Top Scams to watch in 2017
As time goes on, scammers get more and more creative and 2017 has been no exception to the rule with a number of new scams dreamed up by fraudsters. Keep on a lookout for the ones mentioned below and stay vigilant as we move into 2018. As people start catching on and stop giving into the scams, it inevitably breeds a whole new list of ones to avoid.
According to the US Treasury, IRS scams using scare tactics have accumulated approximately 47 million dollars in the past three years through phishing attempts handled over the phone. Unfortunately, because these scams have proven to work, they will most likely continue into 2018.
These fake callers use a variety of methods to their gain but typically state that you or a loved one owe a particular amount of money to the IRS and are at major risk until paying a particular balance. Sometimes these calls may not ask you for money directly, but may require you to verify yourself before gathering more information. The verification process then uncovers necessary information needed to obtain access to your financial accounts. If in doubt, always hang up and call the public listed number for the IRS to get to the bottom of the situation.
Have you ever received an online job offer that was too good to be true? A fake company offering cash for secret shoppers will send you large check for seemingly fairly easy work and good pay. Your instructions are to visit a series of Western Union locations and secret shop their services and employees. You are asked to spend money from your own account to initiate a money order back to the “Secret Shopper company” and document your experience as a way of testing how the employee’s and services performed. As you might imagine, this original
check that was sent to cover the cost of your money orders was fraudulent and never clears, leaving you with nothing but a negative experience and balance your bank account.
OVERPAYMENT OF ONLINE GOODS
When selling goods online, whether from Craig’s List, Ebay, Etsy, or any legit site, always be vigilant. A popular scam involves scammers that ‘accidentally’ overpay for the goods. They will contact you apologizing for the overpayment and ask you to simply send back the difference. For example, you may sell something for $125 and they may send you a check for $300. In good faith, you oblige and send them $175 back and ship out the item. In the end, you’re out both the money and the item giving them the ability to resell the item you just gave away.
FAKE ONLINE LOAN COMPANIES
In this situation, you are led to believe you’re well on your way of getting your new loan. This new company you’ve applied for is either in the process of working your application – or notified you of your approval.
For the next part, their reasoning varies but the end result is the same; Either to verify your information, process your application, fund your account with your new loan, etc. you end up giving away access to your online financial accounts, social security number, and other important personal data that is used in more than one way against you. In addition to your identity being stolen, fraudsters now have direct access to your online accounts and use it for purchases, withdrawals, wire transfers, or write bad checks.
IN ALL CASES:
If in doubt, it is best to never give away your information unless it is a
legit company that you have reached out to – not an inbound call that came to you. Make note of any of these scams or any suspicious behavior, and report them immediately to the Mississippi Attorney General’s office.
www.ago.state.ms.us | 601-359-3680
MS Attorney General’s Office
PO Box 220
Jackson, MS 39205
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