Americans reported $6.1 billion in total fraud losses to the Federal Trade Commission in 2021. Experts are only expecting that number to grow in 2022. As we enter the last few months of 2022, it’s important to be aware of these three common types of scams so you can protect yourself and your hard-earned money.
An imposter scam is a type of fraud in which someone pretends to be someone else in order to steal money or personal information. The scammer may pose as a government official, a business owner, or even a family member or friend. They may contact you by phone, email or social media, and they may use spoofed websites and fake documents to support their story. Warning signs of an imposter scam include unexpected requests for money or personal information, pressure to act quickly and threats of legal action if you don’t comply. If you receive such a request, it is important to slow down and verify the identity of the person before taking any action. You can do this by asking for their full name and contact information, and by independently verifying their story through internet research. If you have any doubts, it is always better to err on the side of caution.
Identity theft is a serious crime that occurs when someone uses another person’s personal information—such as their name, Social Security number, or credit card number—without their permission. Cybercriminals often get a hold of this information through data breaches or hacked accounts. Identity theft can lead to a range of problems, including fraudulent charges on your credit card, money being stolen from your bank account and damage to your credit score. Red flags of identity theft include receiving bills or collection notices for products or services you didn’t purchase, finding unfamiliar activity on your credit report and being contacted by creditors about accounts that you didn’t open. If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, it’s important to take action immediately by contacting the credit bureaus and your financial institutions.
Online Shopping Scams
Online shopping scams are becoming increasingly common, as scammers take advantage of the convenience and anonymity of the internet. There are many different types of online shopping scams, but they all have one thing in common: the scammers attempt to trick you into paying for something that doesn’t exist, or that is significantly different from what was advertised. Some common warning signs of an online shopping scam include unrealistic discounts, unsecure payment methods and unsolicited requests for personal information. If you encounter any of these red flags, it’s important to do your research before proceeding with a purchase. You can also check out websites like The BetterBusiness Bureau, which provide user-generated reviews and ratings of online retailers. By being aware of the warning signs of an online shopping scam, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.