.
  5. Look of author attribution.
  6. Check the "About Us" tab on websites.
  7. If the story makes you really angry, it may not be 100% true.
  8. Avoid anything that encourages you to share negative or harmful information about an individual or organization.
  9. Read multiple sources of information to get a variety of viewpoints.
Security tips for small business network
  1. Set clear administrator privileges.
  2. Secure your private network.
  3. Secure endpoints.
  4. Monitor the network.
  5. Maintain firewalls.
  6. Establish intrusion detection and prevention systems.
  7. Protect remote access.
  8. Isolate guest wireless local area network (WLAN).
  9. Use encryption programs.
  10. Define and practice continuity plans/disaster recovery.
8 ways to avoid mobile text spam
  1. Delete text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information.
  2. Don't reply, and don't click on links provided in the message.
  3. Treat your personal information like cash.
  4. Report spam texts to your carrier by forwarding them to 7726 (SPAM), free of charge.
  5. Review your cell phone bill for unauthorized charges, and report them to your carrier.
  6. Call your carrier's customer service number (usually 611) and instruct them to "Block all text messages sent to you as email" and "Block all multimedia messages sent to you as email."
  7. Check with your mobile provider about other options to block future spam messages.
  8. Set up and use a free email account that's only for things like promotions, contests, and the like.
8 Ways to avoid wire fraud
  1. Verify every wire request.
  2. Review emails and verify instructions.
  3. Advise buyers to Not Accept Wiring Instruction Changes.
  4. Verify the authenticity of wiring instructions sent from a free email service.
  5. Don't use free email accounts.
  6. Beware of unusual activity.
  7. Don't send wires overseas.
  8. Regularly change your passwords.
Remove this from your social profile
  1. Your date of birth, including the year.
  2. The date of birth of your family, including the year.
  3. Your phone number.
  4. Your physical address.
  5. The name of your high school.
  6. Your pets name.
Email phishing safety tips
  1. Understand how your financial institution communicates with you.
  2. Clues that an email is fake can include: poor spelling, grammatical errors, offer of a reward, typos, information request, threatening tone.
  3. Always be skeptical of attachments.
  4. Technology-based security measures such as firewalls, encryption, anti-virus, spam filters, and strong authentication will NOT prevent social engineering fraud.
  5. If you receive an email from a friend or trusted source, it is NOT always safe to click on a link or attachment within that email.
  6. It is NOT always safe to click a link as long as the link is through a popular search site like Yahoo, Google or Bing.
  7. Access web sites by typing the address of a web site directly into your Web browser.
  8. Be aware of tech support scams are very popular. gh the e-mail originated from a different source.
  9. Be skeptical when there are big news events happening.
  10. If you are unsure about a link in your email, do NOT copy and paste the link in your web browser.
  11. If you are unsure about a link in your email, it is NOT safe to forward the link to have it tested by someone else.
  12. Criminals could strike very quickly when major news events occur.
  13. Be aware of web site extensions.
Human traits that help scammers
  1. You respect authority. Many scammers impersonate the police, IRS, Social Security agent, etc.
  2. You trust people. It is good practice to always be skeptical.
  3. You are confident so your guard is down.
  4. You've fallin for a scam before.
  5. You're friendly.
  6. You are under stress.
  7. You're lonely.
Every day fraud habits
  1. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!
