Scams have become increasingly prevalent in today’s digital age. In this article, you will learn about 20 common everyday scams that might be impacting Americans, including possibly you.
Phishing Emails and Messages
Phishing attempts involve criminals sending emails or messages disguised as reputable companies to trick recipients into sharing personal information. Always double-check sender addresses and avoid clicking on suspicious links.
Lottery and Prize Scams
Congratulations, you’ve won! Or have you? Scammers often send messages about fake lottery winnings or prizes, hoping to extract money or personal details from the recipient. If you didn’t enter, you didn’t win.
Fake Tech Support Calls
You might receive a call from someone claiming to be tech support who’s detected an issue with your computer. They’re usually after your money or data. Always contact your service provider directly if concerned.
IRS Impersonation Calls
Criminals often pose as the IRS, threatening legal action unless you pay. Remember, the IRS will always mail taxpayers first and will never demand immediate payment or ask for credit card details over the phone.
Overpayment and Fake Check Scams
Scammers send a check larger than the agreed amount and request a refund for the difference. When the bank discovers the check is fake, you’re out the refunded amount. Be wary of overpayments.
Rental and Real Estate Scams
Fraudsters advertise properties they don’t own or that don’t exist, hoping to collect deposits or rental fees. Make sure to verify property details and ownership before paying any money.
Unfortunately, online love can be deceitful. Scammers create fake profiles on dating platforms to build relationships and extract money or personal details. Always be cautious when sharing personal information online.
Travel and Vacation Scams
Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Those with ill intentions may advertise fake vacation packages or require upfront fees for trips that never materialize. Research companies thoroughly before booking.
Especially after natural disasters, fraudsters might solicit donations for fake charities. Always verify a charity’s legitimacy before making a contribution.
Medicare and Health Scams
Scammers might promise free health services to obtain Medicare information, which is then used fraudulently. Guard your Medicare number and only share with trusted providers.
Job and Employment Scams
Some scams offer too-good-to-be-true employment opportunities, often asking for personal details or a fee upfront. Conduct thorough research on employers before taking any action.
Pyramid and Ponzi Schemes
These financial scams promise high returns with low risk. New recruits often fund payouts to earlier investors. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Social Security Calls
Criminals might claim there’s an issue with your Social Security number. Know that the Social Security Administration rarely calls without prior notice and will never ask for payment over the phone.
Online Shopping Scams
Online shopping can be risky. Deceptive sites lure buyers with low prices, often not delivering items. Do check site reviews and ensure secure transactions before making a purchase.
Credit Repair and Debt Relief Scams
Navigating credit repair is tricky. Some companies, charging hefty fees, promise credit fixes but often exacerbate issues. Always research and choose accredited, established credit agencies for assistance.
The digital age sees a surge in fake ticket sales. Scammers list enticingly cheap tickets for popular events that are often counterfeit. Buy from reputable platforms and verify authenticity.
Vehicle Warranty Scams
Unsolicited calls offer tempting extended vehicle warranties. These pitches, however, can be misleading or false. Research the company, understand the warranty’s scope, and avoid impulsive decisions.
Gift Card Scams
Scammers frequently demand payments via gift cards, exploiting their quick and anonymous nature. Legitimate agencies never request such payment methods. Stay vigilant and prioritize traditional payments.
Scammers pose as utility providers, threatening service cuts without immediate payment. If unsure, contact your actual utility company using official channels to verify any unexpected claims.
Student Loan Forgiveness Scams
Many face the burden of student loans. Scammers offer false hopes of loan forgiveness for upfront fees. Approach such offers with skepticism and consult only known loan servicers.
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