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I-Team: How to protect yourself from scams


EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — All this week, the Eyewitness News I-Team has been focusing on scams that are showing up across our region.

You name the topic and there is probably a scam. The I-Team has information you need to know that could help protect your money.

“Bad guys follow the money and follow the information and the information is definitely online,” Judith McAfee with McAfee said.

Computer security experts say that scammers are a quick learn. They can adapt to any change in security measures that are designed to protect your cyber information from work to finances to shopping, more of our data is online and ripe for the taking.

“There are some reoccurring themes we have seen. First is people being placed in emergency situations under the gun on these there’s a time limit where it has to be done immediately. That’s a red flag,” Butler Township Police Department Chief William Feissner said.

Feissner says he gets calls just about everyday from someone who has either been scammed or had a near miss.

“Usually they are looking for the quick cash. A lot of times they use that personally identifiable information to gain your trust into making you believe they know more about you than they actually know,” Feissner said.

And investigators say in many cases con artists don’t have to work that hard to get what they want from the person they are calling.

“Many times we find that people give out their identifiable information just by being asked and when you receive telephone calls or emails don’t give that information out unless you vett the person who’s asking,” Feissner said.

Feissner warns that just because you haven’t been contacted by scammers does not mean you haven’t been targeted. So his advice?

“You should always monitor your accounts even with your credit cards you can sign up so every time there’s a transaction you can have an email sent to you,” Feissner said.

Federal, state and local law enforcement say catching these scammers is often a challenge since many of the operations are based out of the country. So they say the best defense is a good offense. Be proactive and be on guard when it comes to your personal information.

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