Top Scams For What’s Left Of 2019
According to Global Security Strategist, Derek Manky, there are approximately 500,000 attack attempts in cyber space. Knowing how to identify a scam is essential in protecting your personal and financial information. To put into perspective, the FBI notes that victims of online scams in the U.S. lost $672,080,232 in 2014. This list will help keep you informed for top scams to be aware of.
Top Scams To Watch Out For In 2019
- .Job Offer Scams
Job offer scams are a hot topic right now. If you receive an unsolicited email offering you a job as a mystery shopper or similar position, be highly skeptical. In a situation such as this, you are paid by check or money order for more than what your “employer” offered to pay you. Then, your “employer” will ask you to send back the additional funds. Later, you will find out that the check was a fake, and you will be out the entire amount you sent your fake employer.
- Virtual Wallet Scams
Increased consumer use of virtual wallets such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Wallet, Samsung Pay, and PalPay will bring increased instances of scams via these tools. Don’t be afraid to utilize these convenient tools, just make sure if you do, that you check your bank accounts frequently to make sure there are no unauthorized charges or withdraws.
Credit Repair ScamsYou have probably seen numerous advertisements from companies promising to “fix” your credit and erase your debt. The FTC advises that many of these companies charge a fee, but don’t do anything to help you. Be highly skeptical of a company that promises to erase your debt and repair your credit at a cost.
Bank Draft ScamsAs online sites like eBay and Craigslist have grown in popularity, so have the amount of fraudulent bank drafts and cashier’s checks. The best way to protect yourself from a scam like this is to not accept a bank draft or a cashier’s check. If you do choose to accept either of these, offer to go to the bank with the buyer to witness the draft or check being created. If the check is made out for more than the price you are asking, a red flag should be raised.
Charity Impersonation ScamsFraudsters pull at your heart strings, and fool you into thinking you are donating your money to a worthy cause. Before donating your money to a charity, make sure to verify the identity of an organization. You can do this by checking with the BBB or by utilizing a website like Charity Navigator.
Home Improvement ScamsFraudsters are also flocking to home improvement scams, where the scammer shows up at your door wearing what appears to be legit work attire, and offers to do a job at your home for cheap. The scammer will ask for the money upfront, and promise to come back at a later date to do the work. The scammer never comes back. Make sure to stick with a company that is licensed, bonded, insured, and reputable. Angie’s List or the BBB provide great references.
Fear Of Legal Repercussion ScamsFor example, a scammer may advise that you are being fined for not showing up to jury duty, but you can avoid the fines by providing personal information, or paying a small fee. Be advised that courts will not call you and threaten you with a fine. If you get this type of phone call, hang up immediately. Call your local court house to report the scam.
Lottery ScamsYou may receive a phone call or email stating that you have won a lottery with a huge payout. You may be asked by the fraudster to pay a small fee in order to release your winnings. In addition, the scammer will ask you to send your personal details as verification, thus releasing your identity to the scammer. Three good indications of a lottery scam are:
If you get such an email, conduct a quick Google search to see if it is legit. Chances are it is NOT. If you did not buy a ticket, you probably did not win. Do not provide any personal information, and do not pay the “small fee.”
- Email is from an individual, not a company.
- You are not the only recipient.
- You have never heard of the lottery before.
Online Dating Scams
Online dating scams are skyrocketing. In this type of scam the fraudster will make the relationship feel very real. Then, he or she will start asking for money. Some tell-tale signs of an online dating scam include:
- Demonstration of strong emotions in a very short amount of time.
- Quick movement from conversing on dating sites into private means of communication.
- Requests for money by showcasing personal hardships.