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Scams To Look Out for in 2024

The year might’ve only just begun but the scams are already prevalent and powerful. Phishing scams hit new heights during the pandemic and continue to show no signs of slowing down. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received over 2.1 million complaints from scam victims last year. The FTC finds that in 2023, the financial cost of these fraudulent scams was more than $3.3 billion. Most scams are preventable, and awareness is the first step to stopping them. Below are some of the top scam attacks to be aware of.

Delivery Scams

Americans continue to be victims of package delivery scams. Scammers use texts, phishing emails, and phone calls warning a package can’t be delivered until more information is provided. They impersonate known delivery services or retailers, all to get you to divulge personal information they can use for future scams.

Phishing and Smishing Impersonation Scams

Scammers find the name of an employee of well-known companies like Netflix or Amazon and pose as them. Using email phishing and texts (smishing), they target company customers with messages containing malicious links or malware-filled attachments. Acting on them gives scammers what they’re after: access to personal data, messages, contacts, and more.

Fake Job Openings

Scammers tell you the job is yours, but you need to provide a host of personal information to seal the deal. Happy job winners gladly provide what scammers want, including copies of their driver’s license, banking data (for depositing your paycheck), and even passport information.

Travel Scams

Travel scams abound, from great deals on vacation destinations including plane tickets, hotel stays, and car rentals. Scammers want your personal information and payment data for vacation plans that don’t exist, but the scam is for real.stealing luggage

Social Security and Medicare scams

Typically enacted over the phone (vishing) the cons often claim alleged problems with a victim’s Social Security account or fines they need to pay or else. They demand payments through wire transfers, sending cash, gift cards, pre-paid debit cards, and other quick payments.

Investment Scams

The lure of big returns on investments can be difficult to avoid, with scammers happy to provide new investment opportunities, especially involving cryptocurrency. Doing your homework before handing over any financial assets is key to avoiding these scams.

Romance Scams

Affairs of the heart can be costly, including financially. The FTC shows just over $300 million lost last year, nearly a 50% increase over the prior year. The median broken heart cost $2,500 and maybe a lot of tears. Approach potential heart throbs with an abundance of caution no matter how convincing they are.romance scam

Tech Support Scams

Beware any email phishing messages, pop-ups or phone calls warning your device is compromised or not working properly. Scammers are behind them, offering their services to fix the problem. Legitimate tech support companies won’t contact you directly about device problems. What they want is access to your device and/or payment information for their so-called help.

Scam Prevention Tips

  • “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” These are words to live by when scammers present scenarios that seem too good to be true, like saying you’ve won a contest or gift card.
  • Know the red flags of email phishing. Never respond to emails with generic greetings, misspelling, or bad grammar as they’re sure signs of a scammer. Don’t open attachments or follow links, especially if you don’t know the sender. If an email seems strange in any way, delete it, and move on.
  • Never give personal information, including banking data, in an email, text or unsolicited phone call. If you want to check what you’re being told is needed, type in the true company website or phone number yourself and check your account.

Staying vigilant and informed is key to protecting yourself from cybersecurity scams. By adopting best practices such as enabling two-factor authentication, keeping software updated, and being cautious of suspicious emails and links, you can greatly reduce your risk of falling victim to cybercrime. Continue to check our blog and Security Center for tips to have a safe 2024.


Sources & enhanced by Credit Union of Denver

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