You’ve probably heard stories in the news involving recent scams, but do you know what to watch for? We share six current scams and what you can do to avoid getting tricked.

Tech Support Scams

Have you received an unexpected phone call or email from someone claiming to be tech support? Hang up or delete the email. This is a popular internet scam. Don’t give them access to your computer and never authorize payment. Scammers use this tactic to gain access to your computer and ultimately your personal data.

Fake Charity Scams

Believe it or not, there are fake charity scams out there looking to trick people into giving money. Take time to research the charity before sending your hard-earned money.  

Tax Scams

In one of the latest phone scams, criminals pose as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and ask for immediate payment. This has allowed scammers to steal millions of dollars and personal information. One form of the scam asks victims to make payments using a prepaid debit card. These scammers even threaten arrest. Don’t listen to them! Generally the IRS will mail a statement if taxes are owed and does not require the purchase of a prepaid debit card.  

Fake Check Scams

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports counterfeit check scams are on a rise. If you receive a check in the mail that seems too good to be true, be very careful. These scams often congratulate you on everything from winning a foreign lottery to check overpayments. If you’re asked to pay for a prize or send back money after receiving a payment, it could be a scam.

Work-From-Home Scams

Work-from-home opportunities often come with the promise of setting your own hours, more flexibility and even working in your pajamas, but these offers may not always be as good as they sound. FTC says some work-from-home scams may ask you to buy equipment up-front or may not describe responsibilities honestly. Be careful and do your research before investing your time and money.

Phishing

Phishing is one of the most common internet scams. Scammers use fake emails and texts to gain access to accounts. These emails and texts may look like they are coming from a reputable business or someone you know. However, when you click on a link or download an attachment it could contain ransomware that can infect your computer and access your personal information. If an email or attachment looks suspicious, delete it and don’t click on or download the email or attachment.

Unfortunately, scams are common, but you can protect yourself by knowing what to watch for and staying informed. Our Farm Bureau identity theft protection can help protect your identity by using quick detection and rapid response. Contact a Farm Bureau agent to discuss your options.

Sources:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0346-tech-support-scams

https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/irs-cautions-taxpayers-to-watch-for-summertime-scams

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0159-fake-checks                                    

https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/irs-summarizes-dirty-dozen-list-of-tax-scams-for-2017

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0175-work-home-businesses

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0003-phishing

https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/irs-warns-of-new-phone-scam-involving-bogus-certified-letters-reminds-people-to-remain-vigilant-against-scams-schemes-this-summer

https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts