Watch out for fraud, it’s everywhere and the explosion of the Internet and social media has facilitated a plethora of schemes that will trick you into falling as prey.
What are these fraudsters going after?
- Your money.
- Your Personally Identifiable Information. (Known as PII – social security number, addresses, phone number, bank account numbers, credit card information, home title information, passwords… wow this is getting bad!)
- Email contact lists – Watch out for Phishing – phony emails asking for private information.
Can you ID the common types of fraud?
Common Types / Red Flags / Protection Measures:
- Lottery (Promises of huge lottery winnings to claim)
- IRS (False references to IRS inquiries for back taxes you do not really owe)
- Inheritance (Come on you know if you have one of these life events, but be careful of the long lost relative suddenly showing up with a big bag of money from a lawyer)
- Vacation rentals (Asking for upfront funds to improve properties, false references of course)
- Work from home/Great career opportunity (A promise of getting very rich from an income source, maybe with a small upfront down payment – watch out!)
- Check overpayment (Oops you overpaid, now send your PII. Do not do it!)
- Loans (Sign up for a loan lately, or has someone applied for a loan in your name and you need to get out of it for a fee – watch out!)
- Online dating (Oh boy… be careful, you don’t know who is out there with bad intentions)
- Social media (Unless you know who and what… be careful of contacts made in this media)
- Lost/Stolen Credit or Debit cards (Make sure you know where your cards are and be careful where you buy)
- The offer seems to good to be true.
- Sense of urgency from scammers.
- Upfront payments required, NOW!
- Claiming to be overseas and need assistance now, need cash for travel home.
- Multiple card entries that you did not purchase.
- Unauthorized purchases, especially for same items at different locations.
- Unsolicited phone authorization for a car advance.
- IRS call saying they need payments for a judgement on you. IRS will always contact you via mail to let you know status.
- FBI call saying you are going to be put in jail for non-payment of judgements.
- Block senders and phone numbers you know were phony.
- Never share account information and you PII (discussed above).
- Do not respond to offers that sound too good to pass on.
- Government emails and website end in .gov, .mil, or fed.us. Watch out for phony URL’s and source emails.
- Avoid posting any of your PII.
- Do not respond to anyone asking for cash to be sent that you do not know personally or can be trusted.
- Do not share your PIN for accounts and credit/debit cards.
Be Careful Out There and Watch Out For Fraud!
Here is a source for alert notices to help you watch out for fraud.
Federal Trade Commission: Scam Alerts. Click Here
Related Post: Credit Breach Precautions