How to avoid becoming victim when offered free vacation

This page contains some suggestions on how to keep yourself safe if you are being stalked or harassed. A stalker can be someone with whom you are/were in a relationship or it can be a co-worker, acquaintance or anyone else. These are general suggestions that may not be appropriate in every situation – please pick and choose the ones that seem relevant to your situation.

Banking Scams

Banking scams involve attempts to access your bank account. Use this information to recognize, report, and protect yourself from them.

Popular banking scams

The most common banking scams include:

Overpayment scams – Someone sends you a check, instructs you to deposit it in your bank account, and wire part of the money back to them. But the check was fake, so you’ll have to pay your bank the amount of the check, plus you’ll lose any money you wired.

Unsolicited check fraud – A scammer sends you a check for no reason. If you cash it, you may be authorizing the purchase of items or signing up for a loan you didn’t ask for.

Automatic withdrawals – A scam company sets up automatic withdrawals from your bank account to qualify for a free trial or to collect a prize.

Phishing – You receive an email message that asks you to verify your bank account or debit card number.

Report Banking Scams

The proper organization to report a banking scam depends on which type of scam you experienced.

Report fake checks you receive by mail to the US…  Ещё

It also ensures you’re able to get out on either side to avoid traffic. Pay attention to your surroundings, minimize the amount of time you talk on your cell phone in public places. A common element in these incidents is that the victims are not paying attention to their surroundings, distracted by the device in question. Quite often the perpetrator follows the victim from behind and snatches the electronic device right out of his or her hand. In a number of these incidents, the perpetrators were riding bicycles / mopeds when they targeted their victim. These events are not limited to the streets and have also occurred on subways and buses.

Gift card scams (including empty gift cards)

Before traveling, it’s also a good idea to buy a $20 Visa or MasterCard gift card, so you can purchase airport Wi-Fi access without broadcasting your credit or debit card information. You can also set up an advance account with providers at airports you’ll be visiting. If your cellular plan allows it, set up your own personal hotspot.

Research any debt-relief or credit-repair service you are considering. It’s a good idea to check with your state’s attorney general and consumer protection agency to learn about the company’s reputation. Other fraudsters advertise gift card exchange websites or sites that offer to check your gift card balance.

Report Telephone Scams

Following these suggestions can’t guarantee your safety, but it could help make you safer. Bruemmer says that he’s set up his phone so that all calls from numbers outside of his contact list go straight to voicemail.

  • Request a signature or schedule a delivery.Many shipping companies allow you to request a specific time frame for delivery, such as an evening or weekend when you know you will be home.
  • If you see a suspicious transaction, contact your credit card company to dispute the charge.
  • After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • A virtual credit card can offer even more online shopping security.
  • Keep a cell phone or emergency phone on you at all times.
  • It costs nothing to apply for student loan forgiveness, so anyone who asks you to pay a fee is committing fraud.
  • Tell co-workers, schoolmates and on-site security staff enough about your situation so that they can help keep your information private and help keep you safe.

If you click on a link and end up on an unfamiliar website, don’t enter your passwords or sensitive information. If you want to contact a business, type their web address directly into your device’s search bar to make sure you go to the company’s official website. Cybercriminals “engineer” believable scenarios designed to evoke an emotional response from their victims. Or perhaps you get an enticing text message claiming that you’ve won a free vacation to the destination of your choice — all you have to do is click on a link you were sent. From gathering to gifting, decorating to donating, holiday schedules tend to fill up fast.

Fake charities that steal your money

Encryption helps keep you safe while doing things like browsing the Web, shopping online, and reading email on your computer or mobile device. I want to receive hosts recommended for me, travel tips, inspiring stories and upcoming opportunities. When you check in at a hotel or hostel, ask for recommendations about which neighborhoods are safe and which are not so safe and mark places to avoid on your map. Cross-body bags are safer than shoulder or hand bags and can prevent people from grabbing your bag as they run or drive by. There are tons of bags made specifically for travelers with features such as slash-proof straps, RFID blockers, and locking zippers. Invest in a good bag that suits your needs and preferences. If you absolutely must withdraw large amounts of cash at once, leave the bulk of it locked up safely in your hotel or hostel and carry only what you’ll need for the day.

COVID-19 scams, rumors, and price gouging

During the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers may try to take advantage of you. They might get in touch by phone, email, postal mail, text, or social media. Protect your money and your identity. Don’t share personal information like your bank account number, Social Security number, or date of birth. Learn how to recognize and report a COVID vaccine scam and other types of coronavirus scams. Common Coronavirus ScamsScammers change their methods frequently. Current coronavirus scams include:Identity theft when people post a photo of their vaccination card on social media – Don’t post a photo of your vaccination card online. Scammers can see and steal your name, birthdate, and other personal information. COVID-19 testing, vaccine, and treatment scams – Be aware that scammers are targeting Medicare recipients. They’re offering COVID-19 testing in an attempt to steal personal information.Charity scams – Fake charities pop up during disasters. And scammers can also claim to be from real charities….  Ещё

One hint that a GPS device may be installed is if you are varying your routes or going to unexpected places but the stalker still seems to find you. Keep handy or memorize emergency phone numbers that you can use in case of an emergency.

Or set up account alerts to notify you of any new activity on your card. When you receive a text or email notification, you can check your account to make sure you recognize the charge. It’s safe How to avoid becoming victim when offered free vacation to assume that if anyone is asking for your bank or personal information, you’re being scammed. You should never give out personal information to anyone on the internet who contacts you directly.

  • If the “Use Inline AutoComplete” box in your Internet settings is checked, partial web addresses will be completed while typing in the Address bar and could reveal where you have been browsing.
  • In a non-delivery scam, a buyer pays for goods or services they find online, but those items are never received.
  • When traveling, your passport may be the most valuable thing you carry.
  • Physically shield your card and PIN when using them, and check all ATMs for indications that they may have been tampered with.
  • Be sure to take a close look at the URL before you enter your payment details.
  • You receive a letter or an email declaring that you have been pre-approved for either a credit card or a bank loan.