Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa State Treasurer is offering some tips to combat scammers and their scams.
State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says that one of his goals as treasurer is to continuously provide resources to Iowans on the importance of protecting themselves and their money. During these challenging times, Fitzgerald says we should be on high financial alert to help us steer clear of scams. He says, unfortunately, scammers will always be around to try to take advantage of the public. Here are some tips to help protect you and your finances:
Sign up for credit reports and alerts. You can get a free credit report annually by going to AnnualCreditReport.com. Iowans can report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint or through the Iowa Attorney General’s office at IowaAttorneyGeneral.gov.
Fitzgerald says you should never share personal information with someone who has contacted you unsolicited, whether by phone, email, social media, or even your front door. This includes banking and credit card information, your date of birth, and your social security number.
According to Treasurer Fitzgerald, you should never send money to someone you have never met, especially if they ask you to send it via wire transfer, prepaid debit card, or gift card.
He advises that people should pay attention to correspondences from their financial institutions. Before responding to an inquiry from your financial institution, validate their identity by calling the institution. Review your bank and credit union accounts and credit card statements, and monitor your credit score for irregularities.
Fitzgerald says monitoring your accounts is very important. Check your account balances often and monitor all withdrawals to ensure transactions were completed with your approval.
Fitzgerald tells everyone to share this information with friends and family to keep those you love safe as well.