Online Scams

Protecting Yourself from Online & Cell Phone Scams:

  1. Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated about common scams targeting the elderly. Knowledge is your best defense.
  2. Verify the Source: Be cautious of unsolicited emails, text messages, or phone calls asking for personal information or money. Verify the sender’s identity before responding.
  3. Don’t Share Personal Information: Never give out personal information like your Social Security number, bank account details, or passwords to anyone over the phone or online unless you initiated the contact and are sure of the recipient’s identity.
  4. Beware of Urgency or Pressure: Scammers often create a sense of urgency or fear to pressure you into making quick decisions. Take your time and don’t rush into anything, especially if it involves sending money or providing personal information.
  5. Use Strong Passwords: Protect your online accounts with strong, unique passwords. Avoid using easily guessable information like your birthday or pet’s name.
  6. Secure Your Devices: Keep your computer, smartphone, and other devices updated with the latest security patches and antivirus software to help protect against malware and viruses.
  7. Be Skeptical of Unsolicited Offers: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of unexpected prizes, lottery winnings, or investment opportunities.
  8. Double-Check Before Clicking: Hover over links in emails or text messages to see the actual URL before clicking. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unfamiliar sources.
  9. Verify Charity Requests: If you receive a request for donations, research the organization independently to ensure it’s legitimate before giving any money.
  10. Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off or suspicious, trust your instincts and don’t hesitate to hang up the phone, delete the email, or close the website.
  11. Seek Help if Unsure: If you’re unsure about a communication or offer you’ve received, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted family member, friend, or financial advisor for advice.
  12. Report Suspected Scams: If you believe you’ve been targeted by a scam, report it to the appropriate authorities such as the FBI, the  Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or your local law enforcement agency.

By following these precautions, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to online and cell phone scams. Remember, PCBV will never solicit for your information via random text messages or emails.

If you have received suspect text messages or emails from a fellow church member or a staff member, please send any evidence to the office email address.

Presbyterian Church of Bella Vista