2020 has been subject to a myriad of scams that target individuals through different media outlets. Scammers lure victims into fraud by exploiting current events or taking advantage of the fact that people use the internet to job search, look for love, purchase goods, and bank online. Communication Concepts has gathered five of the most common ways scammers target individuals.
Stimulus Check Scams
With millions of Americans unemployed and furloughed, scammers are exploiting the need for stimulus payments. They send emails or call your phone, acting as though they are banks or the IRS. Whether the scammers say they are a bank that can help you receive your stimulus payment or the IRS who claims you owe them money, just remember that banks nor the IRS would ever demand or threaten an individual. For more information on how to spot IRS scams, click here.
Online dating has skyrocketed, especially while people continue their social distancing lifestyle. It is important to follow dating site guidelines and always be cautious of who you are chatting with. Typically, the scammer will charm and manipulate the victim by asking and disclosing personal information. Beware of individuals who don’t have authentic profile photos, jobs, or general information. Romance scammers generally use fake identities and after a certain level of trust is established, they ask for financial help.
With the current economic status, scammers will take advantage of the fact that more people are seeking and needing jobs. Be wary of “too good to be true” job posts, i.e., ones that have a large salary for less experience or the option to work from home. Never fill out personal information on unknown websites and be sure to double-check any documents that ask for such information. Our blog covering phishing attempts will give you an idea of how to spot a fake site.
Online Shopping Scams
As more people shop online and avoid direct contact with stores, hackers may try to log into these websites with their email and password. Be sure to have a unique and difficult password for any hacking system to crack. What happens is, if you have an account at these stores, your credit card information might be stored. Also, be sure to shop from reputable sites and if you’re concerned, check out their reviews and URLs.
Because of the technological differences between now and when our grandparents were younger, the elderly are frequently singled out in online scams. They are targets for schemes regarding social security payments, false advertisements, or imposters pretending to be a relative in need of financial help. Communicate with elderly relatives on how to watch for fraudulent activity.
While current events and technology have made individuals more vulnerable to scams and fraudulent attempts, it has also helped spread information on what to expect and provide knowledge on how to avoid them. A full service IT and cybersecurity firm, CCI is here to provide you with technological insight at the forefront.