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Summer Scams: How to Stay Safe with Tips from a Fraud Expert

Posted at 11:23 AM, Jul 09, 2024

Disclaimer: This Inside South Florida segment is sponsored by Early Warning. All opinions and views are of the advertiser and does not reflect the same of WSFL-TV.

Inside South Florida recently welcomed Ben Chance, Fraud Risk Management Officer at Early Warning, to discuss the latest trends in scams and how consumers can protect themselves, particularly during the summer months.

Ben explained that as our digital interactions increase, so do the opportunities for scammers to target us. "We see scammers targeting email, phone, text messages, social media platforms, and digital marketplaces. Wherever we are, unfortunately, scammers are too."

He noted that scams are also seasonal. “During the summer months, consumer behaviors change, and scammers know that, and they target those behavior changes. We see an increase in concert and ticket related scams, in scams for vacation and timeshare rentals…, and in attempts for moving related and home Improvement related scams."

When asked about Zelle's efforts to prevent and stop scams, Ben highlighted their success. "We've seen nearly a 50% decrease in the rate of fraud or scams on our network, while the network grew nearly 30% last year. [This is due to our] ongoing investments in technology platforms to screen millions of payments every single day and our investment in consumer education."

Zelle has partnered with organizations like the National Council on Aging and the Better Business Bureau to educate nearly 40 million consumers on scam prevention.

Ben offered practical tips to help viewers stay safe from scammers:

  1. Use Payment Mechanisms Wisely: Only use Zelle or other payment methods to pay people you know and trust, like family or neighbors. Don’t use them for people you meet in digital marketplaces because you can't verify who they are.
  2. Protect Bank Account Information: Never give away your bank account details, or one-time passcodes or PINs sent to you. Your bank will never ask for this information.
  3. Verify Caller ID Information: Never trust the phone number on your caller ID. Let it go to voicemail, and if you think it's your bank or service provider, call the number on your billing statement or the back of your card.

For more information on how to stay safe from scams, Ben encouraged viewers to visit Zelle's safety education website at zellepay.com/safety-education. This resource offers extensive information on detecting and preventing scams, as well as guidance on reporting potential scams to financial institutions and the Federal Trade Commission.

Inside South Florida

10:49 AM, Jul 26, 2019

Inside South Florida is an original, local lifestyle show focused on providing our audience with informative, useful and entertaining content. It features a variety of community organizations, businesses and happenings in South Florida. It is a marketing-friendly program dedicated to offering businesses the opportunity to showcase their company/products, reach potential customers and gain results.

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