  2. You should not have to pay a fee of any sort to claim a legitimate prize.
  3. Never pay to play in a sweepstakes or to claim a prize.
  4. Do NOT give out prepaid or gift card serial # off the back of the card.
  5. Never give out credit card numbers unless you initiated the call or order.
  6. Never give out your Social Security number or bank account number over the phone.
  7. Do not carry your Social Security card or Medicare card in your wallet.
  8. Keep sensitive documents at home in a locked file cabinet.
  9. Only give to charities you know.
  10. Never let yourself be rushed into a "deal."
Telemarketing warning signs
  1. You must act 'now' or the offer won't be good.
  2. You've won a 'free' gift, vacation, or prize.
  3. You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.
  4. You don't need to check out the company with anyone.
  5. You don't need any written information about their company or their references.
  6. You can't afford to miss this 'high-profit, no-risk' offer.
10 tips to avoid investment fraud
  1. Don't be a courtesy victim.
  2. Don't be rushed - check it out.
  3. Always stay in charge of your money.
  4. Always watch over and protect your nest egg.
  5. Never judge a person's integrity by how they look or sound.
  6. Watch out for salespeople that prey on your fears.
  7. Exercise particular caution if you have limited or no experience handling money.
  8. Monitor your investments and ask tough questions.
  9. Look for trouble retrieving your principal or cashing out profits.
  10. Don't let embarrassment or fear keep you from reporting investment fraud or abuse.
Mobile text safety tips
  1. Don't trust caller ID.
  2. Register your number with the National Do Not Call registry at donotcall.gov
  3. Delete text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information.
  4. Don't respond to any message asking about 2FA verification codes.
  5. Don't fall for texts from your network which ask for details.
  6. Don't reply with “STOP” if you're being spammed – contact your network instead.
  7. Set your phone to block apps from unknown sources.
  8. Don't fall for texts from your bank or credit union which ask for “confirmation details”.
  9. Don't fall for warnings saying, “Your phone is infected”.
  10. Be very suspicious of “special offers” – especially ones where you have to “act fast”.
  11. High-value “special offers” that sound too good to be true usually are.
  12. If you see a “business” phone number in a text, it's no guarantee it's real.
Warning signs of identity theft
  1. Debt collectors call you about debts that aren't yours.
  2. You get bills or statements in the mail for new accounts you haven't opened.
  3. You get increased direct mail or phone solicitations for expensive items.
  4. You haven't received one or more of your regular monthly bills or mail is missing.
  5. You notice unfamiliar charges on your credit or debit cards.
  6. You are denied credit when applying for financing or new credit cards, even though your credit is good.
  7. You get a new credit card in the mail that you didn't apply for.
  8. You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can't explain.
  9. You can't log on to your online accounts because your password has been changed.
  10. Tax refund check arrives before you file.
  11. Arrest warrants for crimes you didn't commit.
  12. Your Social Security statement shows errors such as your reported earnings are inflated.
Stay safe on social media
  1. Don't trust that a message is really from who it says it's from.
  2. Use caution when you click links that you receive in messages from your friends on your social website.
  3. Do not allow social networking services to scan your email address book.
  4. Always type the address of your social networking site directly into your browser, use your personal bookmarks or official mobile apps.
  5. Be selective about who you accept as a friend on a social network. With a smaller social network you can keep unwanted solicitations, invites to connect, applications and spam to a minimum.
  6. Choose your social network carefully and make sure you understand the privacy policy and use privacy settings.
  7. Assume that everything you put on a social networking site is permanent.
  8. Be careful about installing third-party applications in your social profile.
  9. Search yourself onlinw to know where you show up and what information is readily available online about you.
  10. Do not accept a social media connection request from a stranger.
Card safety when traveling
  1. Let your credit card company and financial institution know about your trip.
  2. Avoid ATMs & point of sale machines.
  3. Don't use a debit card for purchases.
  4. Always carry back-up cash.
  5. Be on your guard, and don't place too much trust in overly-helpful stranger.
  6. Carry your cards in a safe way. Wallets and purses around a shoulder can be targets, and a backpack can be easily looked through while you're not paying attention.
  7. Make a copy of the fronts and backs of your cards and keep with you in a safe place.
  8. Keep a separate note that contains the emergency contact details and international customer service numbers of your card issuer.
  9. Limit your cards & know your credit limit. Choose the best credit card for your travels, and bring one or two.
  10. Check if your credit card is accepted and choose a U.S. credit card that's widely accepted abroad.
  11. Write down the international customer service number for your card(s).
  12. Keep a receipt for your purchases and check your statements regularly while you're still traveling.
  13. Act fast if your card is stolen.
Safe online shopping
  1. Search the Internet safely & type the retailer's URL into the address bar on your web browser.
  2. Pay for your online order using a credit card.
  3. Don't give out your credit card number(s) online unless the site is a secure and reputable site.
  4. Check on your credit card and bank statements often.
  5. Dedicate a computer & email address to online shopping.
  6. Manage and protect your online passwords.
  7. Beware of using public Wi-Fi and access eCommerce sites via your cellular network.
  8. Don't judge a person/company by their web site.
  9. Be cautious when responding to special offers and when dealing from outside your own country.
  10. Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card numbers.
