The big crime money right now seems to be in green energy scams, which target rich and poor alike.

Who Is It Targeting: Would-be investors, socially conscious consumers

What Is It: Bait-and-switch investment scams

What Are They After: Want to buy some swampland in Florida? A bridge in Brooklyn? Most people probably don’t, which is why scammers are luring in victims with more socially-conscious, headline-grabbing methods. Climate change, global warming and initiatives like the Green New Deal are major topics right now. Scammers are using promises of fake “green energy” companies like electric car manufacturing, solar technology, wind farms and other similar ideas to steal from their would-be investors as part of green energy scams.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Never invest in a company unless all of their filings are available to you
  • Consult with an expert before making any kind of investment
  • Remember that things like flashy websites and digital presentations are easy to make and easy to fake

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or a green energy scam, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. You can also live chat with one of our expert advisors. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from NBCNews.com.


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As the U.S. continues to struggle to meet the need for coronavirus testing, some scammers are beginning to call people and offer them free tests. Consumers should be on the lookout for these coronavirus testing robocalls.

Who Is It Targeting: Phone users

What Is It: Robocalls that steal personal information

What Are They After: While robocalls can be a nuisance, scammers have found a new way to make people pay attention and play along. Anything that makes headline news is increasing scammers’ ability to lure people in. While hospitals around the country struggle to get enough COVID-19 testing supplies, these coronavirus testing robocalls offer the recipient a free test in their area. However, in order to find out where the nearest test location may be, consumers have to hand over personal information.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • For the most accurate COVID-19 information and testing options, follow your local news outlets or the CDC’s website
  • Never give out all of your information or any form of payment to someone who contacts you
  • Never confirm your identity for a caller because they should know who they have called

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or have received coronavirus testing robocalls, you can contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. You can also live chat with an expert advisor. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from CNN.com.


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Scammers are coming up with a new way to come after consumers’ money. They are posing as the World Health Organization as part of a World Health Organization grant scam.

Who Is It Targeting: Email, text and social media users

What Is It: Phishing scam that claims to offer grant money

What Are They After: Scammers will use any tactic to lure their victims into handing over their money, their identities or both. In this latest scam, phishing messages have been sent out that claim the World Health Organization is distributing grants worth more than $500,000 to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. Recipients of the World Health Organization grant scam are urged by scammers to apply for “free money.”

How Can You Avoid It:

  • No one will ever give you free money that you did not apply for
  • Messages like this one are only intended to cause harm
  • Never click a link, open an attachment or download a file unless you have verified its authenticity

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or a World Health Organization grant scam, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. You can also live chat with an expert advisor. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from IDTheftCenter.org


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As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed until next summer 2021. However, scammers will not postpone their attempts to target consumers through a series of tactics, including ticket refund scams. People should be on the lookout for these schemes under the guise of helping people to switch their plans to suit the new 2021 date.

Who Is It Targeting: Olympic fans, travelers

What Is It: A series of scams focused around changing people’s reservations and getting refunded for 2020 Olympics expenses

What Are They After: Scammers will use this opportunity to profit off of victims’ franticness to get their money back. With such a sudden change of plans for this global event, now is the time for scammers to strike and prey on fans’ vulnerabilities. These tactics will include flight refund phishing attempts, hotel/Airbnb refund phishing attempts and ticket refund phishing attempts.

As noted in one article “There is a fine-print stipulation that a “public health emergency” does not leave the organizing committee liable for covering more than five million purchased tickets.”

How You Can Avoid It:

  • To avoid ticket refund scams you need to go directly to the source. Don’t attempt to get refunded through an email with an unverified sender.
  • Stay up-to-date. As of now, Tokyo 2020 organizers have said that they are “monitoring the situation” and no decisions about ticket refunds have been made yet.
  • Make yourself aware of the terms. Airbnb’s “extenuating circumstances policy” for guests who need to cancel currently only covers reservations from March 14- April 14. Many hotels are only allowing fee-free changes through April. Unless your flight is canceled, many airlines may only offer you a voucher if you want to change your flight

If you have any questions about a scam, call the ITRC toll-free at 888.400.5530 or live chat with one of our advisors.


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Be on the lookout for repairmen or sales reps that say they can upgrade your service. It is probably part of a popular home service upgrade scam.

Who Is It Targeting: Homeowners, renters

What Is It: Bait-and-switch scam that signs you up for new service

What Are They After: The home service upgrade scam has been around for a few years, but it is not going away anytime soon. A repair tech comes to your house to “upgrade” your systems, such as your home alarm, security cameras, Wi-Fi-enabled gadgets or other similar technology. When they leave, they have you sign a work order for the items that they swapped out.

However, it is not a work order; it is actually a contract for new service. They are not technicians from your current company, but rather from a competitor. You now have two monthly bills for a security system, internet router or other services, and have a hefty payout to cancel one of the contracts.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Never let anyone enter your home or conduct business on your property without seeing their identification and company ID
  • If someone surprises you by showing up unannounced, tell them to wait while you contact the company for verification

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or a home service upgrade scam, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from IDTheftCenter.org.


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Individuals who are actively looking for loans online are reporting phone calls from scammers who are claiming that they will provide the target with a loan for an advice fee. This is all part of a Delta Finance loan scam.

