It’s a fact of life: scams are everywhere. They come in the form of telephone calls, emails, texts, or tempting posts on social media. As the years go by, it feels like scammers are becoming more creative.
Basically, they say you must uphold this rule above all others… “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” But, not all scams come across as something life changing. Some just come across as a way for you to enjoy a nice weekend. And, because of that, the BBB says that’s what you need to watch out for.
That’s what makes scams the most prevalent and serious fraud attacks on citizens. As society evolves, so do scammers. With the inclusion of social media, you probably see a friend sharing a spam post from time to time.
You know, “win a Disney cruise” or “Will Smith will give you his money!” We all can easily name one of those Facebook scams.
About a third of all scams nowadays originated via social media, with most of them being sweepstakes or lottery claims.
Despite the advancement of the internet, the largest scam to date remains the one from a fake Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. Basically, fraudsters misuse the name to contact potential victims, saying they won a large sum of money.
However, in order to claim it, they need to pay taxes and processing fees before collecting their winnings.
About 500,000 people fell prey to the scam last year, which resulted in $117 million lost. Although, the BBB believes the number is much larger. It’s possible some victims never reported themselves out of shame or embarrassment.
Which, I totally understand. But, the best way to target scammers is by reporting any and all of their attempts: successful or not.
That said, with the prevalence of scams literally exploding in America, here’s some red flags you should know.
First of all, the top means of “payment” to scammers was by wire transfer. Another dead giveaway should be in the caller ID – with most “cold call” scammers being from Jamaica.
AKA, if you don’t recognize the number or have no business in a state, let it go to voicemail. If it’s important, they’ll leave you a message. Scammers, on the other hand, largely don’t.
Also, you should know that lotteries, outside those verified by CT Lottery, are illegal. So, don’t buy into those.
Long story short, scammers found new ways to harass us into giving them our hard-earned money. Don’t let them win.