  11. Double check pricing. Be suspicious of prices that are too good to be true.
Protect online accounts
  1. Enroll into E-Statements.
  2. Create strong passwords and user IDs, change them frequently, and don't use the same ones for all your accounts.
  3. Monitor your credit reports and credit score.
  4. Don't give out vital data like Social Security and bank account numbers to strangers calling over the phone.
  5. Consider buying identity-theft insurance through your financial institution.
  6. Make sure you aren't receiving unsolicited credit cards or collection notices for products and services you never purchased.
  7. Review account activity check your last login date.
  8. Get Account Alerts from your financial institution or brokerage firms.
  9. Don't use your account on an unknown computer.
  10. Register Your Computer.
  11. Exercise caution when clicking on websites and emails.
  12. Explore putting a lock or a freeze on your credit reports compiled by Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.
  13. Don't use your personal computer at work.
  14. Shred or securely store your paper bank statements.
ATM & Point of Sale safety
  1. As always be mindful of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction.
  2. Do not use an ATM that appears unusual looking or offers options with which you are not familiar or comfortable.
  3. When using a walk-up ATM, park as close as you can to the machine.
  4. Don't proceed with a transaction if your card encounters resistance when it is inserted.
  5. Keep a close eye on your bank and credit accounts.
  6. Check your online statements regularly to make sure there are no suspicious charges.
  7. Be wary if your card gets stuck in a chip reader.
  8. Use contactless payment methods.
  9. Use ATMs in banks rather than more vulnerable standalones.
  10. Cover the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN.
  11. Use a credit card at Checkouts or ATMs that look 'Off'.
Debit card safety
  1. Don't use a debit card online or with phone orders.
  2. With a big ticket item, a credit card is safer.
  3. Use a credit card when renting something that requires a deposit.
  4. Always pay at your table when dining out.
  5. If you're a first-time customer in a store, skip the debit card the first couple of times you buy.
  6. Use a credit card buying now but taking delivery later.
  7. Do not use the debit card for recurring charges.
  8. Use a credit card when booking your travel.
  9. Use a credit card at Gas Stations and Hotels.
  10. Use a credit card at Checkouts or ATMs that look 'Off'.
How to protect your checking account
  1. Make sure your checks are endorsed by your financial institution.
  2. Store your checks, deposit slips, bank statements and canceled checks in a secure and locked location.
  3. Never leave your checkbook in your vehicle or in the open.
  4. Reconcile your bank statement within 30 days of receipt.
  5. Never give your account number to people you do not know.
  6. Unless needed for tax purpose, destroy old canceled checks, account statements, deposit tickets, and ATM receipts.
  7. When you receive your check order, make sure all of the checks are there.
  8. If your home is burglarized, check your supply of checks to determine if any have been stolen.
  9. If someone pays you with a cashier's check, have them accompany you to the bank to cash it.
  10. Do not mail bills from your mailbox at night.
  11. Limit the amount of personal information on your check.
  12. Don't leave blank spaces on the payee and amount lines.
  13. Use gel ink pens when signing your checks.
  14. Don't write your credit card number on the check.
  15. Use your own pre-printed deposit slips.
  16. Don't make a check payable to cash.
  17. Never endorse a check until you are ready to cash or deposit it.
What to do if email is hacked
  1. Update your system and delete any malware.
  2. Review social media accounts.
  3. Change your passwords.
  4. Contact other online services.
  5. Notify people you know.
  6. Change your security questions.
  7. Report the hack.
  8. Contact credit agencies.
  9. Consider your ID protection options.
  10. Review all email accounts.
  11. Create a new email account.
Mobile banking safety tips
  1. Always lock mobile devices.
  2. Only use official routes to communicate with financial institutions.
  3. Be aware of connection services.
  4. Be careful what you download.
  5. Set up your phone to encrypt data.
  6. Download anti-virus software and enable firewall protection for your cell phone.
  7. Never respond to email messages from your financial institution that request personal information.
  8. Be skeptical about text messages.
  9. Sign Off When Done.
  10. If you lose your mobile device or change your mobile phone number, remove the old number from your mobile banking profile ASAP.
