CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – This week is devoted to educating the public about schemes and identity theft prevention.

Are you worried about getting taken in by the latest scheme? Are you concerned about the possibility that your identity could be stolen? This week is about bringing you some peace of mind when it comes to schemes.

The Better Business Bureau provides the basics for safeguarding against schemes:

  • When someone you have not met asks you to send them money, don’t do it.
  • Never click on links or attachments in unsolicited emails or texts. That’s how the schemers put malware on your devices.
  • Don’t trust the legitimacy of something by its looks. Emails and websites are easy to fake with copied logos and graphics.
  • Don’t trust your Caller ID. It can be faked to read any way a schemer wants it to read.
  • Buy online only from legitimate sources with a website address with the “s” in “https.” Look for the lock icon in the address bar as well.
  • Look up any company you’re unfamiliar with.
  • Treat your personal identification information like gold. Don’t give it away to anyone who contacts you out of the blue. Your banking, Social Security, and insurance numbers should be guarded.
  • Anyone that is pressuring you to act quickly could be a scammer who doesn’t want you to have time to consider the “offer seriously.”
  • Get details in writing and read them carefully.
  • Don’t overshare on social media. Con artists can collect your information from social media and use it to make you think they know you.
  • Keep your travel plans to yourself and only share them after the fact.
  • Shred any junk mail, old documents, bills, and medical paperwork.
  • Monitor your accounts and check out any unknown transactions, even for tiny amounts.
  • Use strong passwords and keep software and virus protections updated constantly.