Financial scams are on the rise! According to the Federal Trade Commission, during 2017 the total fraud loss was more than $905 million dollars. In addition, the median financial loss per person was $429! Each and every day, individuals are targeted by scammers with hopes to steal their financial resources. But don’t fall, victim!
You receive a phone call from a scammer who threatens to arrest you, garnish your wages and other actions if you do not send money immediately. Keep in mind, the IRS will never make calls of this nature. More importantly, they will send you a letter with options to pay a balance due. If you receive a call such as this, contact the IRS immediately. Particularly, the IRS has a division – TIGTA that works with cases such as this. You can visit IRS.gov for more information.
Social Security Scams
There has been a recent spike in social security benefit scams. This is where scammers log into your account and redirect your benefits to their address, bank account or update your contact information. This is a hard one, because you may not know that someone has been in your account without monitoring it closely. Individuals can protect themselves by:
- Creating/Registering their account with Social Security;
- Set up a strong password and add extra security;
- Monitor your account frequently; and/or
- You can also block your account => socialsecurity.gov/block access.
This last step stops anyone from accessing your account, including you!
Gift card Scams
According to Fraud.org, there has been a recent spike in gift card scams. Scammers are using the numbers from cards at the store and are alerted through sophisticated software when a card is activated. Once a card is activated, they use the funds from the account for their pleasure.
Individuals can protect themselves by making certain if they purchase in the store, the cards are securely packaged. More importantly, individuals may want to also consider purchasing a card online.
Remember: your choice, your future!