  11. Contact your mobile carrier ASAP for assistance in handling your lost or stolen phone / device.
Keeping your mail safe
  1. Limit Exposure by utilizing online conveniences like eStatements, online bill pay, direct deposit and online banking.
  2. You should opt out of receiving credit card and insurance offers.
  3. Lock your mailbox.
  4. Trim shrubbery to keep your mailbox as visible as possible, eliminating hiding places for thieves.
  5. Replace a wall-mounted mailbox with a mail slot.
  6. Buy a security mailbox.
  7. Get a post office box.
  8. Pick up mail promptly.
Social networking at work
  1. Find out if your company has a policy about visiting certain Web sites using your corporate network.
  2. When you sign up for a social networking site, use your personal e-mail address, not your company e-mail address.
  3. Use caution when you click links that you receive in messages from your friends on your social networking site.
  4. Treat links in messages on these sites as you would links in e-mail messages.
  5. Be choosy about who you accept as a "friend" on a social network.
  6. Be careful about the information you reveal about your workplace or company.
Clues that your identity has been stolen
  1. Debt collectors call you about debts that aren't yours.
  2. Merchants claim you owe them money for items or services you never purchased.
  3. Merchants refuse your checks.
  4. Merchandise arrives at your home that you didn't order.
  5. You get bills or statements in the mail for new accounts you haven't opened.
  6. You get increased direct mail or phone solicitations for expensive items.
  7. You haven't received one or more of your regular monthly bills or mail is missing.
  8. You notice unfamiliar charges on your credit or debit cards.
  9. You are denied credit when applying for financing or new credit cards, even though your credit is good.
  10. You get a new credit card in the mail that you didn't apply for.
  11. Your credit score is rising - a rising credit score can mean fraudsters are trying to extend credit in your name.
  12. An employer denies you a job based on a bad background check, even though you know your record is clean.
  13. You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can't explain.
  14. You can't log on to your email or social media accounts because your password has been changed.
  15. You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach.
  16. Tax refund check arrives before you file.
  17. You receive a tax transcript in the mail that you didn't request or the IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name.
  18. Arrest warrants for crimes you didn't commit.
  19. You receive tax documents from an employer you never worked for.
  20. Your Social Security statement shows errors such as your reported earnings are inflated.
Stay safe on Facebook

To protect yourself from scammers and stay safe on Facebook

  1. Avoid people asking you for money who you don’t know in person.
  2. People asking you for advance fees in order to receive a loan, prize or other winnings.
  3. Do not move your conversation off of Facebook (example: a separate email address).
  4. Be wary of people claiming to be a friend or relative in an emergency.
  5. Watch out for poor spelling and grammatical mistakes.
  6. Do not “friend” strangers.
  7. Do not click on unsolicited links, and report suspicious requests.
  8. Do not pay for anything with gift cards.
  9. Do not engage with any government agency or bank through Facebook.
  10. Avoid people or accounts directing you to a page to claim a prize.
  11. When talking to a new Facebook friend, call the friend offline to make sure you're communicating with your actual friend.
  12. Report any impostor accounts to Facebook.
Safety tips before you go on vacation
  1. Leave checkbooks and checks at home, in a locked safe.
  2. Leave bills at home.
  3. Don’t take anything in your wallet or purse that is not absolutely necessary.
  4. Put your mail on hold. Learn more at: https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail
  5. Make your home look lived-in.
  6. If you have someone that is going to check the house and has a key to your house, then lock up any documents with account numbers or Social Security Numbers.
  7. Register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at https://step.state.gov/step/
  8. Scan important travel documents and store them in a secure online repository.
  9. Leave your debit card at home. Make credit cards, not ATM cards, your card of choice.
  10. Minimize number of credit cards in wallet. No more than two (2).
  11. Place all the removed items above into a locked safe.
  12. Pay bills before you go out of town.
  13. Stop delivery of newspapers or any other items you may normally have delivered (water, automatically scheduled deliveries of products, etc).
  14. Make copies of your itinerary, passport data page, visas and driver’s license to leave with designated emergency contact.
