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2017 Scams To Watch Out For

Published by Scott Hershman

2017 is here! With a new year comes new scams. As your community financial center, we care about our customers. We think it is important that you are aware of the top fraud trends to watch out for in 2017 according to AARP.

Phone Scams

A lot of scam artists let their fingers do the talking, especially when targeting an older crowd. A tech-support worker will call pretending to hunt down viruses, collect a utility payment, or even pretend to be a grandchild calling for help from jail. Other scammers will call and make pitches for a new credit card, extended warranties, and phony lotteries. The newest trend in phone scams: Identity thieves calling corporate call centers pretending to be customers to make bank withdrawals. These scammers will often times get data from previous phone scams.

Threats From The IRS

According to the Treasury Department, phony IRS agents have collected about $47 million in just three years. Unfortunately, this scam will continue, however, in 2017 there will be a new twist. These scammers will likely be targeting people with college loans and threaten to arrest them or with other penalties unless the nonexistent “federal student tax” is paid.

Scare Tactics

In 2017, consumers may encounter faux threats of arrest, financial ruin, and lawsuits. These threats can range from supposedly missing their jury duty to not paying a utility bill. Some scams are even more terrifying, including threats of physical harm, such as the “hitman hoax”. This scam seeks payment to cancel a supposed threat to your life. There is also the virtual kidnapping con that often includes screams and pleads by criminals posing as loved ones who are allegedly being tortured and held for ransom.

Wire Transfers & Prepaid Cash

Requests for payment by wire transfer and prepaid cards for someone you do not know can usually signal a scam. The Federal Trade Commission has made it illegal for telemarketers to ask for payment this way. Many scammers have now turned to iTunes gift cards as their new method of payment.

Here at WSCE, we are your safe financial center. All of our stores are licensed and regulated by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Find the WSCE nearest you.

Courtesy of: AARP

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