Here's a short list of our favorite (not!) scams recently reported to the FTC, Better Business Bureau, Fraud.org and Consumerfraudreporting.org.
Popular scams to be aware of
• Fake Government Officials
If you receive any correspondence purporting to be from a government agency (typically the IRS or FBI) that instructs you to wire money or follow a link and enter payment information – don’t believe it! The U.S. government never asks consumers to use these methods to pay any bill or carry out a financial transaction, especially with an overseas bank or agency.
Generally, you receive an email that appears to be from a real bank or credit card company that you may, or may not, do business with. The email includes fraudulent links to a website and requests that you update account information. These scams are meant to give thieves access to your confidential information. Always verify the sender and think twice before you open the email. Hovering your cursor over the link will often display the fake email or website.
• Telephone Scams
These scams include telemarketers violating the Do Not Call list and “Robo Dialers”. They also include calls that pretend to be from a reputable bank or credit card company. Scammers are quick to call, even if you’ve signed-up for Do Not Call. Report these calls to the FTC at https://www.ftc.gov/
• Loan Scams/Credit Repair
Any call or correspondence that falsely promises a business or personal loan, even if your credit is bad, for a fee should be viewed with extreme skepticism. This includes promises to repair your credit for a fee.
• Fake Prizes, Sweepstakes, Free Gifts, Lottery Scams
Any correspondence that requests you pay “just a small fee” to claim a prize, lottery winnings or a gift is a scam. These include scams which can go under the name of genuine lotteries. If you didn’t enter, you certainly didn’t win! No genuine lottery asks for money to pay fees or notifies winners via email.
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