Unfortunately, scammers are active and busy coming up with new and more advanced ways to pull off all different types of scams. Carol Jones from A Jones for Organizing recently spoke on a webinar all about scams, including scams related to COVID-19. Her presentation is excellent and can be viewed on YouTube by visiting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyt9EyZ2djQ.
There is also a fantastic article from Lifewire about the Top 10 Email Scams. Email scams are so common these days and the scammers are getting more and more sophisticated. They are also constantly changing and evolving. Here is their list of the Top 10 Email Scams:
Phishing Scams: Phishing scams involve scammers getting you to divulge your personal information, such as username and password, by mimicking a legitimate company. The email states there is a problem with your account, that your account needs verification and more. They will always include a link to a website to resolve the problem with your account. However, the link takes you to a phony website and the scammers use the information you input and use it to login to your real account.
Nigerian Email Scams: The Nigerian email scam has been around for decades. In this scam, you will receive an email from someone claiming to be a member of a wealthy Nigerian family (or a similar story). They say they need help getting a large sum of money out of the country and in order to do it, they need your help covering the legal fees and other expenses to authorities in order to gain access to the money. In return for helping with the fees and expenses, they promise to give you a cut of the money. It's important to note that this scam is aimed to play on your emotion and if you see an email like this, delete it! It's likely a scam.
Ticket Email Scams: Ticket scams involve scammers sending emails claiming to have available tickets to sold out or hard to access events like concerts and sporting events. You're then directed to a fake seller and purchase fake tickets, and the scammer pockets the money. To avoid this scam, only purchase tickets direct from the ticket seller's website or venue.
Credit Care Email Scams: There are a variety of credit card email scams including scammers emailing offering a pre-approved credit card or loan that requires you a pay an upfront fee, or they might pretend to be from your credit card company and say they need you to verify your information in order to receive a new card, lower interest rate, etc. If you're ever unsure, always check directly with the credit card company supposedly making the offer and always apply for new credit cards or loans directly from the issuers website.
Lottery and Sweepstakes Email Scams: In these scams, "lottery officials" or "sweepstakes officials" will contact you via an official looking email stating that you have won a large amount of money. It may come from the U.S. or another country. The scam is they ask you to verify your personal information in order to receive the prize, when in reality, they are trying to steal your identity or gain access to your bank account via phishing. If you did not enter a lottery or sweepstakes contest, then you didn't win one. Best approach is to delete this type of email right away and not click on any links!
Employment Email Scams: Say you've posted your resume on a legitimate job site. In this scam, scammers will email you with a job offer from an overseas company you've never heard of. They say they have problems accepting payments from U.S. customers and need you to handle those payments. In return, you get a commission per transaction. However, in order to get paid, they need your personal information such as your bank account information. However, what you end up with is being on the hook for the payments and are left with a stolen identity and empty bank account. One of the best pieces of advice for this and all scams is to be skeptical. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Disaster Relief Email Scams: Large national or international disasters often involve devastation and circumstances where people lose everything. When these disasters happen, many people step up to help those impacted by donating to various charities and fund accounts for victims. Sadly though, scammers also love to take advantage during these times by setting up illegitimate charities and online funds. If you receive an email related to a disaster asking for donations, it may be a scam. If you are looking to donate, always check with reputable organizations by contacting them directly.
Travel Email Scams: Travel email scams are typically most common during the summer. In these scams, you are offered amazing low prices to an exotic location but you must book immediately. There are several versions and variations of this scam, but if you call for more information, you typically will find out that the travel is free, but the hotel prices are extremely high, or you'll be offered super low prices, only to find out there are huge hidden fees, or they might require money and give you nothing in return. It's also typically impossible to get a refund even if you cancel. When booking travel, its always best to book through a reputable travel agent or website.
Survey Email Scams: Survey email scams involve receiving an invitation to participate in a survey. It may be something you're passionate about. Clicking on the survey link might lead to the installation of malware on your computer. Or, they may ask you to pay money up front before compensating you for your participation.
Ransomware Email Scams: Ransomware email scams are phishing attempts and involve the installation of ransomware onto your computer, allowing the scammers to hijak your files. The scammer then says they will give you access back to your files if you pay them a ransom. However, paying them doesn't guarantee they will release access to your files again. In addition, sometimes the scammers don't actually hack your computer, they just make you believe they did.
Check out the full article for additional details and information on how to protect yourself from being scammed! You can view the complete article by visiting HERE. The webinar featuring Carol Jones identifies many other types of scams and includes important and practical steps you can take to protect yourself.
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