Fraud to Watch for in 2021

We live in a digital world. Much of what we do these days occurs online. We bank, shop, contact customer service, and more on the internet. While security measures have adapted to make online transactions and interactions safer, cybercriminals are smart. They’re finding ways to get around the most current safety measures and defraud unassuming citizens.

2.2 million reports of fraud

Impersonation Scams

neighbor spoofing tactic

Employment Scams

After record numbers of job loss in 2020, more people than ever before are looking for new employment opportunities. Scammers are taking advantage of this by posting fake jobs on legitimate job sites. They often advertise these “jobs” as remote or work-from-home positions. The job either requests money before you can start receiving a salary or provides you with a check that you’re supposed to cash and then wire a large portion back to the “company.”

Vaccine Scams

fake websites that offer vaccine reservations

Now, there are legitimate sites for making vaccine reservations. However, these sites won’t require payment. Be wary of social media ads, emails, and phone calls. You should also avoid giving out personal information to anyone other than a trusted health professional.

Online Purchase Scams

With the rise of online shopping, online purchase scams have increased. These are scams in which phony sellers take payments for “products” but never deliver. Some even go so far as to create fake shipping labels and fake shipping notification emails. These tactics can delay the realization that you’re being scammed. In some cases, you may even order more before figuring it out.

Pet Scams

With more people staying at home in 2020, many families turned to the internet to find a new pet. Unfortunately, some of these families came across fake websites that advertised animals that didn’t exist. Instead, scammers requested money and told would-be pet owners that they couldn’t see the animal in person due to the unique situation of 2020. These scams are likely to continue through 2021. If you’re looking to adopt a new pet, contact your local animal shelter.

Text Scams

Text message scams are on the rise. There are also many different types. They include such messages as:

Check out foreclosures in your area.

You’re due a refund for being overcharged.

You’ve won a prize.

You need to provide additional details to receive your FedEx package.

Your account has been hacked.

Your Netflix account will be closed if you don’t update your payment information.

These scams typically provide a link that takes you to a seemingly legitimate site. The site requests your payment or other personal information. If you don’t know who sent the text, don’t click on the link. Delete the message and report it. If the message seems to have come from a company you do business with, contact them directly.

Despite employing numerous security measures, fraud still happens. Criminals always seem to find ways to get around the latest updates and continue to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals. If something looks fishy, look into it. Don’t give out personal information or send money to someone you don’t know. If you suspect someone is trying to defraud you, or you’re the victim of fraud, report the incident right away.

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