Fraud Scams That Can Really Get You

Posted by on December 18th, 2020 in Articles

Here are three fraud scams that are increasing in popularity and have even caused some of our Abri members to fall victim.

Unemployment fraud:

Imposters are filing claims for unemployment benefits which has become a large-scale scam erupting in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. They are using the names and personal information of people who have not filed unemployment claims. You only learn about the fraud when you get a notice from your state unemployment benefits office or your employer regarding your supposed application for benefits.

If this happens to you, it means someone is misusing your personal information, including your Social Security number and date of birth. You will need to act fast to help protect your finances and your credit.

The unemployment payments are typically deposited to accounts the imposters control and are gone forever. But sometimes payments get sent to the real person’s account, instead. If this happens, the imposters may call, text, or email you to try to get you to send some or all of the money to them. They may pretend to be your state unemployment agency and say the money was sent by mistake.  Don’t respond to any calls, emails, or text messages telling you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards. Your state agency will never tell you to repay money that way. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer, every time.

You need to report the fraud to your employer as well as your state unemployment benefits agency and your financial institution. Go to IdentityTheft.gov to report the fraud to the FTC to get help with the recovery process and always review your credit reports often for free through AnnualCreditReport.com.

Prize, Lottery, Sweepstakes Prize scam:

Anyone who receives a call that they won the lottery, a prize or even the sweepstakes should be wary, especially if you never participated in that type of event.  Remember if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.  The fraudster will mail you fake checks to pay the taxes on your winnings. Once the checks are received they ask you to deposit the checks and either send the funds via wire, money order, cash or cashier’s check to another person. Many times these checks you receive are personal checks, usually from elder persons throughout the US that the fraudster is scamming as well. The fraudsters bury these transactions so they are hard for law enforcement to track but eventually the funds end up in the fraudster’s hands. Check out more on this scam.

Romance scam

This scam preys on the popularity of online dating sites. The victim meets someone on a dating app, where the fraudster claims they are from the US but currently working in Europe.  They want you to add them to your bank account so they can get their payroll deposited in it with your assistance.  You would then receive checks in your name to be deposited.  They ask you to either send a wire or purchase gift cards for the fraudster in the same amount of those checks.  Once the fraudster gets their money, they stop returning any of your texts or emails, like they fell off the face of the earth and those checks you deposited come back as fraudulent.  Now you’re out the money from your account, in addition to the fees you’ll incur for the checks being fraudulent and let’s not forget your broken heart! Check out more on this scam.

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