Top 7 Scams to Watch Out for and How to Protect Yourself from Fraud
Scammers make a lot of money each year by tricking people into sending them money. Protect yourself from fraud by better understanding how to spot a scam. Here are the top 7 scams to watch out for and tips on how to protect yourself from fraud.
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Top 7 Scams to Watch Out For
1. Health Care Scam
The goal of this scam to obtain your social security number, financial information or insurance number. This scam is used more than ever during Medicare season and when healthcare is in the news because scammers know it is a topic on people’s minds.
How it works – scammers will call and offer discounts on health insurance in order to get you to order a new card. They’ll pretend to work for the government and will ask for your current Medicare number to send you a new card. This is how they snag your information.
Tip – Never share your healthcare or Medicare information to a stranger.
2. Online Dating Scam
Dating websites and apps are a very popular place for scams to occur. The anonymity of the Internet allows scammers to create fake profiles and pretend to be anyone they want to be.
How it works – First, they trick you into falling in love or creating feelings. Then, they will move the conversation to email or phone and that’s when they ask for money. The scammer will say the money is to come visit you or for an emergency.
Tip – No matter how much you think you love them, never send money to someone you’ve never met.
3. Charity Scam
Scammers know people will send money if it’s for a charity. Be wary of calls asking you to donate to a group, foundation or charity, whether it seems real or not.
How it works – Scammers will call requesting money for their charity, cause or foundation. They’ll often pressure you to give right away, making the pledge seem urgent. Do your due diligence by asking for more information like a website you can visit or another number to call for more details.
Tip – Take your time to ensure the charity is real and your money is being sent to a worthy cause.
4. IRS Imposter Scam
How it works – Scammers pretend to be from the IRS and will tell you that you owe back taxes. The scammer will ask you to send money right away via a prepaid debit card. The imposter will threaten to sue you, arrest you, revoke your license and even, deport you if you don’t pay immediately.
Tip – It’s easy to see to determine an IRS Scam because the IRS will contact you by mail, not by phone.
5. Grandkid Scam
How it works – Scammers got creative with this scam by claiming to be your grandkid and need money for an emergency. The caller won’t tell you what the emergency is and will just ask for money. Scammers are very good at pretending to be someone else and can easily trick someone over the phone.
Tip – If you’re unsure if it’s your grandkid, ask more details on the emergency. Try to understand the situation fully. Never send money unless you are 100 percent sure it is your grandkid.
6. “You’ve Won” Scam
Most people have experienced this scam at some point during their life, and it has become a common occurrence.
How it works – You receive an email or phone call saying you’ve won a trip, a cruise or money. The phone call is a recorded voice and the email is a template that has been used many times. In order to claim your prize, you must pay a fee or taxes and it asks for your credit card.
Tip – If you’ve won a prize and it asks for money to claim it, it’s a scam.
7. Money Wiring Scam
How it works – Most scams involve a demand to wire money. To avoid falling for this scam is easy, never wire money to someone you don’t know.
Tip – No matter what they say or ask for, never send money to a stranger.
How to Protect Yourself from Fraud
Scammers always pretend to be someone else to gain your trust. Never send money to a person or organization you’ve never met or heard of. If you aren’t sure whether it’s real or fake, do a search online or ask as trusted family member or friend.
Scammers are really good at using technology to deceive people. They can fake caller IDs and use the Internet to find information about you. Never answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number or area code, and always hang up right away on robocalls.
Always be skeptical if the deal sounds “too good to be true” because in most cases, it probably is.