How to Avoid a Scam

It's easy to think that scams only happen to the vulnerable, but even the most sophisticated people can get duped into a scammer's tricks. With their attempts becoming more tactful, more people are falling victim. Continue reading to learn about signs to watch for, how to avoid a scam all together and what to do if you think you may be caught in a scam.
Incoming Call from an Unknown Caller

Four Signs That It's a Scam

1. Scammers pretend to be from an organization you know. 
They may use a real name like the Social Security Administration, IRS, Medicare or make up a name that sounds official. Some pretend to be a business you know, like a utility or tech company, or from a charity asking for donations.
Note: Scammers use technology to change the phone number that appears on your caller ID, so the name and number you see may not be real. 
2. Scammers say there’s a problem.
They might say you’re in trouble with the government, that you owe money, that someone in your family had an emergency or that there’s a virus on your computer. Some scammers also say there’s a problem with one of your accounts and that you need to verify some information. 
Note: Royal Bank will never call or email requesting personal information, including social security number, online banking password or account number.
3. Scammers pressure you to act immediately.
Scammers want you to act before you have time to think. They may threaten to arrest or sue you or say your computer is about to be corrupted if you don’t act immediately.
Note: A legitimate business will typically welcome the opportunity for you to check into their service before making any big decisions.
4. Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way.
Scammers often insist that you pay by sending money through a money transfer company or by putting money on a gift card and giving them the number on the back. Some will send you a check, tell you to deposit it and send them the money.
Note: Always verify the legitimacy before sending any money.
What You Can Do to Avoid a Scam
  • Block unwanted calls and text messages.
  • Don’t give personal or financial information to a request that you didn’t expect.
  • Resist the pressure to act immediately.
  • Talk to someone you know and trust.
Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at and contact your local Royal Bank location.

Federal Trade Commission, September 2020