SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: IRS (U.S. Tax) Scam Whether you have received your tax refund check by now, are waiting on an extension from the Internal Revenue Service or are just starting to prepare your taxes, be on alert for scammers. The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation's tax industry are warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for scams as "a surge of new, sophisticated email phishing scams" are being reported. [...]
SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Instagram Fake Ads It can be difficult to tell what's real or not on social media these days—including advertisements. Scammers often post fake ads to get you to buy one product only to send you a cheap knockoff. Instagram has offered some tips if you think you have come across a suspicious ad: You can learn more about an account if you go to their profile, tap the menu and [...]
SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Home Improvement Scams Another common seasonal scam centers around home improvement. As the weather gets nicer, homeowners often look to improve their homes. The Better Business Bureau says in 2017, there were nearly 350 home improvement scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker across the U.S., resulting in more than $600,000 lost. Some scammers go door-to-door, offering to do improvement projects. They may take a deposit, and then never complete [...]
SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Grandparent Scam This scam has been around and has seen an increase in activity of late. Depending on who answers the phone call, the person on the other line will say, "Hi, Grandpa" or "Hi, Grandma" pretending to be the grandson or granddaughter of the older victim. The scammer then tells them a story that ends with, "I need money right away to… (insert issue here—pay my traffic ticket, post bail, [...]
SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Gift Card Scams The BBB is warning people about emails offering help to check their gift card balances. If you receive one of these emails, do not click open or click links within. Scammers use these emails websites in order to get your card number and PIN in order to drain your account. The BBB offers the following tips to avoid gift card balance scams: Go to the retailer's website: [...]
SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Fortnite Scam Fortnite: Battle Royale has more than 125 million players worldwide, and that tremendous pull extends to hackers and scammers too. Players and parents should pay attention as Fortnite creator Epic Games is warning gamers about the most common Fornite scam involving "free V-bucks." Scammers offer free or discounted v-bucks, the in-game currency, to help players elevate their game. What can result in identity theft, downloading malware on a device [...]
SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Airbnb Scam This scam takes advantage of travelers renting an apartment or house through Airbnb by featuring fake homes on the site and directing the renter to a fraudulent or "spoof" website to finalize payment. Scammers will often even trick real owners, who don't know their property is being spoofed. Potential travelers end up paying money for a rental property that either doesn't exist or isn't available.
SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Amazon Fake Order Cancellation Emails If you get an email about an order cancellation from Amazon.com, there's a good chance it's a scam. Click on links in the email and you could unintentionally download malware onto your device. Or you might be sent to a site that aims to collect your Amazon account information, like your username and password. If you receive such an email and recently placed an order, go to Amazon.com [...]
SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Apple Care Scam This new smartphone scam uses phishing emails to send Apple users to a fake Apple website. iPhone users receive a pop-up image of a system dialog box that tells users their phone has been "locked for illegal activity." When users click on the link, scammers enroll them into a fraudulent "mobile device management service" that allows scammers to send malware apps to iPhones. Read more here about phishing scams and how to spot them. [...]
SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: "Can You Hear Me?" and "Yes" Calls This scam happens when you answer the phone, and the person on the other line asks: "Can you hear me?" and you respond, "Yes." Your voice is being recorded to obtain a voice signature for scammers authorize fraudulent charges over the phone. You can visit the FCC website to block any unwanted calls. The BBB Scam Tracker received more than 10,000 reports on the "Can you hear me?" [...]
SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Car Scams The FBI shared information on a growing scam in which crooks target people looking to buy cars and other vehicles online. The FBI has received 26,967 complaints with losses totaling $54,032,396 since tracking this issue from May 2014 through December 2017. This car scamstarts with a criminal posting an online advertisement with a low price to get the attention of a buyer, including photos of the vehicle and contact information. When a [...]
SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Cryptocurrency Scams As the price and popularity of Bitcoin and other cyber-currencies skyrocketed in late 2017, scammers eagerly sought to take advantage of the frenzy. The Japanese Bitcoin exchange Coincheck was hacked in January, and the thieves were able to steal more than $500 million in cryptocurrencies. This is the largest cryptocurrency hack to date. Facebook and Instagram have banned advertisements for certain bitcoin, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and some other cryptocurrency-related products because of deceptive and [...]
SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Death Threat Hoax The FBI has warned consumers about death threats being made through emails that state "I will be short. I've got an order to kill you." The email then demands money or bitcoin as a payout from the email recipients. Other versions of the scam could state that a "hitman has been hired to kill" them. This scam is very aggressive and threatening in nature to convince people that they have to pay [...]
SCARS™ Anti-Scam FAQ: Fake Bank Apps Scammers will spoof the apps of big banks in order to separate you from your money. A recent survey by Avast, a multi-national cybersecurity firm, found that one in three worldwide users mistakenly believed that a fake mobile banking app was the real thing, putting their financial data at risk. Thieves use the big customer base of major banks to try to get past the secure app stores and collect personal information.
Scam FAQ: What Is A Romance Scam Romance Scams are an international crime that usually involves a fake identity to fool a person into engaging in a massively manipulated romantic relationship. Romance Scams do not happen because the victim was stupid, they happen because the scammer socially engineered a set of conditions to trap the victim. Romance Scams can happen to anyone since it is based upon triggering the victim's own brain against them then sustaining [...]
Scam FAQ: How To Spot A Scam How Can I Tell If Something Might Be A Scam? It’S Probably A Scam If Someone: Makes an offer that sounds too good to be true; Promises that you can win money, make money, or borrow money easily; Asks for money to enter a contest, win a sweepstake or lottery, or claim a prize; Refuses to send you written information before you agree to buy or donate; Refuses [...]