Crime

ALERT: Beware of These 5 Biggest Imposter Scams

How to spot an imposter scam

3 things you can do to help avoid the deception

Imposter scams use a variety of tricks to gain your trust and steal your money, but they often start with a simple call, email, or message impersonating a person or company you know to trick you into giving them your money.Here are a few common scenarios to look out for and what you can do to help avoid them:

Family Imposters

“I received a message from a ‘family member’ asking me for money ASAP…”

Scammers may hack social media accounts to impersonate a relative in need.

How to avoid: Before sending any money, always call your relative to confirm their actual situation.

Financial Imposters

“Someone from ‘Wells Fargo,’ who already knew some of my personal information, asked for my access code…”

Scammers can spoof their caller ID number and use bits of your personal information to convince you to reveal your access code and steal your money.

How to avoid: Don’t ever share your temporary access codes or PIN with anyone who calls you unexpectedly. Your bank or the government will never ask you for this information.

Refund Imposters

“I got a call from an online company about a ‘refund’ for something I don’t remember…”

Scammers often impersonate well-known retail and tech support companies to gain access to your personal device or bank account.

How to avoid: Never give control of your device to a stranger. Never send money to anyone claiming to be from companies asking for payment or offering a refund for something you didn’t order.

Card Cracking

You see a post about making easy money. Scammers ask for your debit card and PIN or mobile banking username and password to deposit a fake check into your account.

They may ask you to report your card lost or stolen or that your credentials have been compromised in order to seek reimbursement from the bank. In exchange, scammers may promise you a portion of the funds you deposit.

Tip: Knowingly depositing bad checks is illegal and can result in fines and criminal charges.

Lottery or Sweepstakes

You receive a phone call, email, or letter stating you have won a lottery or sweepstakes. Scammers require you to pay a fee to receive the prize to avoid taxes or additional fees, or may even threaten to report you to the IRS or police if you don’t make the requested payment.

Tip: Legitimate lotteries pay taxes directly to the government rather than being reimbursed from winners’ proceeds. It is also against U.S. law to play a foreign lottery.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

5 replies »

  1. I got an email the other day stating that my “$3000+ transfer into paypal had been completed”! I was like, “woah!” checked my paypal account, only had $3 so I went back and marked it spam. I didn’t click any links, closed out email and went to my account.
    Scammers have gotten smart these days!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t answer unknown numbers. They can leave a message. I then research the number online, often no information is available. If they leave a message, let’s say they claim they’re the power company (which is a Scam in Pittsburgh, the caller ID shows the Power Company number), I find the power company’s phone number online and call them directly, never calling back the number or number left in the message. In the Power Company scam here, they spoof the number, but in the message provide another number to call.

    I subscribed to Nomorobo, it blocks calls from Robo Callers. It’s invasive, has access to the address book, but I had 7 calls today, it blocked 6, and 14 calls Friday, it blocked them all. 88% of my phone traffic is Spam or Scam.

    The first day using it, it was insane, like I had more calls because I was using it. But you list calls as Spam, I did it quite a few times the 1st day using it, now only an occasional call. My wife uses an App that does similar. Not sure the details.

    Another scam was for roof damage from a hail storm our area had. You agree to an inspection, and someone online said of a similar scam, they damage your roof then claim it was from the hail. Supposedly Homeowners Insurance covers the “hail damage”, but I read the roofing contract before signing. If I agreed to the inspection, I “Must” engage them for damage found, and if the insurance doesn’t cover it, I was locked into a contract. I asked the owner of the company what “must” means. He had his hands out to the sides at hip level, and said “Must means Must”. I told him I wasn’t interested. OSHA uses Must or Shall to mean mandatory, lesser words if just recommended, I knew the seriousness of Must only too well.

    Liked by 1 person

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