5 Simple Steps to Safeguard Against Scams

1. Ignore suspicious communications

If you receive a call, text, or email from someone you don’t recognize, you should always be suspicious. Unexpected communications from both individuals and companies should be equally suspect. All sorts of scams exist – some scammers will impersonate your distant family members or relatives, while others will pose as large companies. Both tactics are attempts to get your money or personal information. So, if you receive an unexpected communication about a contest, sweepstakes, or prize, just ignore it. You will never be entered into a sweepstakes without having provided consent.

2. Think before you click

If you received a suspicious email or text, think before you click. You should know who the communication is from before you open any links or attachments. If it’s from an unfamiliar sender, approach any attachments or links with caution since they may be an attempt to phish your information. Scammers will sometimes disguise the link with normal looking text, while linking to somewhere far more malicious. If you are unsure about a link, hover over it first to preview where it will take you. If you have clicked the link, sometimes it is too late. Always think before you click.

3. Look closely at sender information

Even if you believe an email or text is from a familiar contact, it could be a scammer spoofing communication, pretending to be someone else. Pay close attention to the sender’s name and email address. Scammers will typically use an email that looks familiar to one you may know, but only off by a few characters. They are hoping that you won’t look too closely to notice the difference. Always investigate the information from the sender. This can be the difference between being scammed and losing sensitive information or not.

4. Be suspicious of urgent messages

One of the most common tactics of scammers is to send messages that have an implied sense of urgency. They want you to act first and think second. Many scams fall apart if you think about them for more than a short amount of time. This is why scammers encourage you to act fast and make the mistake before you fully think through what is happening. So, whenever you receive an email with a sense of urgency, use what you’ve learned to investigate the legitimacy of the communication first.

5. Ask questions when you are unsure

Most scammers want you to stay in a vacuum and not talk to anyone else about anything suspicious. If you are feeling uneasy about a communication you have received, don’t respond to it, or feel the need to address it immediately. Reach out directly to that contact or reach out customer service from the company that appears to be contacting you. Typically, when you get a second opinion or reach out to someone is when the scam would fall apart. 

Practicing caution and following these tips can help you avoid being scammed in the future. Always remain skeptical of text messages and emails from unknown senders. The more vigilant you are, the less likely you are to be scammed. Keep up to date with the latest scams circulating by visiting our Scam Alerts page.

Pioneer Customers: There are preventative steps that you can take today to reduce your risk of being a victim of fraud. As always, if you experience suspicious activity on your personal banking accounts, please contact our Customer Care Team at 518.730.3000.

The material provided on this website is intended for informational purposes only. Links to other web sites are provided for reference and do not constitute a referral or endorsement by Pioneer or its affiliates. Please note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not be current. It is recommended that you consult with a financial professional for assistance regarding the information contained herein.