Identity theft protection: How to spot a scam.

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without permission. When identity thieves try to scam you, the outcome can be more than frustrating. It can lead to situations that are financially and emotionally tolling. Every day, identity thieves adapt their methods to try and lure people into their fraudulent schemes. While sometimes it can be difficult to identify a scam, it’s not impossible.

Frankenmuth Insurance works with CyberScout® to provide identity theft protection services to our personal insurance customers at no added cost. So, before you find yourself in an identity theft scam, we’ve rounded up tips to spot and stop identity thieves in their tracks.

With the right identity theft protection services and these six tips, you can avoid a scam:

1. You’re contacted out of the blue.

Many identity theft scams start with unexpected contact, whether it’s by mail, phone, email, text or social media. If you receive unexpected contact from an organization or person you don’t know, always assume the possibility of a scam.

2. You’re asked to provide personal or financial information.

Banks, companies and government agencies rarely ask customers to provide a list of personal information. If the individual who contacted you starts asking for information like your passwords, bank information, Social Security number, etc., end the conversation immediately.

If your curiosity is piqued, use your web browser to look up the organization’s contact information on their website (do not follow suspicious links). Then directly contact the organization to review what happened and the information you were asked to give.

3. Threats or fear tactics are used.

Identity thieves may use fear or threats like losing your job, losing your house or going to jail to scare people into handing over “required payments” or personal information.

4. You notice spelling or grammar mistakes.

Multiple spelling or grammatical errors in an offer, document or mail piece should put you on guard for a scam.

5. You’re encouraged to act quickly.

Psychology is often used to bait individuals into scams. Phrases like, “Only the first 100 people will qualify,” or “This offer won’t be available once you hang up,” coerce people into acting in haste and jumping into otherwise questionable situations.

6. Something sounds too good to be true.

If an offer sounds too good to be true, likely it is. Trust your gut and follow your instincts. When in doubt, ask for a callback number. That way, you can hang up and tell someone else about the conversation to get a second opinion.

Our team at CyberScout is here to help protect you from identity theft and fraud. Interested in learning more? Talk to an agent about how we can support your personal insurance needs and gain free identity theft protection services.

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