Scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information. They may try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that people lost $30 million to phishing schemes in one year. But there are several things you can do to protect yourself.

We recommend taking the time to read more recent post by

How to Outsmart the Scammers

Hang up on fishy calls. No business, tech-support service, your CEO or CFO, government or law enforcement agency is ever going to accept payment in the form of gift cards. If someone calls you requesting payment over the phone or txt for anything, just hang up or delete.

VERIFY THE CALLER! If someone who sounds like a relative, friend or boss calls or text and claims to be in trouble and needs money, hang up/delete. You should call the person or another trusted relative and ask if the situation is true. (Don’t fall for the “don’t tell my mom” bit.) If that person isn’t immediately reachable, wait to hear back from the person from a known number.

CONFIRM THE EMAIL! If you receive an email asking for money or gift cards from someone you know, look at the email address to make sure it’s coming from the person’s actual email address. Even if the email address looks right, best to call the person to double-check, because scammers can use publicly available data to spoof addresses.

REPORT THE SCAM! Immediately report the fraud to the issuer of the gift card. The FBI advises people who have been the victims of elder fraud to contact their local FBI field office. People can also file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center and with the FTC. You can also send any unknown or unfamiliar emails to CCI Tech Support at for review and analysis.