Scammers are always looking for their next unsuspecting victim, and they'll go to great lengths to trick you into giving up your money or personal information. With technology constantly evolving, fraudsters have become even more sneaky to lure you into their traps. Here are some of the latest scams you need to watch out for and tips that could help keep you safe.
In this blog:
AI Voice scams
Service outage messages
Bank impersonation calls
Online shopping fraud
Tech support scams
Rental apartment and home scams
Facebook Marketplace Fake Payment Portal
1. AI Voice Scams
Voice scams often involve a caller who impersonates a trusted individual, such as a representative from a bank, government agency or tech support. Or even your friends or family. Scammers have been using AI to mimic voices and it is shocking how believable they are.
These scammers might claim urgency, stating issues with your account, impending legal action, or the need for immediate payment.
The goal is often to manipulate victims into divulging sensitive information like account numbers, passwords or personal identification details.
If someone claims to be from a reputable organisation, hang up and independently verify their authenticity through official contact information.
Avoid disclosing sensitive details like passwords, PINs, or account numbers over the phone, especially to unsolicited callers.
Be wary of urgent demands for immediate action or payments, as reputable institutions typically communicate important matters through multiple channels.
Create a code word only your family members know that you can use to verify their identity.
2. Service Outage Messages
Scammers exploit service outage situations by sending deceptive messages that appear to be from the affected service provider, such as a telco or electricity provider. These messages might claim to offer solutions or compensation for the inconvenience caused by potential outages.
Verify outage-related announcements by visiting the official website of the service provider or contacting their customer support using trusted contact information.
Refrain from clicking on links or downloading attachments from unsolicited messages, especially those urging immediate action.
3. Bank Impersonation Calls
Fraudsters posing as bank representatives often employ tactics to create a sense of urgency or fear, claiming issues with your account that require immediate attention.
They might request personal information, account details, or instruct you to transfer funds to a 'secure' account.
If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and independently contact your bank using official contact details to confirm the legitimacy of the call.
Banks will never ask for sensitive information like passwords or PINs over the phone. Refrain from sharing such details with unknown callers.
4. Verification Fraud
Verification fraud involves deceptive requests for account verification through emails, text messages, or fake websites that closely resemble legitimate platforms.
These requests often aim to trick individuals into disclosing login credentials or personal information.
Double-check the website's URL before clicking and ensure it matches the official domain. Look for HTTPS and security padlock icons in the browser.
Check the contact detailssuch as the company phone number to ensure it is legitimate.
Legitimate platforms typically don’t ask for sensitive information through unsolicited messages. Verify such requests independently before responding.
5. Online Shopping Fraud
Scammers create fake online stores or listings on popular e-commerce platforms, offering products at significantly discounted prices or exclusive deals to lure shoppers.
However, these products may either not exist or turn out to be counterfeit upon delivery.
Check seller ratings, reviews, and the store's credibility before making purchases. Be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true.
Preferably use secure payment options that offer buyer protection. Avoid making payments through direct bank transfers or unsecured methods.
6. Tech Support Scams
Tech support scammers often use scare tactics, such as fake pop-up messages claiming malware infections or system errors, to trick individuals into believing their devices are compromised.
They try to persuade victims to pay for unnecessary services or gain remote access to their devices.
Legitimate tech support companies won't reach out to you without prior request or consent. Avoid engaging with unsolicited pop-up messages or calls.
If you suspect an issue with your device, contact reputable tech support directly using verified contact information.
7. Rental Apartment and Home Scams
Watch out for fraudulent rental listings on social media platforms or in classified ads that seem too good to be true. Scammers may request deposits or rent payments upfront, despite not owning or having any affiliation with the property.
Request to see the property in person or via video call. Ensure you're dealing directly with the property owner or a legitimate rental agency.
Be cautious of requests for upfront payments through methods that lack traceability or buyer protection.
8. Facebook Marketplace Fake Payment Portal
Scammers on Facebook Marketplace have been known to create counterfeit payment portals or redirect buyers to external payment platforms to complete transactions.
This leads to financial losses as buyers pay without receiving the promised items.
Avoid making payments through external links or apps suggested by the seller.
If you encounter suspicious listings or payment requests, report them to the platform and avoid further engagement.
An insistence on using PayID is often a red flag. Check out this story.