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

How to Avoid These 6 Common Scams

1. Money Apps Scams

Money apps like Venmo, PayPal, Apple Pay and Cash App are convenient ways to send and receive money. However, these apps can also be used by scammers to steal your money. In this current scam, a person asks to use your phone to make a call, but then says the person they were calling didn’t pick up and they need to send a text message instead. It may look like the person is texting, but these scammers use the opportunity to access money apps to transfer your money into their accounts. To prevent this common scam, change your money app settings to require multi-factor authentication, like a pin or thumbprint login, for use.

2. Tech Support Scams

Have you received an unexpected phone call or email from someone claiming to be tech support? This is a popular trick used by scammers to gain access to your computer and, ultimately, your personal data. Avoid giving scammers access to your computer by deleting the email, and never authorize payment or provide personal or financial information over the phone.

3. Fake Charity Scams 

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

4. Tax Scams

A common scam criminals use to steal money and personal information is posing as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These tax scammers may ask you to make payments using a prepaid debit card or even threaten arrest. Don’t listen to them! The IRS will mail a statement if taxes are owed and does not require the purchase of a prepaid debit card.  

5. Fake Check Scams

Counterfeit checks are another common scam. If you receive a check in the mail that seems too good to be true, be very careful. These scams may congratulate you on winning a foreign lottery, or they may be check overpayments. If you’re asked to pay for a prize or send back money after receiving a payment, it could be a scam. 

6. Phishing

Phishing is one of the most common internet scams that can pose serious cybersecurity threats to your or your business, if you own one. Scammers use fake emails and texts to gain access to accounts. These messages may look like they are coming from a reputable business or someone you know, but if you click on the link or download the attachment it contains ransomware that can infect your computer and access your personal information. If an email or attachment looks suspicious, delete it without clicking on a link or downloading an attachment.

Protect Yourself From Scams

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.