Financial Wellness

Trending Scams: Stay Alert and Aware

device with fishhook

As fraudsters adjust their disguises, your best defense is to stay alert.

Over the past year, online shopping, delivery tracking and usage of mobile payment apps have increased. Not surprisingly, fraudsters have also amplified their activity in these areas to steal your personal and financial information.

While new scams mature, old ones remain current. The IRS still warns consumers about tax-related schemes from stealing stimulus money to unemployment claims. In addition to scams we’ve alerted you about in the past, here are two more to add to your watch list.

Delivery Scams

Beware of texts, calls or emails about a missed delivery.

  • Do not click on any links.
  • Keep track of what you’ve ordered and when to expect packages.
  • Use the retail store’s tracking tool or go directly to the shipper’s website to check delivery status.

Found a “missed delivery” notice on your door?

Fake failed-delivery notices may be placed on your door asking you to call and reschedule delivery of a package. Scammers aim to make notices look convincing, so scrutinize its authenticity. Be particularly careful of unknown area codes and international call back numbers.

Mobile Payment App Scams

Methods of payment have expanded from cash, check or card to innovative peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payment apps, like Venmo, Zelle, PayPal and others. Scammers exploit the expanded use and convenience of these apps to steal from you.

  • Do not click on links that ask you to send money through a mobile payment app. Check for requests by logging into the app.
  • Only send or accept money from people you know.
  • Keep in mind that payment app services lack the fraud protections of traditional financial institutions or credit cards.
  • Never give sensitive personal information by phone, text, or email, including credit card or checking account details.

Avoid sending money to a scammer.

Scammers create a need for urgency so you act fast and don’t have time to think twice. They’ll ask for money or payments through methods that are untraceable and impossible for you to get your money back, such as P2P apps, wires, or gift cards.

Stay Alert and Aware

Remain vigilant before acting on any request. And, when in doubt, hang up or delete. A moment of thought will save you thousands of dollars and keep your identity and personal information safe.

Optimize your knowledge scams, fraud, and identity theft by reading our other Scam Awareness & Cyber Security articles.