Reporting security scams
Reporting security scams to the appropriate authorities is encouraged by State Farm® to protect its customers. The following tips will help you avoid becoming a victim of scams activity.
Protect yourself from scams
Protect yourself from criminal activities. Here are tips to help you recognize, report and avoid falling victim to scams.
As society invents new ways to communicate and conduct business, consumers are targeted by scams through a variety of channels. Scam artists are getting more creative and sometimes use the names of large, reputable companies to make their scams convincing.
Consumers, including State Farm customers, are randomly targeted by scam artists who have used our company name to lure their victims. State Farm is concerned about these scams, and whenever possible, we provide the information we receive about them to the proper authorities to help in their investigations.
Know this about State Farm
- State Farm does not participate in lotteries or random mailings offering monetary prizes.
- State Farm representatives will not contact customers by phone to demand emergency payment of premium for a policy that is about to lapse.
- State Farm customers might occasionally receive a courtesy call from their agent. If you receive a call reminding you of an overdue payment, make sure it's your personal State Farm agent's office. If you're suspicious, hang up and call the agent's office back.
- State Farm uses regular billing periods and regularly scheduled premium notices to notify customers of any amounts they owe.
- State Farm may send additional notices by mail if a premium or other amount is overdue.
- Do not provide your personal/private information — including information about your insurance policies, financial accounts, or credit cards — to any person unknown to you or with unverified credentials or connections to you.
- Do not try to cash any unknown or unauthenticated checks, or otherwise accept any offer of money.
- If the State Farm name or logo is used in a communication and you are suspicious, call a local State Farm agent who can help you determine whether what you received is authentic.
- State Farm Customers: If you receive any communication that looks different from what you normally receive from your agent or State Farm, don't hesitate to call your agent or an authorized company representative to report your suspicions.
- If you are contacted by phone or in person, be wary of anyone who gives you only vague information about themselves or the entity they claim to represent. Ask questions. Try to get as much information as possible. If the caller gets nervous, gives sketchy or little information, or refuses to provide information, it is likely a scam.
Scams take various forms. The most common we hear about are letters, emails or phone calls. Take the following, for example:
You are notified you have won a lottery or other monetary prize.
A bogus check for a smaller amount is often included to cover "administrative costs," taxes or fees. The check may:
- Feature a corporate logo.
- Appear to be drawn off of a banking institution.
- Appear to be signed by a company representative
- You may be given a claim number and asked to contact an "agent" or prize administrator to claim the rest of your "prize."
- In the case of a letter or email, scammers may use a State Farm or other well-known logo, or otherwise try to make it appear that the "contest" is sponsored by the company. They may try to make it appear as though a company executive has signed the letter or the check, even copying or forging his or her signature.
Consumer tip: Fake documents
Watch carefully for hints that documents have been doctored:
- Slight differences between the type size, color or font on different areas of a check.
- Differences between the logo, company name or address on the letter or check, and an authentic one.
- Misspellings or other obvious errors.
You are told your insurance policy is about to lapse or be canceled due to unpaid premium.
The scammer asks for your credit card information in order to pay the necessary amount immediately to avoid cancellation or a lapse in coverage.
Consumer tip: Call back
If you get a call reminding you of an overdue payment, make sure it's your personal State Farm agent's office calling. If you have any doubts, hang up and call your agent at a phone number you know is correct. Your State Farm agent's first concern is that you and your personal information remain safe, so the agent's office will be glad to receive your call.
Past due notice scams
You get an authentic-looking bill indicating you are in "Past Due" status; but, you don't remember the purchase or other transaction the bill is for.
Consumer tip: Confirm the purchase
If you don't recognize the company name or remember buying the items on the bill, call the billing company to confirm the purchase.
Pay in cash scams
You see an advertisement offering auto insurance at a substantially discounted premium, if the premium is paid in cash.
- Ghost brokering is a tactic used by fraudsters who sell fraudulent auto insurance by a number of different methods.
- Ghost Brokers are professional fraudsters selling forged or invalid discounted insurance policies to unsuspecting consumers.
- They usually advertise their services online or within local communities (e.g. car dealerships), typically claiming to be able to secure a cheaper auto insurance policy for you.
- Often only cash is accepted and incorrect data is used to complete an application online.
Consumer tip: Use only licensed agents
State Farm sells insurance products exclusively through licensed State Farm agents and employees, never via an independent insurance broker or someone posing as one.
Unclaimed property scams
"Unclaimed property assistance" may or may not be a scam.
You may get an offer to assist with retrieving unclaimed property. This is often thought to be a scam but may be a legitimate service that assists for a nominal fee.
Consumer tip: Go to the state
To be safe, it's wise to go to the state involved and claim your property directly. You can usually learn more about this by performing an Internet search using terms like "[your state] unclaimed property."