Fraud and Scams

In 2019, scammers cheated American consumers of over $232 million dollars. We want you to be informed and geared to protect yourself from any scammers. 

Fake-check scams cheated consumers out of more than $28 million in 2019, learn how you can protect yourself.

The most costly scams invovle an old-school tool – checks. Fake checks are a tactic used by scammers in a variety of false story lines. The two most common elements are that you always have to deposit a check of some sort and then part with some of the money. Be better prepared and protect yourself. Some of the most common ways scammers are targeting consumers are listed below:

  • Mystery shopping – Scammers reach out to people and “pretend to hire them” telling them that their first assignment is to evaluate a financial institution, retailer, or the shopper gets a check with instructions to deposit it in a personal bank account and wire it to someone else. But once the money is wired, the person on the other end can disappear.
  • Personal assistants. People apply online and get hired as personal assistants. They get a check and are told to use the money to buy gift cards or to buy equipment or supplies for their new client. Once the scammers get the gift card PIN numbers, they use them instantly, leaving the “personal assistant” without the money when the bank figures out the check is bad.
  • Claiming prizes. Often referred to as “Sweepstake winners” or “Grand prize winners”, people are given checks and told to send money to cover taxes, shipping and handling charges, or processing fees. But that’s not how legitimate prize claiming works.
  • Overpayments. People buying something from you online “accidentally” send a check for too much and ask you to refund the balance.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Never use money from a check to send gift cards, money orders, or wire money to strangers or someone you just met.Many scammers demand that you send money through money transfer services like Western Union or MoneyGram, or buy gift cards and send them the PIN numbers. Once you wire money, or give someone the gift card PINs, it is like giving someone cash. It’s almost impossible to get it back.
  • Toss offers that ask you to pay for a prize. Prizes are free, you shouldn’t have to pay to win anything.
  • Don’t accept a check for more than the selling price. You can bet it’s a scam! No check will ever come for an amount that it isn’t valued at.

How We Can Help:

  •  If you have concerns or questions regarding fraud please feel free to call us at 432-550-9126.

Fraudsters are changing their schemes to prey on the heightened anxieties that people are experiencing during these uncertain times.

The four fraud trends that are impacting consumers are not particularly complex. As many criminals often do, they are finetuning their tactics to capitalize on fear and compassion that people are feeling during this pandemic.

  • Imposter Scams – These scams involve criminals contacting consumers and attempting to obtain personal and banking information by impersonating agencies that are associated with COVID-19 or the U.S. government. These have included unemployment benefits and small business loans.
  • Charity Scams – One of the most disheartening online trends has been the effort to steal funds from individuals who are sympathetic to a cause and who willingly give of their money to what they believe is an organization aligned with their beliefs.
  • Product Scams – Possibly one of the most difficult forms of scams to try and identify and measure are those related to product purchases. These scams involve selling consumer products with questionable or no effectiveness. The risk with product scams may entail theft of consumer funds to pushing ineffective products.
  • Investment Scams – People buying something from you online “accidentally” send a check for too much and ask you to refund the balance.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Imposters and scammers will try to exploit you in many different forms, including email, SMS messaging, messaging services, and even through direct calls.
  • There is a list of scam charities documented on the Federal Trade Commission website.
  • Most product scams are committed though online and messaging channels.

How We Can Help:

  •  If you have concerns or questions regarding fraud please feel free to call us at 432-550-9126.

Fraudsters are changing their schemes to prey on the heightened anxieties that people are experiencing during these uncertain times.

The four fraud trends that are impacting consumers are not particularly complex. As many criminals often do, they are finetuning their tactics to capitalize on fear and compassion that people are feeling during this pandemic.

  • Imposter Scams – These scams involve criminals contacting consumers and attempting to obtain personal and banking information by impersonating agencies that are associated with COVID-19 or the U.S. government. These have included unemployment benefits and small business loans.
  • Charity Scams – One of the most disheartening online trends has been the effort to steal funds from individuals who are sympathetic to a cause and who willingly give of their money to what they believe is an organization aligned with their beliefs.
  • Product Scams – Possibly one of the most difficult forms of scams to try and identify and measure are those related to product purchases. These scams involve selling consumer products with questionable or no effectiveness. The risk with product scams may entail theft of consumer funds to pushing ineffective products.
  • Investment Scams – People buying something from you online “accidentally” send a check for too much and ask you to refund the balance.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Imposters and scammers will try to exploit you in many different forms, including email, SMS messaging, messaging services, and even through direct calls.
  • There is a list of scam charities documented on the Federal Trade Commission website.
  • Most product scams are committed though online and messaging channels.

How We Can Help:

  •  If you have concerns or questions regarding fraud please feel free to call us at 432-550-9126.