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.
There are quite a few hot-ticket events around the country, and that means scalpers and scammers are waiting at the ready to make some fast money. Whether it’s Super Bowl tickets, concert tickets, or—in the case of a currently newsworthy event—festival passes to Coachella, the internet has created a veritable Wild West for buying third-party event tickets.
The current political climate has put medical care and health insurance coverage in the crosshairs. It’s now a hotly contested topic for a lot of people, and the coming year may result in even more changes. That’s why it’s important to understand the real danger: scams.
Gift cards are a convenient and thoughtful way to give presents to those hard-to-shop-for friends and relatives. Some people might think they’re impersonal, but that’s not necessarily true. The thoughtfulness is still there since you knew which of their favorite stores to give, but you’re still able to make sure the recipient gets exactly what he wants…and in the right size and color!
In the fight against fraud, scams, and identity theft, one of the major obstacles is the anonymous and often global nature of the crime. Scammers can be located virtually anywhere, and thanks to the technology that powers their crime, finding the criminals can be like looking for a needle in a worldwide haystack.