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  • Deleanna A.

Business Impersonator Scams


Here’s how they work:

You get a call, email, text, or message on social media that looks like it’s from a business you know. It says there’s a problem with your account, or you won a prize. It tells you to call a number or click a link.


But the message isn’t really from a familiar business, it’s from a scammer. If you call, they’ll tell you to send payment or give personal information. They’ll say you must pay with gift cards, cryptocurrency, or by wiring money, which no honest business will do. Or they’ll ask for your Social Security number or access to your computer.


But it was never really that business contacting you, there wasn’t a problem, and there was never a prize.


The scammer wants your money. And they’ll ask you to send it in a way that makes it hard to trace — usually by wire transfer, prepaid card, gift card, or cryptocurrency. If you send money using any of these methods, it’s like sending cash — and it’s nearly impossible to get it back once it’s sent. No honest business will ask you to send money that way.


What do you do if you get one of these calls, texts, emails, or messages?

  • What will you do? (Hang up, ignore the message, delete.)

  • What will you NOT do? (Wire money, get a prepaid card, or send money in any other way.)

Examples:

  • “Your Amazon account is suspended for unauthorized activity. Pay $$$ to get it reinstated.”

  • “Your Fedex package is on the way. Click this link to update your delivery preferences.”

  • “Congratulations! You’ve been chosen to take a survey and win a free drill. Just pay $$$ for shipping.”

Here’s what to do:

1. STOP. If you get an unexpected call, email, text, or message on social media — even if it looks like it’s from a business you know — don’t click any links. And don’t call phone numbers they give you. These are often scams.


2. Pass this information on to a friend. You may not have gotten one of these messages, but chances are, you know someone who has. Business Impersonator Scams? PassitON


3. Please Report Scams! If you spot a scam, please report it to Public Service Credit Union at 734-641-8400 or www.PSCUnow.com and the Federal Trade Commission. Go online: ReportFraud.ftc.gov • Call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY 1-866-653-4261. Your report can help protect other people. By reporting fraud, you can help alert law enforcers across the country who investigate and bring cases against scammers. Your report makes a difference.

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