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Most Common Fraud Scams
Most Common Fraud Scams

Learn about the most common scams and what you can do keep your accounts secure.

Leigh Hemmings avatar
Written by Leigh Hemmings
Updated over a week ago

With more people shopping online, making online payments, and sending money, there are more opportunities for scammers to steal money and personal information. Review the common scams below and how to avoid them to keep your accounts secure.

Common Scams

  • Blue Post Office Box Theft. Scammers may steal checks out of blue post office boxes. Avoid dropping checks in blue post office boxes after hours, on weekends and on holidays.

  • Fake shopping websites. Scammers create fake websites that look like legitimate online retailers. They will often offer popular gifts at discounted prices. If you are shopping online, be sure to only shop at websites that you know and trust. You can check a website's legitimacy by looking for a padlock icon in the address bar and by making sure the website has a contact phone number and physical address.

  • Fake charities. Scammers will often take advantage of people's generosity during the holidays by creating fake charities. They will often ask for donations in the form of cash, gift cards, or wire transfers. Before you donate to any charity, be sure to research it carefully. You can check a charity's legitimacy by looking for it on the Better Business Bureau's website or by contacting your state's attorney general's office.

  • Gift card scams. Scammers will often sell fake gift cards or gift cards that have been emptied of their value. If you are buying a gift card, be sure to buy it from a reputable retailer. You should also check the gift card balance before you give it away.

  • Fake delivery notifications. Scammers will send text messages or emails that appear to be from shipping companies. They will often claim that your package has been delivered or that there is a problem with your delivery. They will then ask you to click on a link or provide personal information. Never click on links in unsolicited emails or texts, and always track your packages directly on the shipping company's website.

  • Grandchild/Child Messages. Scammers call you pretending to be your grandchild or child and frantically request money to pay a kidnapper, a legal bill or an emergency medical expense – and begs you not to tell anyone. But it’s not real: Fraudsters commonly pose as loved ones and, preying on your compassion, claim to need money urgently. Recent technology can even allow them to successfully imitate your loved one’s voice.

  • Skimming Devices on Payment Terminals. Scammers can tamper with payment terminals to collect cards that pay by swiping their card. Use tap-and-go or insert your chip card when making payments to avoid anyone stealing your debit card information.

What You Can Do To Prevent or Identify Fraud

  • Monitor your bank statements and credit card statements. Check your bank statements and credit card statements regularly for any unauthorized activity. Set up account and transaction alerts to be made aware of specific activity. You can find instructions to set up alerts in our Help Center article.

  • Be suspicious of unsolicited emails and texts. Never click on links or provide personal information in unsolicited emails or texts, especially if they claim to come from your bank, credit card company, real estate agent or title company. Instead, log in to the company’s official website or call them directly to verify.

  • Shop at reputable websites. Only shop at websites that you know and trust.

  • Avoid dropping checks in blue post office boxes if possible. If you need to send a check using a blue post office box, avoid dropping them off after hours, on weekends and on holidays.

  • Don't give any information out over the phone. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up. If you want to confirm the validity of the call, research the main phone number for that company and call them directly.

  • Don't share verification codes. Never give a caller verification codes that you receive via text or email.

How to Report Fraud

If you think you have been the victim of a scam, or see any suspicious activity on your account, report it to Hingham Institution for Savings as soon as possible. You can report it by contacting us at:

  • Phone: 781-749-2200

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