It’s a new year, but scammers are still up to the same old schemes.
Judy Yates, a criminologist who lives in Port Hueneme, compiles a monthly newsletter on the latest and most significant scam trends to help protect the public from falling victim to them.
To kick off 2022, she highlighted the most common scams of late.
Scammers use many mediums, Yates writes, from in-person conversations to phone calls, text messages and emails, and use a wide variety of techniques. No matter the scheme, however, they’re all designed to swindle personal information and money.
Along with the “if sounds too good to be true” dictum, Yates says there are a few other red flags to watch out for, such as requesting payments in the form of gift cards, cryptocurrency or wire transfers.
Other warning signsinclude demands for an immediate response or decision, asking for personal identifying information and requesting money in advance for winning a prize or to pay someone you have never met.
Yates finds the most common scams fall into these categories, which are not always mutually exclusive:
- Fake officials: The person pulling the scam impersonates a public official, such as a representative from Social Security, the IRS or local law enforcement, or a business, such as a bank or credit card company. They say there’s something wrong with your account and threatens to take action against you if you do not pay them or provide personal information like a credit card number.
- Sweepstakes, prizes, gifts…