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You may already know not to open that strange text message on your mobile phone. Or click on a link in the suspicious email in your inbox. Or return the scary, high-pressure voice message. But that may not be enough to stay safe. Scammers are using more subtle ways to commit fraud.
There are steps you can take to protect yourself. Learn them now so you’ll know what to do. That way you can keep your health and financial details private.
Scammers want to lure you into making a costly mistake. The Federal Trade Commission says scammers may use these approaches.
Spoofing attacks use email addresses, sender names, phone numbers or websites that look like a trusted source. Scammers change part of a familiar name, number or URL, maybe even by just one letter, symbol or number.
They try to convince you that you’re interacting with a known company, organization or person. Then they can lead you to download malicious software, send money, or give them personal or financial information.
Phishing attacks can use fake websites, emails or texts to try to lure you into clicking a link or opening an attachment. When you click on a link, it can infect your machine with malware or viruses. The scammers use those to collect your personal and financial information. Or they may ask for personal information like account numbers, passwords or Social Security numbers. When you respond with the information, they can use it to access your accounts.
Phishing scammers may use spoofing techniques to convince you that the email or text they send you or website they link to is safe. They can look like they’re a real company you do business with, a legitimate e-commerce site or government agency, or even an individual you know.
Take preventive steps:
Be cautious and pay attention to details:
If you’re not sure that a website, email, text or call represents a legitimate organization or person, be cautious. Don’t respond with sensitive information, click any links, download anything or call a number in the suspicious communication. Instead use the website, email address or phone number you already have or look up to reach the business or organization. Contact them directly to see if they sent the request.
If you’re unsure of what to do, ask a friend or family member what they would do. Describing the situation to them may even help you see the clues to a scam.
Health insurance scams and fraud have become more common in recent years. Learn more about how to protect yourself.
Beware of Health Insurance Sales Phone Scam
How to Protect Yourself From Health Insurance Scams
Tips to Prevent Health Care Fraud
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