  15. Notify a neighbor to watch your house. Let them know you are not moving.
  16. Go through your wallet, purse and/or briefcase and remove any of the following items prior to travel: Social Security card, Check book & deposit slips, Birth certificate, Credit card receipts, Bills, Extra Credit Cards, Library card
Safety tips when traveling
  1. Don't leave important documents in your car.
  2. Never leave your personal documents unsecured in the hotel rooms.
  3. Beware of pickpockets.
  4. Carry valuables safely.
  5. Watch out for shoulder surfers.
  6. Carry photocopies of all travel documents including plane tickets, hotel reservations and passports.
  7. Public restrooms. Ladies, do not hang your purse from a hook on the door.
  8. Don't place valuable information on computers.
  9. Beware of your surroundings.
  10. Be prepared to deal with a lost or stolen passport case.
  11. Don't check-in your personal documentation.
  12. Avoid identity theft when you visit the gym.
  13. Watch your belongings on the plane.
  14. Travel with your items in the security chain.
  15. Take caution with public computers and Wi-Fi.
  16. Be aware of social media updates that show you are not home.
Pet adoption scams

Avoid becoming a victim to a pet adoption scam, there are several steps you should take:

  1. Skip the pure breed puppy requirement and adopt from a local shelter.
  2. Always meet your future pet in person before paying.
  3. Beware of any seller who says she’s located out-of-town (or worse, overseas).
  4. Never wire money for any purchase.
  5. Do your research.
  6. Check references.
  7. Don’t trust “free pet” offers.
  8. Make sure their pet shipper is legitimate.
Online dating "Romance Scams"

Long-distance love DOES happen – but be wary and don’t be a victim. Check out these tips and take them to heart:

  1. If you’re suspicious, Google the message text he/she sends you.
  2. Don’t be ashamed to ‘play detective’.
  3. If their photos are really glossy, be afraid.
  4. Don’t hand over information bit by bit.
  5. Don’t share ‘racy’ photos with people you have not met.
  6. If your ‘lover’ sends you a photo which you need to click on, worry.
  7. Stick to reputable dating sites.
  8. Don’t be persuaded to switch to another social network, email or IM.
  9. If you think, “It’s all happening so fast!” It’s time to worry.
  10. Watch for consistently poor spelling or grammar.
  11. Be suspicious if the person claims he or she is from your area, but states they are unable to meet you in person.
  12. If the other person is sharing information about themselves, be aware if details in their stories change.
  13. Never agree if the person asks you to use your own bank account to process checks or electronic money transfers for what ever reason.
  14. Be aware that scammers will ask lots of questions about what you believe to be your ideal relationship and then present themselves in that way to you.
  15. If friends or family express concern about the relationship, it is wise to heed their warnings.
  16. Never purchase an airline ticket and fly to a foreign country to meet someone who has requested money from you.
  17. Always tell family or friends if you are going to meet someone from a dating site and always meet first in a public place.
  18. Do not send money, ever.
Credit repair fraud

How to tell if a credit repair company is fraudulent.

  1. They tell you to give false information on your applications for credit or a loan.
  2. Claims to be able to create a new credit report.
  3. Claims to know a secret loophole.
  4. Only accepts cash.
  5. Doesn't have a physical address.
  6. Promises to delete bad credit.
  7. The don't explain your legal rights when they tell you what they can do for you.
  8. You’re asked to sign a form waiving your rights under the CROA.
  9. They charge fees up front.
  10. They try to guarantee a credit score gain.
  11. They tell you not to talk to a credit reporting company.
  12. They don’t or won’t tell you what you can do for free.
  13. They won’t tell you how you can cancel.
  14. They call you, you don’t call them.
  15. You aren’t given a copy of the contract to view before you’re asked to sign it.
  16. Tells you to dispute information in your credit report.
  17. The company promises to create or asks you to create, a “new” identity with a new social security number or federal employer identification number (EIN).
Employment and work from home scams
  1. Never provide sensitive financial or personal information.
  2. Don't agree to have your earnings direct deposited into your bank accounts from any new or unknown employer.
  3. Never agree to a wire transfer of any sort.
  4. Be wary of any recruiter who asks for money from you upfront in return for finding you a job or providing job leads.
  5. Reject job postings or emails that state that no experience or expertise is required for the position.
  6. Carefully examine the email details of unsolicited job offers.
  7. Request more details from prospective employers who provide little or no details in their job postings or emails.
  8. Ignore postings that guarantee you a job - especially ones that guarantee you a postal or government civil servant job.
  9. Don't be swayed by amazing testimonials or money-back guarantees.
  10. Research all job opportunities.