Identity Theft

When someone assumes your identity to make purchases or pursue fraudulent activity.

Minimize Your Risk:

  • Check your credit report regularly and monitor for suspicious activity.
    (TIP! Monitoring your credit report is free right now.)
  • Reconcile your spending and bank statements monthly.
  • Shred bank statements and receipts after use. (Sign up for eStatements!)

Debt Collection Scams

A call or letters from phantom debt collectors claiming you owe money for your own debt or the debt of a recently deceased family member.

Minimize Your Risk:

  • Check your records or check with the original company to make sure the debt is legit.
  • Request detailed debt information via mail; including date of service, detailed description, as well as name, address and phone number of the company originally owed.
  • Do not give them money or personal information.

Check Fraud

An attempt to either solicit funds from you or pass on a fake check. Check fraud can take many forms, from secret shopper solicitations to bogus requests to wire funds for a prize.

Minimize Your Risk:

  • Never make an upfront payment for an online job or offer.
  • Do not wire money to strangers.
  • Never accept a check for over the selling price.


Obtaining personal information under false pretenses for malicious use. Phishing emails often contain links to download malware and threatening language to convince the reader to act.

Minimize Your Risk:

  • Do not download attachments or open links from unknown senders.
  • Remember, the government and most legitimate businesses will not contact customers requesting financial information via solicited emails.

Social Security Scams (A type of imposter scam)

Scammers, via phone or email, who pretend to be government employees. They try to scare and trick people into giving them personal information and money. Often done with threats and by demanding immediate payment to avoid legal action.

Minimize Your Risk:

  • Hang up on suspicious calls and report them to OIG.SSA.GOV.
  • Do not give them money or personal information.
  • Documents and emails will often look official, so be sure to contact the SSA before reacting to anything you aren’t sure is legitimate.

We also offer information and animated videos on scammer tactics and how to spot all types of imposter scams.