Thieves have their tried and tested scams that they turn to again and again to trick unsuspecting victims. I can’t tell you what scams 2015 will bring, but odds are the majority of them will resemble these scams found on the list top 5 reported scams from StaySafeOnline. Keeping watch for variations of this scam will help you protect your identity this year.
In this scam, you receive a check and are asked to cash it through your account. You get a portion of the money received as ‘payment’ and send the rest off to another bank account or by wire transfer. Turns out, the check is fake. Fall victim to this scam and you’ll be on the hook for the full amount of the check plus any fees.
Internet Merchandise Scams
You buy an item online from a bogus retailer and it never arrives. Spot this scam by looking for deals that are too good to be true – any deal that promises to sell you top shelf items at less than half the cost, for instance. Protect yourself by paying with a credit card (they offer protections against fraud like this).
“You’re a winner!” Only if you fall victim to this scam, you’re not. This scam tells you that you’ve won a prize and asks for money to cover the fees, taxes, etc. There is no prize; pay out and you’ll simply lose the money and won’t receive the promised prize.
Pay a fee and get a loan. This scam offers a line of credit in exchange for a sign-up fee. Once the fee is paid, the loan never materializes and you’re out the money you paid.
You receive an email (often from an organization that you’re associated with) that asks for personal information or asks you to follow a link. Share your info and you’ll likely fall victim to ID theft or fraud very soon. Avoid phishing scams by clicking on email links carefully. If you’re not sure if an email is legitimate, contact the company in question yourself and ask. Most legitimate companies will not ask you to share your personal information over email.
Watching out for scams such as these will help you protect your identity this year.