Last year, scam victims filed over 2.1 million complaints with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. According to the FTC, the financial cost of these fraudulent scams was more than $3.3 billion. Most scams are preventable, but you need to know how to spot them.
- Coronavirus scams. Still very active, fraud is the top star here. Scammers are peddling everything from coronavirus cures to selling non-existent PPE supplies.
- Social Security and Medicare scams, These are begin carried out over the phone, or even by going door-to-door. The scammer may claim an issue exists related to a victim’s Social Security account, and threaten them with fines. They demand payments through wire transfers, by sending cash, gift cards, and pre-paid debit cards, or by other methods of quick payments.
- Investment scams. The lure of big returns on investments can be difficult to avoid, with scammers happy to provide new investment opportunities, especially involving cryptocurrency.
- Romance scams. Affairs of the heart can be costly, including financially. The FTC reports consumers lost over $300 million last year, nearly a 50% increase over the prior year. Approach potential heart throbs with an abundance of caution no matter how convincing they are.
- Tech Support scams. Beware any email phishing messages, pop-ups or phone calls warning you that your device is compromised or not working properly. Of course, it’s scammers behind all of them, offering their services to fix the problem. If you give them access to your computer or device, they’ll access it for criminal purposes and gather your credit card information for payment for their so-called help.
If you ever question the validity of an online offer, or feel like someone may be trying to take advantage of you, end the call and contact us. Our staff are trained to spot scams and keep your money safe. Learn more at our Security and Fraud page.