A recent scam has made headlines around the world, with news outlets and law enforcement in far-off places warning the public of the threat. What type of crime could be both so horrible and so widespread?
There are a few telltale characteristics in most phone or email scams, and if you know what to look for, you might be able to spot them rather quickly.
Many individuals are turning to the internet in ever-increasing numbers, and many reputable dating websites and apps have given online romance a sense of legitimacy. Online dating is no longer the stigmatized “last resort” it used to be, but that means it’s even easier for a scammer to find new victims.
There’s a common scam making the rounds, and its name is a little misleading. Known as a “vanity scam,” it has nothing to do with an overabundance of pride and everything to do with being misled into clicking a malicious link.
When news headlines include details of major stories, most people get at least some of the information, or enough to know that “something” is going on. But the widespread nature of 24-hour news channels, internet news sources, and even trending hashtags on social media sites can actually help scammers take advantage of the public.
As a non-profit agency, the Identity Theft Resource Center prides itself on being a wholly neutral party when it comes to political issues. Our mission is to serve the public-at-large and we take that responsibility very seriously. But from time to time, an issue can pose such a threat to the public that we must speak up, even at the risk of appearing to take sides.
Last year was certainly the year of the phone scam, as there were a record 10.2 billion reported phone calls made through auto-dialing software to US citizens alone. Many of these calls were scams that encompassed everything from government agency scams to lottery winnings, and typically went after their victims’ personal identifiable information, money, or both.