Online and Phone Scams



Tips to ensure a website is valid


Creating a fake online presence is easier than most consumers realize. Here are some tips to help you tell avoid internet scams.

1. Understand an e-mail format: Scammers send email address from fake email address. Get in the habit of verifying the information after the @ symbol when you are concerned about an email message.

Example: is fake. is legitimate.

Did you notice that company's website names come directly after the @ sign? Don’t be fooled.

Quick test: pick the invalid e-mail address, the correct answer is in the next section: ,,


If you’re still not sure

Close the email, do not click any links in the e-mail message. Navigate to the company’s official website, login and use their contact options to ask if the e-mail is legitimate.

While it’s safer to avoid links from unknown persons, on a laptop or desktop you can let your mouse hover over the link to see the website. Depending on your browser the web address will appear. Remember, scammers can even use links to find your location.

How to spot a fake email and website



2. Become in the habit of checking for a security lock when you visit a web page. It will be in the same field as the web address. For example you'll notice that each time you visit there will be a security lock.

Some internet scammers create fake website that look similar to known brands. The scammers save images from websites like, and to try to steal your private Scammers sometimes go as far as copying the real companies layouts, so their website is identical in name to the legitimate site.

If you haven't done so already - consider taking a free computer class at your local library or through Tech Goes Home. When you take steps to understanding of the internet you become less likely to be a victim of an online scam.


Avoid Phone Scams

Some phone scammers will call your phone pretending to be from the social security administration. Or they may say you qualify for a medical device, or you have a lapse of insurance. They want to scare you, and the longer you stay on the phone with a scammer the more greater the chance of becoming a victim. Here are some tips:

1. If the caller claims to be a known business like social security and you already have a valid number from social security, hangup and call the trusted number you already have.

If it was indeed a scammer, you can report it at the Office of the Inspector General .

For IRS fraud you can report online at the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting website.

2. Google the number If you aren't sure if the number is legitimate do not call it. Google it instead. By typing in the phone number into an internet search bar, you may find some important information if it’s own by a real business. Try different formats.

Example: 1-800-555-5555 or 18005555555.

Use your best judgment, and don’t be afraid to disconnect the call and dialing the company directly using a number you've already verified as trustworthy.

Scammers will want to scare you. They will try to rush you. If someone claims to be an officer calling from a prison or jail telling you to pay a bond so your relative can make bail - first call the relative on a trusted number and see if they are okay. Yellow Pages, 411, Google are valid resource to confirm a phone number. Scammers work on fear, don't let them rush you,use the tools available to you.


Helpful links

Register your home and mobile phone with the National Do Not Call List File an electronic complaint with the FTC by visiting the Federal Trade Commission website.


Multiple Locks