scp-photo

Scams: End Of The Year Alerts

Information on how to avoid scams.

Beware of Robocalls, Texts and Emails Promising COVID-19 Cures or Stimulus Payments:

Fraudsters are using the full suite of scam tools — phishing emails and texts, bogus social media posts, robocallsimpostor schemes and more — and closely following the headlines, adapting their messages and tactics as new medical and economic issues arise.  Beware of phony remedies, scams to get your personal information, including Medicare or Medicaid, or other fraudulent products.  Trust the NM Department of Health or the federal CDC, but not someone who calls or texts or emails with a vaccine or cure!

Income Scams: 

The scammer cons people out of hundreds of millions of dollars by falsely telling them they could make a lot of money. One of those scams  touted a “proven business model” and told people they could make thousands of dollars in a couple of weeks if they paid to join the program. The FTC says those income claims were false. Customers pay thousands of dollars to get started and some even took out personal loans to buy in.  Approximately 94% of those customers lost money, with losses averaging almost $10,500 per person.

 

Fake Check Scams:

Lately these are targeting college students.  In this one, a scammer posing as a professor sends you an email. It uses a college domain name and a format like [email protected]. The scammer offers you a part-time job, like personal assistant or dog walker. Then, the scammer sends you a check, asks you to deposit it, send some of the money to someone else, and keep the rest as payment. A while later, the bank realizes the check was fake and deducts the original check amount from your account. So, if you deposited a $1,000 check, they’ll take that back. But if you sent $400 to someone else, you’re now out $400 of your own money.

Apple or Amazon Imposter Scams: 

Scammers are calling people and using the names of two companies everyone knows, Apple and Amazon, to rip people off. Here’s what you need to know about these calls.

In one version of the scam, you get a call and a recorded message that says it’s Amazon. The message says there’s something wrong with your account. It could be a suspicious purchase, a lost package, or an order they can’t fulfill.  In another twist on the scam, you get a recorded message that says there’s been suspicious activity in your Apple iCloud account. In fact, they say your account may have been breached. In both scenarios, the scammers say you can conveniently press 1 to speak with someone (how nice of them!). Or they give you a phone number to call. Don’t do either. It’s a scam.

If you lost money you should act immediately.

  • Call the gift card or debit card company immediately. If reported immediately, you may be able to stop the transfer of funds, otherwise it may not be possible to stop the funds from being withdrawn.
  • If you sent cash, report it immediately to the U.S. postal service or whatever postal company you used. If you act quickly you may be able to stop delivery by giving the tracking number to the delivery company.
  • If you wired the money, contact the wire service company and report the fraud.
  • If you provided your bank account information or sent a check, contact your financial institution and place a stop payment on the check and alert them of the fraud.

If you gave personal information to the scammer you may be subject to identity theft. Learn what to do.

HOW TO AVOID SCAMS

  • DON’T BELIEVE CALLER-ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up.
  • BEWARE OF IMPOSTERS. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request – whether it comes as a text, a phone call or an email.
  • DO AN ONLINE SEARCH. Google a product name or company with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam”. 
  • DON’T PAY UPFRONT FOR A PROMISE. Someone might ask you to pay in advance or send a fee for things like credit and loan offers, prizes or a job… Hang up.  Don’t engage. It is a scam.
  • CON ARTISTS USE FEAR AND EMOTION.  They might even threaten you and play on your fear. Slow down, do your research. Talk to a trusted family member or friend.
  • Do NOT give up your money or personal information.
  • CONSIDER HOW YOU PAY FOR SOMETHING.
  • Credit cards are safest. Wiring money through Western Union or MoneyGram , using a gift card or a reloadable card is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. To be safe, do not use a Debit card with an unknown person or company.
  • HANG UP ON ROBOCALLS. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list.
  • DON’T TRUST FREE TRIAL OFFERS. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products and will bill you every month until you cancel. You may not notice the charges till you have lost a lot of money

www.cabq.gov/consumer-financial-protection

REPORT SCAMS TO Federal Trade Commission at FTC.GOV