Kaylen Burgess of the East Texas offices of Better Business Bureau revealed the top ten scams in the US, and ways to keep yourself safe from scammers. Her presentation was an enlightening expose’ of the most modern methods of theft. Possibly you been affected by data breaches (attempts to access your personal information) IRS imposters (these mostly contact victims by phone) click-bait schemes (an online ploy where you click on a site but you end up at a different destination. Beware! time spent trying to figure out where you are is time scammers use to attach spyware to your account) fake utility bills (this is authentic-looking mail from a utility source that you don’t use) and pre-paid cards (these can be purchased at stores, but some are untraceable avenues of sending money right to the scammer’s pocket). That’s the top five.
Others are tech support scams (these contact you online to correct a problem you don’t have) advance fee loans (illegal!) fake lotteries/ sweepstakes (Clearinghouse, anyone?) office supply/school supply scams (mostly affecting teachers and education organizations) and phishing schemes (online identity theft).
Consumers are urged to be cautious of persuasive tactics used to separate you or your loved ones from your cash, bank accounts and investments. Be on the defensive…sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry at donotcall.gov or 888-382-1222 annually. Develop a “refusal script” (hanging up is a simple one). And go to the Better Business Bureau site to learn more and to report scams, bbb.org.