There are so many phone, text, email, and internet scams these days that it wouldn’t be surprising if you or a loved one, such as an elderly parent, hadn’t already fallen for one or more of these schemes. According to Paige Hanson, chief of cyber safety education at NortonLifeLock, scams usually come in two forms: a fear-based message, such as the threat of your Medicare coverage being suspended, or something that sounds too good to be true, like how to get an extra government stimulus check. “In both of these cases, fraudsters want you to react versus thinking it through,” she explains.

To be on top of the latest schemes, read the FBI’s Scam and Safety website; plus, here’s what else you can do to avoid getting involved in a hoax.

senior woman speaking on phone

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Keep your personal info private.

Once scammers have your birth date, driver’s license, social security number, or bank account, they can do all sorts of evil things, from opening up a new credit card in your name to withdrawing funds from your bank account, so never share this information. Also never give your full name and address to strangers, such as online gaming opponents.

Don’t answer the phone or open emails, attachments, and texts, or open links from people you don’t know.

If malware is attached to a phishing email—an email that looks like it’s from a reputable company but whose nefarious purpose is to…

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