Scams by email, text, social media, and more are on the rise. And some of the newer scams are catching people off-guard and wreaking havoc on them personally and financially. Let’s look at some of these bold and more aggressive scams so you can protect yourself from harm’s way:
Online Bitcoin Chains. This scam is basically an online chain referral scheme involving cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. Some of these schemes require people to use bitcoin to pay for the right to recruit others into the schemes and get paid recruitment rewards in cryptocurrency. Supposedly, the more you pay in, the more you make.
Don’t be fooled by bitcoin buzz. Promises of free money or outsized financial returns are usually too good to be true. Instead, stick with a trusted financial entity to handle your bitcoin transactions.
Bogus Investment Strategies. In this con, fraudsters ask people to invest in low-risk, high-return financial instruments sold only by elite overseas banks. Typically, these scammers stay in tune with the market, playing up anything noteworthy. For example, they may talk about lucrative real estate investments that will go away soon “if you don’t jump in now.” Additionally, some fraudsters, posed as investment officers, are trapping investors in legitimate investment products that are lucrative for the investment officer but unsuitable for the customer—and they cannot get out of the arrangement.
Use a trusted investment advisor and avoid risky (and unsubstantiated) financial instruments. You can trust that the financial advisors at Quail Creek Bank will give you the guidance you need to achieve your financial goals. Additionally, NEVER send financial information over email or click on an email (or attachment) that is not from a trusted source.
Blackmailing Schemes. Simply put, this is the act of using threats of revealing information or data about a person, which is often damaging. For example, a fraudster will send you an email claiming access to inappropriate photos of you or text or direct messages you may not want out as common knowledge. Then the fraudster states he or she will send this private information to all your social media contacts unless you pay money, usually via wire transfer or other non-traceable ways. In most cases, this is false, and all the fraudster is trying to do is scare you into paying money. However, it can feel real, and they may hack into your social media accounts and send false information as another ploy to scare you.
Never pay anyone an extortion fee. Not only will fraudsters have your money, but they may also be able to hack into your financial information (which may lead to other issues).
What to Do If You’ve Been Scammed
Sometimes, you may become overwhelmed and not know what to do if you’ve been scammed. Consider the following if you’ve been the victim of a scam:
- Change your online passwords—this is a good practice whether or not fraudsters have victimized you.
- Contact your bank immediately—that way, you can eliminate any further damage to your accounts and possibly reclaim lost funds (in some instances).
- Contact local law enforcement—with more complex scams, it’s good to let your local law enforcement agencies know what’s happened, as you are likely not the only victim.
- Report scams to the FTC—visit www.reportfraud.ftc.gov to make a claim.
- Keep your computer virus and malware software updated—that will help protect you from future issues.
The more you know, the more you can protect yourself and your family against these scams. Please do not hesitate to call us at 405-755-1000 if you have any questions or concerns.