Get smart and protect yourself from scams, ID theft

man holds credit card above keyboardThis week, consumer advocates are spotlighting fraud that harms unsuspecting consumers like you and me.

Not just scams that deceive naïve victims, but sophisticated crime like identify theft that fools even the shrewd and wary.

March 5-11 is National Consumer Protection Week, and agencies like the Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Commission want you to learn more about fraud threats and your consumer rights. PEMCO chips in by reminding its customers they have free access to services from Cyberscout if they suspect their identity has been stolen.

The BBB this week released its annual risk report, which reveals consumers 18 to 24 are the most likely to lose money to a scam. The report also shows the riskiest top five scams:

  1. Home improvement scams

  2. Fake checks and money orders

  3. Employments scams

  4. Online purchase scams

  5. Advance-fee loan scams.

Learn more about PEMCO ID Smart, our value-added service available to all policyholders and family members who live in their home. You'll find a wealth of helpful information, including tips to protect against identity theft. For example:

  • person inserting paper into shredderDon't carry your Social Security card or birth certificate with you. Ditto for passwords.

  • Don't use your date of birth as your password.

  • Shred pre-approved credit applications and other financial documents before discarding them.

  • Never share personal information online or over the phone unless you initiated the contact.

  • Don't download files sent by strangers, or click on hyperlinks from unknown sources.

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