This year, largely due to COVID-19, scams are on the rise across the nation, including Wisconsin. The pandemic has put many people out of work, creating a new opportunity for scammers to pose as unemployment agencies, banks offering grants, or payday lenders. As consumers work hard to stay out of debt and contain the virus, they are being bombarded by fraud. Learn about how to prevent becoming a victim of a money scam. Reputable sources such as Debt Advisors Law Offices will pass all of your validation checks.
National Facts About Money Scammers
Cyber thieves are using fear tactics to target your wallet. Don’t take the bait. Learn about common money-related scams reported in Wisconsin and do your part to stop them. Shockingly, imposters are impersonating banks, charities, universities, loan centers, and even the IRS. Crooked telemarketers set up bogus websites, phone numbers, social sites and identities, just to steal yours. By collecting your social security number, bank accounts, and other sensitive data such as logins and passwords, thieves gain access to your money. Wisconsin state and local governments are working with the federal government to control this problem.
- More than 40 billion a year; that’s what scammers steal from consumers each year in the United States.
- Millions of people report fraud every year.
- The FTC pays out big to millions each year in payday loan scams.
Common Money Scam Tactics
Robot Calls: These “robot-generated” calls are recorded messages trying to sell you something. Unless the company has your written permission to solicit, attempting to sell in this fashion is considered illegal activity.
Copycat Scams: These are scams that involve look-alike websites that at first glance, may appear legit. It may take some digging, but do some google searches, verify phone numbers associated with the business & check to see if it is a secure site.
Phishing Scams: These typically come through malicious email or text messages; at first glance they may look like they’re from a company you know or trust such as a credit card company, social site, or bank. Most often, their confusing & have a fabricated “story” used as a “hook” to get your attention.
Stop Money Scams In Wisconsin
Wisconsin money scams are ultimately about stealing money from you. Sometimes they are easy to spot, but other times, they can be tricky. Scammers posing as the IRS may be easier to spot than a fake charity, website, or telemarketer coming through your email or social media. The Wisconsin Public Service, (WPS), has been targeted by imposters. COVID-19 contact tracers have been targeted as well. There availability and accessibility of phone apps make fraud more prevalent for things like payday loans or cash advances.
- Never provide your personal information or pay upfront for services, even to what may appear as a company you know and trust.
- Double check websites, phone numbers, mailing address, etc.
- Only use secure sites online & change passwords frequently
- Only “friend” people you know on social sites
- Place spam filters on phones
- Get names and numbers to call back and confirm identify.
- Utilize Google search & the BBB to confirm businesses
- Use two-factor authentication for your online accounts.
- Keep up with operating system updates.
- Install reputable protection against malware.