Top Financial Scams
Grandparent/ Family Member Scam - Scammers target seniors posing as a grandchild or other family member and claim they have been in an accident, arrested, hospitalized or other urgent issues. The circumstances require money to be sent immediately to resolve the situation. You will probably be told not to talk to anyone regarding this emergency.
• Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is.
• Verify the situation by calling the family member in question directly.
• Check with other family members to see if it is true.
• Be wary if you are asked to wire money, send cash or send gift cards in place of making a payment with a credit card.
Sweetheart Scam – The relationship scam starts simply: A man and woman meet on the Internet. The relationship progresses: They email, talk on the phone, and trade pictures. Finally, they make plans to meet, and even get married. As the relationship gets stronger, things start to change. The man asks the woman to wire him money; he needs bus fare to visit a sick uncle. The first wire transfer is small, but the requests keep coming and growing—his daughter needs emergency surgery, he needs airfare to come for a visit, etc. The payback promises are empty; the money’s gone, and so is he.
• Slow down and talk to someone you trust about it. Never transfer money from your bank account, buy gift cards, or wire money to someone you have never met in person.
Anti-virus Scam - A fraudster contacts the victim claiming that they are from a well-known computer or software company and have detected a virus on the victim’s PC. The fraudster advises that the virus can be removed for a small fee with a payment by either credit card or an online money transfer. The fraudster then requests remote access to the victim’s computer to install anti-virus software to remove the virus. Unfortunately, the fraudster uses this access to use the victims’ account information to steal money and/or commit identity theft.
• Never give access to your computer without verifying providers.
• Never give your financial information to fraudsters to pay for offered computer services because it can be stolen.
Amazon Scam – One of most recent Amazon scams happened to consumers who needed help with returning a product purchased through Amazon. The Google search showed the Amazon customer support phone number as 888-341-6651. Later, they found that the fake phone number was one of dozens of scam phone numbers cleverly positioned and posted on many Internet sites, including Amazon.com, by criminal gangs to lure unsuspecting consumers.
• Never look up Amazon Customer Service number online. All returns are processed through the website.
• Know that Amazon will never send you an unsolicited message that asks you to provide sensitive personal information for example: your social security number, tax ID, bank account number, credit card information, or ID questions like your mother's maiden name or your password.
• Know that Amazon will never ask you to make a payment outside of their website and will never ask you for remote access to your device.
Overpayment Scam - With overpayment scams, fraudsters play the role of buyer and target consumers selling a service or product. The “buyer” sends the seller a legitimate-looking check, usually drawn on a well- known bank, for an amount higher than the agreed-upon price. They contact you with an explanation for this overpayment and instruct the seller to deposit the check and wire back the excess funds. Later, the victim learns the check is fake, but is still on the hook to pay the bank back for any money withdrawn.
• Not trust online employment agencies offering you a new job, or sellers providing you with a bigger payment asking to send a portion back via a wire transfer or Western Union, or to purchase store gift cards.
IRS Scam – In the latest twist on a scam related to Social Security numbers, scammers claim to be able to suspend or cancel the victim’s SSN due to overdue taxes. It is yet another attempt by con artists to frighten people into returning ‘robocall’ voicemails. Callers can demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, iTunes gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments.
• Hang up because IRS never calls directly.
COVID-19 Scam – Customers get contacted by fraudsters who impersonate government agencies such as CDC or other healthcare organizations. They purchase products and services that can prevent, detect or cure coronavirus.
• Never purchase unapproved or misbranded products or services over the phone or online.
Robocalls - Nearly 2.4 billion robocalls are made each month. Often originated overseas, callers mask their identities with fake phone numbers and pretend to be from the government or assume a false identity, in efforts to obtain personal information.
• Never give your personal or financial information over the phone.
Business Email Compromise – when an attacker hacks into a corporate e-mail account and impersonates the real owner to defraud the company, its customers, partners, and/or employees into sending money or sensitive data to the attacker's account.
• Verify a money transfer request by contacting the real owner, customer or partner by telephone,
Ask yourself the following questions:
• Do I personally know this individual and do I trust them? Have I met them in person or just online, email, text or telephone?
• Was I asked to send money by wire transfer through Western Union, Money Gram, or buy gift cards?
• Did I confirm my family member or friend has an emergency by calling them before I send money?
• Why did I get a bigger check than expected for selling my furniture on Craigslist or other websites?
• Why is someone calling me about COVID-19 testing purchase?
• Why is the IRS calling me about my Social Security benefits asking me to send money or to buy Target/Walmart gift cards?
• If it sounds too good to be true, It probably is!
• DO NOT leave your checkbook, wallet or purse unattended. Monitor your account activity daily.
• DO NOT open unknown links in your email and websites or send money based on email instructions without verifying the source.
• AVOID answering your phone unless you know the number or person calling you.
• Use extreme caution on the Internet when looking for jobs, money and love.
Suspect your financial information has been compromised? Call 972.716.7100 to consult one of our NDBT experts today. Member FDIC.