Technology enhances our lives in ways people could not have dreamed of a hundred years ago. What would many of us do without cell phones to communicate, MP3 players to listen to music or GPS navigation devices to point us in the right direction?
But like the classic tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, there are two sides to every story. Although there is no menacing monster lurking in the shadows, fraudsters trying to lure victims with their scams can be just as frightening. Here are a few popular scams associated with your favorite gadgets.
the dark side of technology
•Text message scams. This scam works by sending a friendly message from a phone number that the intended victim doesn't recognize. When the victim texts back, he or she is charged a high fee for messages received and sent out. Another text message scam may involve a message from someone posing as a financial institution stating that your account has been closed. The text message then prompts you to call a phony
1-800 number to verify your personal account information.
•Internet scams. In one scam, a fraudster e-mails you posing as a bank, credit union, charity organization or government agency. The e-mail sent to your inbox looks official and asks you to verify personal information, such as your Social Security number, online passwords or credit card details.
•Online auction fraud. Popular online auction sites such as eBay® are not immune from fraud either. Scammers will try to pose as these sites in order to get personal information from you.
•Protect yourself from these scams by not responding to requests for your personal information. Remember, MAX will never phone, e-mail or text you to find out your account information.
•Don't call phone numbers listed in "phishy" e-mails. You can trust that when you call our main number, 334.260.2600 or 1.800.776.6776, you can safely access your account information.
•Bookmark MAX's Web address, myMAX.com, so you'll always be sure you're on the correct site.
The Federal Trade Commission recommends never turning over private information based on an e-mail request.
Contact us if you suspect you've been scammed at
. You can also file a complaint on the Federal Trade Commission's Web site, ftc.gov, or call 1.877.FTC.HELP.