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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Confirming your account can hand your login credentials over to a scammer.

Who Is It Targeting: Email users

What Is It: Phishing scam that targets users with fake confirmation messages

What Are They After: A popular type of scam involves sending large numbers of emails to potential victims, claiming to come from a well-known company. The messages state that users only have a limited amount of time to confirm their accounts by clicking the link and logging in. Unfortunately, when you do that, you will be redirected to a fake page where your username and password are stolen, leading to you falling victim to an account confirmation scam.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Companies do not need you to log into your account from time to time just to prove you exist
  • Never click a link that you were not expecting
  • Be careful about opening attachments or downloading files since those could be filled with harmful software

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or an account confirmation 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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Grandparent scams are nothing new, but there are certain times of year—like spring break—when they can ramp up as students head out of town on spring break.

Who Is It Targeting: Phone users

What Is It: A grandparent scam is a phishing scam that claims your family member is in trouble

What Are They After: A grandparent scam gets its name from the fact that it once targeted the elderly. However, now anyone can receive a phone call or email that claims someone they know is in trouble and needs help. A typical story might claim that your friend or relative has been arrested and needs money for bail or court costs.

Another might say someone is in the hospital and needs funds immediately for their care. There are even ones that claim someone has been kidnapped and will be hurt if you fail to pay the ransom. There is always some reason why they cannot let you speak to the individual. The information is easily gleaned from your social media accounts, giving the caller a name that you know to use in their scam.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Never make a payment over the phone to anyone you do not know or were not expecting to hear from
  • Remember that prepaid debit cards, wire transfers and iTunes gift cards would never be required payment methods for the police or a hospital
  • If you receive a call like one of these, say that you have to go to the store or bank to secure the money and have them call you back; during that time, reach out to your friend or relative to confirm that they are okay

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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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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Scammers are at it again with a Costco membership canceling scam. They may be telling you that your membership or account will be canceled unless you click on the provided link.

Who Is It Targeting: Text message users

What Is It: Phishing scam that tries to get you to click a link

What Are They After: Scammers are still sending out phishing messages—often by email, text or on social media—that try to entice you to click the included link. One such text that recently came to the ITRC pretended to be from Costco, threatening to shut down the recipient’s membership for failing to fill out surveys. Does it matter if the recipient does not have a Costco membership? No. The scammers send out tens of thousands of these messages a day, hoping to snare a few victims in their nets.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • To avoid scams like this membership canceling scam, never click a link or open an attachment unless you were specifically expecting it
  • If you do receive a warning that could be genuine, simply log into your account with that company by going to your account page yourself

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or a membership canceling scam, 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.


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What do you do when the scammer sounds like your grandmother, talks to you in real-time and even uses her phone number? You talk back! However, you should use caution moving forward because of a new voice cloning scam.

Who Is It Targeting: Phone customers

What Is It: Voice cloning scam involving software that mimics human voices

What Are They After: You might feel weird asking your friends and relatives to verify the answer to a security question you ask, but it may come to that to protect yourself. Scammers are now able to mimic recognizable voices in real-time as they call you. Couple that with the ability to spoof a phone number so it looks like a different caller, you could find yourself talking to someone who sounds like a person you know and is calling you from a number you know as well, but is a scammer trying to trick you into a voice cloning scam.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Be on the lookout for any odd statements, questions or requests, especially requests for money
  • If you think something might not be right, start asking questions
  • The questions themselves should be harmless but ones the person knows the answer to; the software that mimics the voices is good, but not good enough to answer questions without a slight delay

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 BBB.org.


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