Outsmart sophisticated phishing scams
Watch out for social media scams and protect your data. Be alert for phishing scams. Scammers try new methods to trick you all the time. But if you know the signs to look for, you may
avoid becoming a victim. Phishing emails and smishing texts via SMS or
social media chats are among the most common
types of fraud. Scammers may promise you some kind of benefit: a loan, a prize like a foreign lottery, a government grant, an inheritance, an opportunity to work from home, or more.
Tech support scams
Advance fee scams
Internet banking fraud
Fake checks and counterfeit cashier's checks.
Advance-fee loans and credit arrangers.
They ask for money or help with family problems.
Emergency scams, money transfers, or mobile payment services.
Phishing and Spoofing. (With Examples) "Can you accept my invitation to help me get up to $200 in credit? Click here and accept my Invitation."
Debt collection scams most debt collectors will contact you to collect on legitimate debts you owe.
Home address. Someone who knows your address may be able to access your mail, change your mailing address, or steal personal information about you, including medical data and financial records.
Friendship and Sweetheart Swindles: They ask for your resident address to send you a special gift (illegal gifts) with a tracking number. They will come get it after it is delivered.
Messager calls. If you reply, you'll start to receive more spam and scam texts and calls.
Don't respond to phone calls asking for remote access to your computer.
Prizes, sweepstakes, free gifts, or requests for payment to claim fictitious prizes, lottery winnings, or gifts. If someone offers you a prize, debt relief, or employment, but first you have to pay an upfront fee to get it, you're probably being scammed.
Being asked to pay money in order to receive a prize or get a job.
Bogus Debts: You receive a threatening letter that demands payment on a debt you've never heard of.
Foreign Money Exchange: A lawyer representing a deceased client from a foreign country or a business owner wants to deposit money from a foreign country in your bank account.
Shopping Sprees: You get a phone call offering you a "$300 shopping spree" (or other amount). They say they're from a well-known company or a government agency. Then, the caller asks for your bank account number in order to collect a small fee. They say the fee is for shipping and handling of your vouchers.
The text message (With Examples) " $1,200 in physical Target gift cards with $200 denominations on each card. I will make sure you get reimbursed later today. Gently scratch the back of the cards for the claim codes. Take a clear photo of each of the cards and send them here at 1-(000) 000-0000. "
IRS or Government Imposter: An IRS agent contacts you and tells you that you owe back taxes and must pay them immediately. I f you don’t, they say they will have law enforcement come and send you to jail.
Government Contracts or Grants
(With Examples) "The main official Text Number is 1-(000) 000-0000, which you can contact them on. It’s a real and legit grant program. Make sure you send them a text message right now and let them know you are ready to apply and claim a grant fund with them. The name of the consultant in charge is Mr. Phony Claim. He is an honest and God-fearing man. He will guide you on how to go about the grant application process and claim your grant fund."
Beware of any requests for your information or money. Don't give out personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or Social Security numbers. Spam Text Messages and Phishing Scammers send fake text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information. If someone calls, texts, emails, or mails you asking for your personal information
-- e.g., social security number, credit card number, bank account information, passwords
-- do not give it to them.
Scammers create fake social media accounts by the thousands every day. Fake social media accounts are profiles that are either not associated with a real person or are created with an actual person’s personal information without their consent. These accounts are extremely harmful. They download your pictures from social media, create a duplicate fake account, and contact your friends on social media. It looks like it's coming from someone you know or trust. Once they gain your trust, they want your account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, and other confidential information that they can use to loot your checking account or run up bills on your credit cards.
Older people are often assumed to be the main targets of financial fraudsters, but younger generations may actually be more at risk of falling victim to scams. A good general rule of thumb for a text from someone you don't know is to just ignore it or delete it.
A Scam that starts with an alluring Text Message. Trying to scam your scammer to get "revenge" is a terrible idea. Don't do it. You won't fool them, and you may end up getting scammed after all. One of the best ways to track down a scammer is by reporting them to authorities.
The Federal Trade Commission https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaintOffice of Inspector General https://consumer.ftc.gov