Like old stories of the ‘boogieman’, con-artists and scammers are waiting and watching for someone to attack. It may seem like it would be obvious if someone is trying to scam you, but today these scams have become very sophisticated and hard to detect. And it’s even harder to get money back if you become a victim.
Here are the top 4 scams that are happening currently:
Online Dating & Romance Scams:
Scam Artists use a fake profile to connect with a person and then slowly con them out of as much money as possible. Under the claim of “love”, the scam artist will either imply they need money hoping their victim offers them money or will ask directly for money to help with important “emergency” costs or to visit.
Work At Home Scams
Being unable to work outside the home or knowing the benefits that could come from working at home is what fuels this scam. It is said that maybe one out of fifty work at home jobs are legitimate. The offers usually say you need to “pay for material” or other costs upfront before you can start. This can also lead to Identity Theft as a lot of personal information is usually acquired in order to start the job.
“Tech Support” Scams
Scam artists will call saying they are with your internet or software company and claim you have been hacked or have a computer virus. The scammer will then explain they can help you for a fee. Victims unknowingly give access to their computer and personal information to the real threat.
A very common scam where a victim is called and harassed into paying for “past due taxes” to avoid the arrest warrant that they have been told is being issued. The scam artists will not accept anything via mail or a credit card/bank account number. They will require either a pre-paid card payment or a wire transfer payment.
Key tips to remember
In general, the best ways to make payments are with checks, money orders, or credit/debit card payments because they can be tracked. If someone asks you to wire money or pay with a prepaid card, it’s not only harder to trace but also harder to get the money back.
What to do if you’ve been a victim of a scam
- File a police report.
- Cease all contact and block phone numbers and email addresses.
- Keep and provide the police with previous communications and file a report with the Federal Trade Commission.
Fraud and scams can be scary and it’s not always easy to know what to do; however, LSS has experienced counselors that can help you get on the right track with any credit and debt issues, including help if you’ve been a victim of a scam. To schedule your free financial counseling session, call LSS at 888.577.2227 or GET STARTED ONLINE right now.
Author April Sanderson is a Certified Financial Counselor with LSS Financial Counseling and she specializes in budget and debt counseling.