JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations 11th Field Investigative Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio offers tips on fraud safety and prevention:
Protect your Identity:
- Shred discarded mail with any personal information on it. Go “paperless” if possible.
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi for any personal info (banking, email, etc.).
- Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts, make passwords hard to guess
- Do not open links or email attachments from unknown sources.
- Verify someone is who they say they are. Ask for names/credentials, hang up and call the company if someone calls asking for you to verify your information.
- Don’t post personal information.
- Keep accounts private.
- Don’t add or converse with anyone you don’t know.
- Keep a close eye on what your kids are doing and ensure they are following the same principles.
- Don’t post your locations, makes it easy for someone to follow you.
- Do not click on links in text messages or emails from unknown sources. Always verify the source first.
Crisis and Disaster Donations:
- Soliciting donations for false charities, copycat charities or with a similar name to popular charities. Most charities use .org websites and not a .com. Use Federal Trade Commission resources to track a charity’s record before donating.
- Websites or emails posing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looking to track COVID-19 and asking for personal and health information. Do not click on any links or give any information.
- Pyramid schemes. Don’t invest in a business that requires upfront purchases and promises guaranteed returns. Nothing in business is guaranteed. Choose wisely.
- Scammers replace the credit/debit card scanners at gas pumps and ATMs to send information to their devices. Always check if it’s loose or looks tampered with before swiping your card or going inside to pay.
- Usually occurs in an online chat room. The fraudster will chat with someone and send nude images or videos pretending to be an attractive person interested in them.
- The victim will send pictures or images back and then the fraudster will screenshot, usually saying they are a minor and threaten to notify law enforcement or send the images to a family member if you don’t send them money. They will know your family members' actual names.
- One payment is never enough, they will make other claims and make you keep sending money. Don’t provide any money. Write down the username, weblink, and any information you possibly can and notify law enforcement.
- People will post job advertisements to common places like Indeed or Jobs.com posing as an employer. They will go through the whole application process online, through telephone interviews, and through the paperwork. They may ask you to go purchase electronics, provide receipts for reimbursement, and send in the electronics to get specific software added. Victims will never see the products again.
- Another way is the “employer” will ask for banking info to wire money for you to purchase the equipment needed to start work. The fraudster quickly drains the bank account, never to be found again.
- Someone claiming to be a government official saying they need money to get you or someone you know out of trouble. Example: someone calls you claiming to be a corrections officer and says they have your family member in jail and need bail money. Ask the name of the jail and tell them you’ll call back after getting your bank information. Hang up and look up the actual jail number and call. 99.9% of the time no one you know will be in jail.
- Extending your vehicle warranty over the phone.
- Someone claims you have a warrant for your arrest. They usually need you to verify your information and then tell you to pay over the phone or else you’ll be arrested. Ask for the department, look up the number yourself and call back before verifying any information.
- “Nigerian Prince” claims they will send you money when in return they will drain your bank account when you give your bank information.
For more information visit the FBI website at https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes.
The AFOSI 11th Field Investigative Squadron is the lead military criminal investigative organization for all Joint Base San Antonio and is the Headquarters AFOSI 4th Field Investigation Region’s largest subordinate unit.