Common Scam Types (stay ahead of scammers by learning about these common scam types)

Payment scamsBe wary if you are urged to make a purchase with the promise of compensation, or if someone offers to make a payment for you, or provides you with bank account info with which to make a payment. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you use a payment method you are not familiar with, you run the risk of ultimately being held responsible for the amount paid.  

Employment scams:  Be vigilant in validating employment opportunities, especially when exclusively online or working from home. Be suspicious if someone claims to have overpaid you for a job, promises to reimburse for equipment, or asks you to send equipment to an IT dept. The equipment may never be returned, and reimbursements or overpayments may be illegitimate, leaving you liable for the funds. Never divulge personal information online to an unreliable source or through deceptive job

Tech support scams:  Tech support claims your computer has malware and requests payment to fix the defects or access your computer.

Impersonation scams:  Scammers pose as Capital One or a legitimate company and ask you to provide personal information or transfer money by phone, text or email. They might also use a fake caller ID that could show up as Capital One and/ or request remote access to your device.

Utility scams:  Posing as your utility company, you get a text or email with a warning to pay your balance within a limited time or else the utility will be shut off.

Fake goods:  You are presented with a “too good to be true” deal, like $49 for a $300 pair of sneakers. Never transfer money to someone you don’t know.

Fake rental:  A house is legitimately listed for sale online, but scammers have set up a fake website and listed the house as a rental. You send your first month’s deposit to a scammer pretending to be the landlord/owner.

Fake websites:  Legitimate-looking websites are being created by scammers, and a quick Google search will lead you to a real-looking phone number. When you call, they’ll try to obtain your sign-in details or other information.

Overpayment scams:  You receive an overpayment for an item you’re selling, immediately followed by a request to deposit the check (which turns out to be a bad check) and then send the difference via a wire or gift card.

Check cashing:  You’re approached outside a bank branch and asked to cash a check for someone who claims they don’t have an account or left their ID home. The bad check will be held against your account when it doesn’t clear.

Romance scams:  If you are asked for financial support from a new partner in a relationship that’s been exclusively online, you’re likely a target of this elaborate scheme.

Charity scams:  You receive a request to donate to a charity that you’ve never heard of and for which you can’t find an official website.

Debt relief:  You receive a request for payment in order to establish a service relationship to pay, settle or get rid of debt.

FTC / IRS scams:  Scam artists are pretending to be IRS officials to get your money. They’ll call, email, or text you claiming you owe back taxes or there’s a problem with your tax return. They even rig caller ID to make their call look official. They play on your fears.

Investment scams:  You receive a request to invest in a business opportunity with promises of high returns and/or getting rich quickly.

Lottery scams:  You receive a request to prepay fees or taxes in order to receive a large prize you supposedly won.

Grandparent scam:  You receive a call or text message from someone claiming to be a grandchild or loved one asking for money to help with an emergency, plus instructions on where to send the funds.

Puppy scam:  Scammers post fake litters online or pretend to be someone they’re not (usually an existing breeder) to take advantage of puppy sales (sans the puppies.)

Online / social media shopping:  You find an amazing deal online but is it too good to be true? Research the seller and products independently and compare prices with other websites to ensure you are on a legitimate shopping site.

Mortgage closing:  You receive an email or text message that looks similar to your real estate agent’s contact info that indicates there is a last minute change to the wiring instructions, and tells you to wire closing costs to a different account.

Business email compromise scams:  You receive an email from your supplier/vendor requesting to send money to a different account. The supplier/vendor email appears to be familiar. But this could be a fraudster who obtained access to the network of your supplier/vendor.

Suspect you’ve been a victim of a scam? Here’s what you do.

  • Contact your bank or credit card issuer immediately at the number on your statement or the back of your card.
  • Forward the email or text to your bank or card issuer, so they can look into it on their end.
  • Report the scam to the BBB Scam Tracker and the government via the FTC ReportFraud site. You may also want to report scammers directly to the FBI.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: