Many consumers have heard that the government nearly shut down. A government shutdown concerns federal employees the most, as they could face significant financial problems. They would go without paychecks while furloughed due to a shutdown. During this time, anyone relying on the government for funds could suffer from more scam attempts.
Many federal employees could become more susceptible to scammers taking advantage of their situation. Typically, the Do Not Call registry protects such employees from scammers. However, a government shutdown would take this registry offline. Other unavailable websites include IdentityTheft.gov, e-consumer.gov, and ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
In past shutdowns, lawmakers and banks warned people about scammers. These thieves may try various approaches like texts, e-mails, phone calls, or appearing in person. In every case, scammers want to create a sense of urgency. They may claim that your Medicare, Medicaid, or other benefits will end if you fail to act.
They want you to believe you must act immediately or something terrible will happen. Sometimes, they may convince you that you could face arrest by delaying. These scare tactics are not the only way they get consumers to act. In such cases, they could offer you financial help, such as grants.
However, these scams should not deter anyone from seeking legitimate sources of help. When faced with potential help, learn more about what company the caller represents. You can confirm the legitimacy of their offer by researching the company’s website to see what they offer or contacting them directly.
Everyone must stay vigilant regarding scammers, especially during government shutdowns. Remember, never give out your Social Security Number over the phone. You should also avoid sharing your bank details, especially in stressful situations.
Avoid giving personal information if someone calls you pretending to represent a company or a federal agency. Always verify the individual or organization contacting you. Ask for credentials and reference their claims with official contact information or websites. Legitimate entities would not hesitate to provide, so do not trust someone dodging the request.
These are just a few tips for protecting yourself from scams or identity theft. You can find more on the Attorney General’s website.
Remember to contact the police and your financial institutions if you are a victim of any scams. You should also consider obtaining a credit report to ensure thieves have not harmed your reputation. One way to do so is by running a Self-Check, which could reveal whether thieves have opened new accounts or committed crimes in your name.
You can stay one step ahead of hackers and identity thieves by running a quick self background check. Click here to get started.