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The Latest Scams You Need to Be Aware of in 2022

September 2, 2022

Basic Steps to Avoid Getting Scammed

Scammers continue to prove that there’s no rest for the wicked. While their goals—to get your personal information and money—remain the same year in and year out, their strategies constantly change with the times. Fraudsters know people are most vulnerable when they’re desperate or scared, and they may use crises and pressure tactics to prey on their victims.

As in previous years, many of the latest scams in 2022 are twists on existing scams, and the measures that have protected you for years can still apply. However, watch out for a few new types of attacks.

Coronavirus and Government Program Scams

While coronavirus-related scams might be losing some steam, you still want to be cautious because scammers continue to use the pandemic for a variety of scams. The exact messaging or approach is often updated to align with the latest concern, whether that’s a new variant or a lack of available tests. For example, in early 2022, scammers set up fake testing sites to collect people’s personal and medical information and sold fake at-home tests online.

Phone-Related Scams

Scammers may try to get in touch with you by phone, and some phone scams rely on smartphones’ capabilities to access the internet and install malware.

  • Robocalls: Robocalls have people’s phones ringing nonstop with increasingly natural-sounding recorded voices. They may offer everything from auto warranties to vacations or issue a threat to try and get your attention. Some robocalls can even respond to your questions.
  • Texts: You may receive a text message from an unknown number or email address. Often, these attempts include a link to a scammer’s website or app.
  • Impersonators: Scammers impersonate IRS personnel, police, survey takers, relatives, delivery people, and well-known companies to threaten you or gain your trust. They use scare tactics related to your Social Security number, criminal record, or account before asking for your personal account, or credit card information.

Basic Steps to Avoid Getting Scammed

While scammers’ delivery methods and messaging can quickly change, a few basic security measures can help protect you from the latest and most common scams:

  • Be skeptical when someone contacts you. Scammers can spoof calls and emails to make it look like they are coming from different sources, including government agencies, charities, banks, and large companies. Don’t share personal information, usernames, passwords, or one-time codes that others can use to access your accounts or steal your identity.
  • Enable multifactor authentication. Add this feature to any accounts that offer it as an option and try to use a non-SMS version to protect yourself from SIM swapping.
  • Be careful with your phone. If you suspect a spam call, don’t respond, or press a button. The safest option is to hang up or ignore the call entirely. You can always look up the organization and initiate a call yourself if you’re worried there may actually be an issue.
  • Don’t refund or forward overpayments. Be careful whenever a company or person asks you to refund or forward part of a payment. Often, the original payment will be fraudulent and taken back later.
  • Look for suspicious payment requirements. Scammers often ask for payments via wire transfer, money order, cryptocurrency, or gift cards. These payments can be harder to track and cancel than other forms of payment, which can leave you stuck without recourse.

If you’re the victim of a scam, you can file a report with the FTC and your local law enforcement. The report may help others avoid similar scams.

Posted in Security Updates

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