Scams to Watch Out for and How to Protect Yourself

The top three scams to watch out for are identity theft, imposter scams (posing as an agency) and online shopping.Scams have been around for quite a while. The Information Age or Computer/Digital Age that has caused society to shift to technology has brought us new ways to be scammed. If you are computer illiterate or have minimal knowledge, you could easily find yourself to be the victim of a scam.

Don’t let it be you

Scammers typically feed on our fears. Whether we need debt relief, worry about getting sick during a pandemic or fear we may miss out on something, like a good deal, that is when they like to strike. Often it is something with an emotional connection. Have you heard of the one where a grandchild calls and says they are out of the country and find themselves without money? The scenarios are endless! This can be hard for those who are going through a rough time, are ill or are older.

So how do we protect ourselves?

These days, we need to be hyper-vigilant! We need to be aware. Find a trusted friend, relative or advisor that you can refer to with questions when you are uncertain.

  • First, if you think you have been a victim of a scam, it benefits you to act quickly. You will want to report your incident to law enforcement. You can also go to reportfraud.ftc.gov. You will want to contact your payment provider if you have been scammed out of money to see if you are able to get your money back. Sometimes there are time limits.
  • If you find yourself on a call and have engaged in a conversation, do not push any buttons (like 1 for “yes”, 2 for “no”), not even to get off their list! This can be portrayed as an acknowledgment.
  • Don’t trust the caller ID. Scammers can create fake caller IDs.
  • Don’t do anything urgently. If you feel pressured, hang up!

Types of Scams:

  • Robo calls for health related items, cleaning supplies, and debt relief.
  • Coronavirus scams: cures, test kits, vaccine offers. Report to ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams
  • Marketplace SEP Scams. No government will call, text, or email you without you making the initial contact.
  • Unemployment Insurance Benefit Scams. Contact Identitytheft.gov.
  • Amazon & Apple Scams regarding a FedEx package pick up.
  • Tech Support Scam: companies will not call you for a problem on your computer.
  • Online Dating Scam: the costliest scam reported in 2020. Seniors are often the victims. Scammers ask for money after developing trust.
  • Family Emergency Scam: Scammer pretends to be a family member or grandchild and asks you not to tell anyone.
  • Paying Rent or Eviction: Always want money upfront.
  • Impersonation of an agency.
  • An email asking for a gift card for various reasons.

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