Each week, the Identity Theft Resource Center works with some of the top industry experts to provide consumers with updates about threats to their personal data. Scam Detector leads the way by publishing a top ten list of scams, fraud attempts, and other threats each week, ones that are either new or gaining in popularity. Take a look at some of their more recent top scams or fraud attempts.
#1 – Jury Duty Scam
Most people aren’t overly excited about being summoned for jury duty, but it’s an important part of our civil and legal processes. This attitude towards the process is what scammers are banking on when they call you and inform you that there’s a warrant out for your arrest since you failed to report for jury duty.
First, yes… a summons for jury duty is a legal court summons that requires you to appear. Failure to show up can result in a bench warrant for your arrest under contempt of court. However, that’s the only genuine thing about this scam.
The caller wants to verify that you are the correct person before sending forward your warrant, and will ask you for a lot of personally identifiable information which you may happily provide in order to avoid any legal action against you. Remember that no official communications like this one will take place by phone or email. You will be provided with written notification of any wrongdoing or necessary action on your part.
#2 – Job Offer Scam
During hard economic times or when faced with a difficult job market, it can be far too easy to fall for job offer scams. If you receive an email offering you a job that seems too good to be true, it is. In the least damaging instance, the scammers have just taken your personal information. But in the worst case, the scam job you take could actually require illegal activity, usually in the form of buying goods with stolen credit cards or by making purchases for people outside the country and then never recovering their funds.
While it is definitely possible to find legitimate work opportunities online, be sure that you only search for jobs from reputable sources. If anything seems amiss or out of place, then you must trust your instincts.
#3 – Credit Card Double Charge
This scam works in stores where the cashier can see the card number printed on the merchant’s copy of the receipt, and it’s especially useful if you make repeat purchases of the same products. In this scam, the cashier simply runs your credit card again and rings up the same small amount of products, then takes the money from the till in cash. Since it’s for such a small amount and it’s for stores and items that you usually buy, you’re likely to overlook the charges as probably being legitimate.
You can avoid these kinds of scams if you’re able to pay cash for your small purchases. Your other course of action is to keep up with your credit card statements and look them over carefully, then bring any strange activity to your credit card provider’s attention.
For the rest of this week’s top scams, visit Scam-Detector.com or the ITRC website under the Current Scams & Alerts section. Be sure to share this information with others so they can stay informed and protect themselves.