There are a lot of variations on scams out there.  In general, assume that everyone is out to get you.  It's unfortunate, but assuming the worst is the only way to protect yourself from sophisticated scammers who have perfected their pitch.  In general:

  • Never give ANY information to ANYONE who calls you.  What may seem like a harmless survey could be collecting personal data that allows them to steal your identity or access your bank account.  If you think it may be a legitimate call, look up the phone number in the phone book or online for the company calling and call them back.

  • Never click on links you receive via email.  Emails can look very legitimate, and will even look like they are from your bank.  Never click on the link in the email - if you think it is legitimate, go to your bank's website by typing their web address into your browser and log in from there.  You may get a link in an email from a friend - do not click on the link!  Your friend's email may have been hacked, or it may only look like it is coming from your friend.  In general, NEVER click on links you receive via email.

When in doubt, give us a call at 610-323-5009, and speak to someone here.  We can help you identify scams and stay safe.

I'm Traveling in Europe, and My Wallet was Stolen

You get an email from a friend who claims he is traveling in Europe, his wallet and passport were stolen, and he needs a few hundred dollars to pay the hotel so he can leave.  Good news - your friend is just fine, and likely at home.  The bad news is that his email has been hacked into, and the scammer is sending out these emails to all of his friends hoping one of them bites and wires him money.  Don't fall for it!  Never wire money to anyone!  Never buy gift cards and mail them, and never agree to meet someone to deliver money.

You Have Won!

You get a call, or an email, claiming you have won a trip, a prize, a new TV, or a lot of money.  You don't remember entering the contest, but they only need a little personal information to mail you your prize.  Many will either ask you for your Social Security number so they can report the taxes, or they may ask you to pay a fee, either for the taxes or shipping or some other legitimate-sounding reason. 

I'm sorry - you have not won anything.  The scammer is either trying to get you to pay money or steal your identity.  NEVER give ANY information over the phone, no matter what,

Claim Your $100 Gift Card

You get an email that looks like it came from a company you do business with, such as CVS, Best Buy, WalMart, Amazon, CostCo, Longhorm Steakhouse, etc.  Click here to claim it!  This is a scam - the scammers want you to click through to their website and enter personal information, such as your login and password to the legitimate company's website, or other personal information.  This is called a 'phishing" scam. The scammers send out millions of these emails, hoping that a few people will think it is legitimate and click through.  Don't do it!

I'm Calling From Microsoft

You get a call from "someone from Microsoft" who claims they have received a notification from your computer that it has a virus, and they will help you fix it.  Microsoft will never call you, and does not track whether or not your computer has a virus.  The person on the phone may direct you to a file on your computer that shows errors "proving" what they say is true.  This is normal - every computer has errors that get logged in this file, but they do not affect your computer. 

I'm Calling From the Police

You get a call in the middle of the night - the person tells you they are with the police, and your son or grandson has been arrested.  If you don't give them a credit card to pay his bail, he will have to spend the night in jail (or worse).  This is a scam.  The police will never call and demand a credit card over the phone for bail money.  The person on the other end counts on you being half-asleep, and in a panic, in order to get your credit card information.

I'm Calling From the IRS

The phone rings, and there is a man on the other end who says you owe the IRS money.  If you don't pay with a credit card over the phone right then, they say the police will arrest you.

The IRS will never demand payment over the phone, and never makes phone calls.  If you do owe the IRS money, they will only contact you through the mail.  Never give your credit card information to someone who calls you.  If you think it may be a legitimate call from a utility or other company, tell them you will call them back.  Look up their phone number in the phone book or online, and call them to make a payment.