Scammers are now trying to trick you into thinking a loved one is in trouble. They call, text, email, or send messages on social media about a supposed emergency with a family member or friend. To make their story seem real, they may claim to be an authority figure, like a layer or police officer, and they may have or guess facts about your loved one. These imposters may insist that you keep quiet about their demand for money to keep you from checking out their story and identifying them as imposters. But no matter how real or urgent it seems – it’s a scam.
If you get a call or message like this, what should you do?
- Check it out before you act. Look up that friend or family member’s phone number yourself. Call them or another family member to see what’s happening (even if the person who contacted you told you not to).
- Don’t pay. Don’t wire money, send a check, overnight a money order, or pay with a gift card or prepaid reloadable card. Anyone who demands payment in these ways is always, always, always a scammer. These payment methods are like giving cash – and are nearly untraceable, unless you act almost immediately.
- If you sent money to a family emergency scammer, contact the company you used to send the money and tell them it was a fraudulent transaction. Ask to have the transaction reversed, if possible.
- Report the message to the FTC
Check out this short video on how the family emergency scam works and prevent it from happening to you.
If you feel that any of your First Financial accounts may have been compromised as a result of a scam, please contact Member Services at 732-312-1500 Monday through Friday 8am-6pm EST, or Saturday 8:30am-1pm.
Article Source: Carol Kando-Pineda for the Federal Trade Commission