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How to Protect Yourself from Financial Scams

woman holding a scam alert sign with her other had up in a stop gesture.

It’s important to know the most up-to-date information about the increasingly prevalent issue of financial scams and how to shield yourself from these threats. Here are some of the most common ones to be aware of:

  1. ACH Scams: Be cautious of unexpected direct deposits. It could be a scam. Before spending any unexpected funds, reach out to your financial institution. ACH scams are on the rise, and staying vigilant about unexpected financial transactions is a crucial first step in protecting your assets.
  2. Email Phishing: Be skeptical of urgent or alarming emails that pressure immediate action. Always verify requests for personal or financial information by contacting the purported sender through official channels.
  3. Phone Scams and Threats: Beware of unsolicited calls threatening legal action or demanding immediate payment. Legitimate entities won’t request personal or financial information over the phone. Never share banking details or credit card information with unknown callers. If in doubt, hang up and verify the legitimacy of the call by contacting the institution directly.
  4. Computer Pop-Up Scams: Have you encountered pop-ups claiming your antivirus needs attention? Be cautious; this could be a scam. Avoid clicking on any links provided. Scammers may even remotely access your computer, urging you to call a listed number for assistance. Do not engage; instead, contact your trusted tech support or antivirus provider directly.
  5. Romance and Emotional Scams: Online connections can be exhilarating, but exercise caution when financial requests arise. Romance scams involve building trust, followed by requests for money or gift cards. Never send money or personal information to someone you haven’t met in person. Be skeptical of online relationships that seem too perfect, and always prioritize your financial well-being.

Scams can take various forms, and it’s essential to remain vigilant in the evolving landscape of financial threats. If you ever encounter suspicious activity or have concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Heartland. Our priority is your financial safety. For more information on financial wellness check out The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s Consumer Gu​ide is a trusted source of information on consumer issues and scams that the state’s residents​ face every day.

Stay informed, stay secure!