Who Is It Targeting: Consumers actively looking for loans online

What Is It: Consumers are reporting phone calls from scammers who are claiming that they will provide a loan for an advance fee. The scammers behind the Delta Finance loan scam are most likely gathering contact information for the targets from other short-term lenders who have sold their information. The scammers are using the names Delta Finance, Delta Finances, Delta Company and Delta Management and claim that they can provide loans no matter the credit history of an individual.

Scammers are also claiming to provide loan amounts in the tens of thousands for individuals and businesses. These criminals are calling and asking for your name, address, date of birth, bank account and routing number and the last four digits of your Social Security number.

What Are They After: Direct Payment

How Can You Avoid It: If you need a financial loan, be sure to use an established entity that is registered with a state to provide financial loans. If you are called by a company offering a loan with an advance fee, you can politely decline.

If you have interacted with Delta Finance in the past, report to the Better Business Bureau and contact the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) to see how you can protect personal information.

You can call the ITRC for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530 or live chat with one of our advisors. For the latest scams, sign-up for our TMI (Too Much Information) Weekly Newsletter.


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Did you get a letter in the mail about the census? The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) has seen a rise in our contact center through calls and LiveChat messages recently about a letter from the U.S. Census that people have been getting in the mail titled “My 2020 Census.” Callers are afraid it might be a scam because of the word “my” before “2020 Census.”

The ITRC has verified the legitimacy of this letter and is not a scam. The official U.S. Census Bureau website “2020census.gov” will direct people to “ https://my2020census.gov/,” where you will start your individual questionnaire. You will then be asked to log in with the 12-digit Census code provided in the materials that were mailed to you. It is safe to login with the 12-digit code and is not a scam.

The U.S. Census Bureau also has an alert on its website that individuals will receive this letter between March 12-20, 2020.

Image from https://my2020census.gov/

The ITRC is encouraged by all of the calls and messages to the contact center because if something seems suspicious, you should always reach out to a verifiable resource to confirm or deny the validity of the letter, email, etc. The U.S. Census Bureau also has a helpful page about how to verify a census survey, mailing or contact here: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/surveyhelp/verify-a-survey.html  

Update as of 3/20/20: During this time of quarantine due to COVID-19, all Census field operations have been suspended. As noted in a press release, “Beginning today, in support of guidance on what we can all do to help slow the spread of coronavirus, 2020 Census field operations will be suspended for two weeks until April 1, 2020.” This means if someone knocks at your door claiming to be from the U.S. Census Bureau, it is a scam and you do not provide them any information.

If you get a letter in the mail in the coming days titled “My Census 2020,” follow the instructions on it and take part in the survey. If you have any questions, call the ITRC toll-free at 888.400.5530 or live chat with one of our advisors.


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This beneficiary scam is a phishing scam that is too strange to be true, but that does not stop scammers from trying.

Image provided to Identity Theft Resource Center

Who Is It Targeting: Email users

What Is It: Beneficiary scam that claims to be money from the World Bank

What Are They After: As phishing scams go, they run the spectrum from believable all the way down to somewhat unrealistic. Believable scams include things like “there’s a problem with your account” messages from recognized companies, or “send me those important passwords” messages that appear to come from your boss.

Emails like “I’m a Nigerian prince and I need your help moving my money out of the country” are an example of ones that might be considered less believable. In the beneficiary scam, the president of the World Bank is supposedly informing you that the money you have waited for has finally been released. All you have to do is turn over your identifying information and pay a high but fake transaction fee.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • No one will ever contact you without prior notice and give you a lot of money
  • Important transactions would happen with a mailed letter to provide a paper trail
  • These messages play off people’s greed, so never accept payments or funds that are not rightfully yours

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. For the latest scams, sign-up for our TMI (Too Much Information) Weekly newsletter.


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The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled for this summer, and the athletes are not the only ones training hard. Scammers are making their preparations, too so they can strike with new Olympic scams.

Who Is It Targeting: Olympic fans, travelers

What Is It: A series of Olympic scams focused around traveling to and enjoying the Olympic Games

What Are They After: Scammers seize upon any opportunity to steal from their victims, and with the hype surrounding any global event, their tricks are easier to come by. With the Olympics just around the corner, now is the time for scammers to strike with Olympic scams that include fake ticket sales sites, fake travel offers, counterfeit fan gear and more.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Only purchase tickets and apparel from trusted websites that are authorized vendors
  • Make all of your travel and hotel accommodation plans through well-known websites or travel agents
  • Be sure to purchase travel insurance; There is already talk of moving, postponing or even canceling the 2020 Games due to fears of the coronavirus

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. You can also live chat with an advisor. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from IDTheftCenter.org.


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Your business tech is under attack from fake vendor email phishing scams just as much as your personal accounts.

Who Is It Targeting: Businesses and organizations

What Is It: Fake vendor emails that appear to be a genuine business communication

What Are They After: Any business owner or organization leader can dread a message that they have missed an important deadline or did not file a required document. After all, mistakes like that can be costly. The California Department of General Services has issued a warning that scammers have been posing as part of a government compliance agency and contacting small businesses with fake vendor emails that send threats about failing to submit the required information.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Never click a link, download a file or open an attachment unless you were expecting it or have confirmed it
  • Be on the lookout for fake websites that ask you to input sensitive information like usernames or passwords
  • If you are ever in doubt, ignore the message and go directly to the website for the agency that appears to be contacting you for help

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or a phishing attack from fake vendor emails, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. You can also live chat with an advisor. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from IDTheftCenter.org

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