Due to COVID-19, scam activity is on the rise. With the holidays increasing, the American Association of Retired Persons has found that scammers are hitting the technology hard. According to the Federal Trade Commission, most of the fraud is originating on social media.
Social media websites and applications have become a popular hot spot for scammers. In November alone, nearly 243,000 consumers reported losses of about $177 million. Is there a way to prevent this? The answer is yes and this is how.
The Most Concerning Scam
The most prevalent scam in the United States is the “social security benefit scam.” Apps like Comeon India have beautiful graphics that keep their consumers playing. For scammers, using keywords like social security is a word that frightens their victims into hearing more about their scam.
Taken from Pixabay
For example, a call comes in and says they are with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and that their number has been used in crime somewhere in the United States. They proceed to tell their victim that they are cutting off all of their benefits. At that point, the caller is willing to do whatever they can to keep their social security. Credit card, gift card, or any other personal information is all on the table if that means saving what they own.
For those over the age of 60, they have a target on their back. Computer hackers have found information on these types of people. The scammers compile it and try to use it to their advantage.
Important Facts To Know
If you were attending a casino, you would need a slots strategy. Just like a night in Vegas, you need a way to deal with these people who try and rip you off. To do that, there are a few important facts that you should know about.
For starters, no government agency will ever call you to solve problems about citizenship. The IRS will not call you because you owe money. Members from the social security bureau will not call you because your number has been used. Medicare will not call to settle a medical bill. The district attorney’s office will not call if you miss jury duty. Finally, the clerk’s office will not check your address or voting status. If at any point you get a call that goes against any of these principles, it is a scam and you should hang up immediately.
The best defense to battle the scammers is not to answer your phone. If you do not recognize the number, then you probably shouldn’t answer it. Most of the time, these callers will not leave a voicemail. If someone needs to get a hold of you, they will leave a message. If the message sounds strange, you will likely recognize that it is a scammer. You will know this because they will want something in return that you should not give them, such as your personal information.
These are the top COVID-19 scams: stolen federal stimulus payments, scam artists impersonating government agencies, and waylaid donations.