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Identity Theft and Scams

How you can protect what matters to you most.


Scams and identity theft continue to be a prevalent threat in today's digital age, with scammers devising increasingly sophisticated schemes and the use of artificial intelligence to deceive unsuspecting individuals.


According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), scams resulted in losses exceeding $10 billion in 2023, surpassing the previous year by $1 billion and marking the highest reported losses to the FTC to date. One out of every four individuals reported financial losses. Email emerged as the primary contact method for scammers and hackers in the past year, especially in instances where scammers impersonated acquaintances or business contacts.


Hiya, an identity protection services company, reported that in 2023 more than 2 billion phone calls were illegal calls intended to steal money or personal information from victims.

If you fall victim to a scam, you should consider taking the following immediate action:


  • Stop Further Transactions: Cease all communication and transactions with the scammer immediately.

  • Contact Your Financial Institution: Notify your bank, financial institution, or merchant as soon as possible. Provide them with as much detail as possible, including the amount transferred, the recipient's information, and any relevant documentation or communication you can provide. They may be able to assist in freezing the transaction, secure your account, and investigate the matter further.

  • File a Report: Report the scam to the appropriate authorities, such as local law enforcement, the FTC, or equivalent agencies in your country. Provide as much information as possible about the scam, including any emails, phone numbers, or other details related to the fraudulent activity.

  • Document Everything: Keep detailed records of all communication, transactions, and documentation related to the scam. This information may be useful for investigations or potential reimbursement processes.

  • Monitor Your Accounts: Continuously monitor your bank accounts, credit cards, and any other financial accounts for any unauthorized activity and report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution promptly. Also, consider changing account numbers.

  • Consider Legal Options: Depending on the circumstances and the amount of money involved, you may want to consult with a legal professional to explore potential legal recourse or options for recovering lost funds.

  • Protect Yourself from Future Scams: Learn from the experience and take steps to protect yourself from future scams. Be cautious of unsolicited offers, verify the legitimacy of requests for money or personal information, and stay informed about common scam tactics.

  • Report to Credit Bureaus: If your personal information was compromised during the scam, consider placing a fraud alert or freeze on your credit report with the major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to help prevent identity theft.

 

In addition to the steps above, there are more ways you can fight back against scammers and protect yourself. Here are some additional suggestions:


  • Stay Informed: Educate yourself about common scam tactics and stay updated on the latest scam trends.

  • Be Skeptical and trust your instinct: Question unexpected requests for money or personal information, especially if they come from unfamiliar sources. If it is too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Verify: Before providing any sensitive information or making payments, verify the identity of the person or organization contacting you. Use official contact information from trusted sources.

  • Secure Accounts: Use strong, unique passwords for online accounts and enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible to protect against unauthorized access.  Periodically change your passwords.

  • Spread Awareness: Share information about scams with friends, family, and community members to help protect others from falling victim.


If you have not included identity theft coverage on your homeowners insurance policy, contact us about coverage options. By staying vigilant and taking proactive measures you help to protect yourself and your family.


Contact Bill Blumstein at 914-259-6394 or billb@insuregy.com

 

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