Common Scams and Frauds 2017
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Lottery Prize Fraud
The scammer tells you that you have won a prize or a competition but you have to pay a fee to receive it.
Pretended to be from your bank, trick you into giving out personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers.
Supposed “tech support” companies calling and impersonating well know computer software companies. Often they’ll tell you your computer has been infected with viruses.
The Income Tax Department does not request detailed personal information through e-mail & phone call.The Income Tax Department does not send e-mail / take phone call requesting your PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.
Threats to life, arrest or other involve demands by scammers to pay money that you supposedly owe and threats if you do not cooperate.
Common scam frauds you should know about
Over the last century, technology has improved drastically, changing the way people live and go about their daily lives. If before, people had to line up in libraries to know about something, now they can just do it with a few swipes on their phone.
Food can be delivered at any time or given place, all you need to do is pin your address and the restaurant will deliver your cravings right at your doorstep.
Aside from these improvements, another aspect that technology has significantly improved upon is communication. Nowadays, you can just call anyone you want in real-time with just a click.
However, the progress of technology also means that the scams proliferating also become more advanced. The fraudsters have become more advanced and knowledgeable that people can be scammed without even noticing the red flags.
If you’re a heavy technology user, you should be aware of how these scams happen. Not only will this help you avoid potential danger to your identity, but you can also educate others and prevent them from falling prey to these scams. So, if you want to know more, here are some of the red flags you should watch out for:
Messages informing you that a loved one was involved in an accident
One of the most common scams you can encounter are messages telling you that a relative was involved in a misfortune. Usually, this type of scam is sent through text messages or an unknown number will call you.
The details can be convincing, so a lot of people fall prey to this type of scam. If you encounter a message like this, ignore it and block the number of the sender. However, if you want to verify the information, ask for personal details or any information that can help you check the identity of the relative.
While these types of scams can’t be avoided, staying vigilant and informed can help you spot the red flags.
Fake government calls
Another common type of phone scams is a fake government call telling you that you need to send money because of an unsettled debt. In the United States, a lot of people have been victimized by these types of scams where crooks pretend that they’re an officer from the IRS.
Always remember that government offices won’t send informal text messages about serious matters. Usually, they would send you an email or a letter containing an official logo of the agency. If you receive this type of message, the best thing to do is ignore it and report the number to the police to make sure they won’t victimize more people.
Technical support calls
Technical support calls usually scam people by saying they’re from a well-known company such as Microsoft or Apple and they detected a malfunction in your computer.
Once they convince you, they will ask for personal details to help you settle the issues. In reality, these scammers have installed malware in your computer’s program that can breach your accounts.
If you receive similar calls like this, one of the best things you can do is inquire about the matter and ask for details like how they detected it. If you think it’s a scam, report the number immediately to the police so they can take action right away.
According to an expert, this type of scams is more common among the elderly because they don’t have an idea of what these types of scams are.
Fake charity appeals
Another type of scam you can encounter is fake charity appeals. Usually, scams like this appeal to people because of the convincing back story which can tug at the heartstrings of people. Usually, fake charity appeals can come in the form of calls, text messages, and emails. Sometimes they even go from house to house just to endorse their fake advocacy.
If you receive an offer to donate to a certain charity, one of the best things you can do is cross-check the information about the organization. Additionally, check reviews and the official site of the charity because it will tell you all the information you need to know about the company such as the founders, achievements, and partner companies.
One of the most common scams you should be aware of is the lottery scams. Usually, in this type of scam, you will receive a call saying that you won the lottery.
Once the fraudsters have your trust, they will tell you that you need to pay a certain amount of tax to claim your prize. When you encounter calls such as this, just ignore them and report the incident to the police.
Fake bank calls
Another thing you should be wary of is fake calls from your bank. Usually, you will receive a call saying they’re from your local bank and they’re alerting you about an issue in your account.
When the caller gets your attention, they will ask for personal information such as your account number and other details so they can open your account. When you receive a call like this, simply hang up and report it to the police.
However, if you’re bothered about the issue, you can call your bank and verify the legitimacy of the call.
Fraud insurance calls
Fraud insurance calls are also one of the most common types of scams. Usually, this type of scam will tell you that you have unsettled bills, debt consolidation loans, health insurance issues, and more. These types of scams are phishers trying to get information so they can use them for identity theft.
Similar to IRS prank calls, people from the insurance company won’t send you an informal message or call you without sending a formal letter first. However, if you’re bothered and you want to verify the information, the best course of action is to directly go to the agency and check the legitimacy of the issue yourself.
Website password requests
If you’re using the internet for quite some time now, you will notice little pop-up messages claiming that you’ve won a prize or to sign up on a certain page to take home a certain amount of money. Once you see these pop-ups, ignore them or close the window. Usually, these are phishing sites that can breach your privacy if they get your password. Moreover, if you receive a call saying that they need your password for a personal account, simply ignore it or report the incident to officials.
Fake customer requests
Individuals aren’t the only ones plagued by scams. Issues such as fake calls and messages can happen to businesses too. One of the most common scamming issues faced by establishments is fake customer requests. Usually, scammers will pose as customers and pretend that they’re experiencing an issue with the service or product.
How to avoid scams
While scams are rampant on the internet, there are ways that you can avoid them. You don’t need to be an expert in rocket science to avoid scamming and protecting your identity. Here are some of the tips we can share with you:
Do your research
One of the best ways to avoid scams is to do your research. If you receive a call saying you’ve won something from a certain company or raffle, do your research and check the legitimacy of the information.
Don’t get overwhelmed and put your trust in the information laid to you. Always remember, if it’s too good to be true, there’s always a pitfall you have to be prepared for.
Don’t trust unverified callers and account
Scammers are blessed with charisma that allows them to charm their potential victims. If you happen to encounter a scammer, make sure you don’t get carried away by their sweet words. Instead, ask them for information to verify their claims. If they can’t produce a reliable answer, you should consider them as red flags to make a run for it.
Keep your information safe
Some scammers don’t need to call you to get the information they need. Usually, these people are skilled in hacking accounts, especially if you have a weak password and security verifications. When creating accounts on social media or anywhere across the internet, make sure you use strong passwords and use 2FA to add an extra layer of protection to your account.
Be careful with the sites you access
Don’t access unverified on the internet. Check all the sites you access online and make sure they’re legitimate. Additionally, avoid providing personal information that can endanger your identity. Always check the sites you’re using and make sure they’re encrypted.
Learn more about scamming and how you can protect yourself from online threats here at Showcaller. Subscribe to our blog and receive the latest updates you should know about.