With so many scammers figuring out ways to steal our money and information, we think it’s important that you stay informed and vigilant. Here are a few popular scams in 2018.
- Shimmer / Skimmer Scam – A shimmer is an update on skimming except thieves are using “shimmers” to target chip-based credit and debit cards. A shimmer is a very thin piece of paper that can read your card number and access the EMV chip information. A thief will put a shimmer on an ATM or gas pump and let it collect information, allowing them to then create a non-chip version or magnetic strip credit card.
- Secretary of State Scam – This scam starts when you receive an email claiming to be from the Secretary, who says you’re owed a payment he knows about because of an investigation by the FBI and CIA. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says this is fake, warning Americans to not fall for this.
- “Can You Hear Me” and “Yes” Calls Scam – This scam happens when you answer the phone and the person on the other line asks: “Can you hear me?” and you respond, “Yes.” Your voice is being recorded to obtain a voice signature for scammers to authorize fraudulent charges over the phone. You can visit www.donotcall.gov to block any unwanted calls.
- Vacation Rental Scam – This scam involves users of the popular Airbnb site that lets travelers rent an apartment or house. The scam starts with an impostor home or apartment owner directing the renter to a fraudulent website to finalize payment for the rental. The fake sites result in lost money and no place to stay because the rental property is usually not even available. In fact, the real owners are most likely unaware that their property is being spoofed by scammers.
- Crypto-Jacking Scam – Scammers use your computer as their virtual ATM. In a crypto-jacking scam, you don’t need to install anything because scammers will use malicious code embedded in a website, email, or an ad to infect your device. Then they help themselves to your device’s processor without you knowing. While the scammer cashes out, your device may slow down, burn through battery power, or crash.
How to Protect Yourself from Scams
- Know who you’re dealing with.
- Guard your personal information.
- Stay safe online.
- Be cautious about unsolicited emails.
- Resist pressure to make a quick decision.
- Check your credit reports regularly.