Common Fraud Schemes We See at Gulf Winds
New cases of fraud are reported to Gulf Winds daily. We prioritize these cases and help our members recover from any fraudulent activity, but we would love to prevent fraud before it ever happens. That’s why we have a library of resources outlining common fraud schemes and helping you stay ahead of scammers.
Most Common Scams
The majority of cases our Gulf Winds Fraud Department sees are from scammers contacting our members with promises of a payment or “get rich quick” scheme. Members are enticed to provide personal information like social security numbers or bank accounts in return for some kind of gift, prize or reimbursement.
Scammers may pose as someone you know or a reputable business. It is especially important to be skeptical of anyone who sends you a message on social media asking for your personal information – no matter what the reason!
Look for These Red Flags
The greatest red flag of a scam is anyone contacting you via social media, but there are other signs that you may be the victim of a scam.
What if the person contacting you already has your personal information?
Sometimes scammers will try to “prove” they are who they claim to be by providing personal details like your social security number and asking you to confirm the information is correct.
If this happens, immediately end the conversation. No legitimate business will ever tell you your personal information. If this happens, contact your financial institutions and the three credit bureaus to report the fraud attempt.
What if the person requests that I pay taxes on winnings or make some kind of deposit?
Never make a payment of any kind – even if you think the claim is legitimate. If you win a prize or are owed any money, you’ll never have to pay anything upfront to receive the funds or prize.
How Can You Prevent Fraud?
Always be skeptical. Are you owed money from an overpayment to a company? It’s definitely possible! Have you entered into a sweepstakes to win a trip or prize? Maybe so.
Ask yourself – would a legitimate company contact you on social media? Probably not. And even though businesses may contact you via email, phone and letters in the mail, it is equally important to be skeptical of each of these.
If you are contacted about money owed to you or a prize of some kind and believe the request to be legitimate, ask for as many details as you can without telling anything about yourself.
Then, contact the company directly that they are claiming to be from. Make sure you find the phone number on their business website. Don’t accept any incoming calls or dial any numbers provided to you by the person contacting you.