What You Need to Know About Utility Scams

Many basic necessities rely on utilities we take for granted. And that makes them perfect for a scammer to exploit. Like many other scams, utility scams occur when a scammer pretends to be someone they’re not. In this case, the scammer poses as a representative from your power or water company and threatens to turn off your services unless you send payment right away or provide some important personal information.

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Online Marketplace Scams

Whether you’re looking for a houseplant, a coffee table, or a new gaming console, online marketplaces can be great places to start. But be careful. Anonymous listings and virtual transactions are ripe for online marketplace scams, which can take a variety of forms.

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Can You Spot a Scam?

Scammers are always coming up with new ways to trick people, but no matter the scam, there are common trends you should be aware of to keep your money and personal information safe.

A scammer might call or text you, impersonating someone from Logix, a collection agency, or another person or company you would be inclined to trust. Common tactics include:

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ATM Safety Tips

With increasing rates of ATM scams in recent years, it's extremely important to stay alert and protect yourself when using the ATM. ATM fraud occurs when criminals steal card information through an ATM, and use that information to make unauthorized purchases or withdrawals. They typically rely on equipment installed at ATMs or wireless sensors to capture the information and create duplicate cards. Even without a physical card, the stolen data can be used to charge purchases or withdraw funds from your account. 

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Work-From-Home Scams

While looking for a way to earn extra income, "David" comes across a company hiring a virtual assistant. The posting claims all work is done via email, and instructions will arrive each week, detailing a list of tasks to perform as part of the job. The company doesn't have a website, but there has been communication with what appears to be a local representative via email and telephone. David is instructed to deposit a $3,000 company check into his personal bank account. He is told to  keep $500, which is his pay for the week, and withdraw the rest of the funds and deposit them into three other bank accounts at the employer's direction. David is convinced that he has started the job of his dreams, and believes he is performing routine tasks for the company. In reality, he is acting as a money mule and participating in a fraud scheme.

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