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 – Loan Collections Call
This particular scam affects countless people because, all too often, it works. The beauty of it—at least from the scammers’ points of view—is that the victim doesn’t even have to have ties to the company they claim to work for, although it works better if they do.
Callers claiming to represent payday loan companies reach out to their victims and inform them they are behind in their payments. They demand all manner of sensitive private information, much of which the victim is ready to hand over after they’re threatened with being sent to collections or even law enforcement.
Always remember that phone callers are not entitled to your detailed information like Social Security numbers or credit card numbers. Even if a caller claims to be from a company you conduct business with, you are not required to provide any unsolicited information. If there’s a question about your accounts, call the company personally and confirm any issues.
#2 – Federal Utility Scam
Using phone calls, text messages, and even internet contacts, people who claim to be federal aid workers have been reaching out to people and telling them about a new program under the Obama administration that helps citizens pay their utility bills. In exchange for all their private information, the victims are given a routing number and checking account to use the next time they pay their bills.
Unfortunately, there is no such program. The numbers are fake, and the scammers have taken their victims’ identifying information. Remember to always investigate any new program or offer before taking part, especially the ones that seem too good to be true.
#3 – Bank Card Scam
The thief works this scam by calling a place of business, pretending to be from the company through which they process credit card transactions. He tells them that the line is down, and if they process any credit cards from a specific issuer then they must dial the phone number for approval first. The owner of the card is then required to get on the line and verify their information.
This is a complete scam. You will never be required to speak to an agent of a company in order to make a credit card payment at the point of sale. Also, do not let a salesman, waiter, or manager dial a phone number that you’re not aware of, then request your private data.
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.