Be Aware of Potential Scams

Efforts to take your money are more sophisticated than ever before. The ACBL works hard to protect your privacy and security, but there are still opportunities for thieves to target you.

Below are examples of some of the scams we’ve seen.

Unit/District Officer Needing Urgent Financial Support: Usually this comes in the guise of unit or district president sending an email asking for urgent help with a bill payment or bank transfer. Unit/district treasurers are often the target of this kind of attack. If in doubt, call to confirm the request is legit.

Prospect Student Sends Big Check: In this scam, an interested student reaches out to a teacher about setting up lessons and tries to make a deposit or pay for all lessons upfront with a check that is for an amount larger than you quoted. The scammer then will ask you to refund the extra amount, and the check will bounce. Not only will you lose the amount paid by the “student”, but you’ll often also be on the hook for the bounced check fee at your bank.

Attachment or Link You Aren’t Expecting: Another typical scam involves a scammer sending you an email with a link or file attached. These emails often look like they are coming from a person or company you know. The scammer is counting on you trusting the source of the email so that you’ll open the file or click on the link, potentially exposing your computer to malware or viruses.

There are measures you can take to protect yourself:

  • Never provide bank or credit card information via email.
  • Don’t accept payment for more than the costs of lessons.
  • Don’t download files (especially .exe files) that you aren’t expecting.
  • Don’t click on links or attachments in an email that you aren’t expecting.

Trust your instincts, and if you recognize a scam, report it at the FTC Complaint Assistant website. Fraud victims should always contact the local authorities immediately.

Useful Resources

The FTC also has a helpful list of “10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud”.

You also can find more examples of scams and ways to protect yourself at the AARP Fraud Watch Network website, including The Perfect Scam℠, a podcast featuring leading fraud expert, Catch Me if You Can Frank Abagnale.