A scam is a crime committed by a criminal to trick someone into sending money or personal data. Scams usually have warning signs such as a false caller ID or promises of something valuable once you pay.

It’s important to stay alert to the latest scams and share what you learn with friends and family so they don’t fall victim. To learn how to report a scam, read below.

Reporting A Scam

In the wake of the deadly tornadoes, floods, and severe weather that swept across the South this weekend, scammers are out in force, trying to take advantage of people doing their best to clean up and recover. We want to make sure you know how to avoid being taken for a ride, and what to do if it has already happened.

how to report a scam

If you have been shopping for toys or electronics this holiday, you may be familiar with Facebook and TikTok advertisements featuring large markdowns. But beware: scammers impersonate legitimate companies in these ads and try to steal your personal data or money.

Many scams ask you to send money to the scammer. Once they receive your money, it’s nearly impossible to get it back. It’s important to educate yourself on how to report scams and to share your knowledge with family, friends and the community. This will prevent you and the people you care about from falling prey to scams.

Email Scams

Email is one of the most common ways scammers trick people into giving out personal information or sending money. These emails can be in the form of scams that are too good to be true (investment or business opportunities, weight-loss products or cures, lotteries, or prizes), crisis notifications (someone requesting help or claiming that they are at risk), and phishing emails aimed at obtaining personal or account information.

Cyber criminals know busy people often don’t pay attention to the sender name or email address. Scammers also use generic greetings like “Dear Customer,” ‘Dear Employee,” and ‘To Whom it May Concern. To avoid scams, employees should be reminded that they must always hover the mouse over the sender’s name to verify that the spelling is correct as well as the email address.

If an employee suspects that an email contains a scam they should click the “Report Phishing”, button in their email client, or use the reporting phishing feature within their corporate security solution. Additionally, it’s important to remind employees that the CAN-SPAM Act sets standards for commercial email and provides for civil penalties for violations.

It is important that employees are reminded not to send confidential or personal information via email. If employees need to send confidential or personal information, they should do so only through a secure and encrypted website. Secure websites will have a lock icon in the status bar of your browser and/or URLs that begin with “https” rather than “http.”

Pop-up advertisements on the Internet are just as dangerous. They can trick you into installing viruses, clicking malicious links, or downloading malware. To avoid these, make sure that your computer has the latest patches installed and that you are using antivirus software. To reduce the likelihood of a malware attack, you should turn off all unnecessary programs on your PC.

Phone Scams

Phone scams are one of the most common types of fraud. They can involve stealing personal information or money. They often involve posing as an employee of a legitimate organization or business to trick the victim into giving out their information. They may also pretend that they are an official from a government organization. Scammers use a number of techniques to steal your personal information, including resetting passwords for social media and financial accounts. They can even sell or “ransom” your data to other people.

You can prevent some phone scams by paying more attention to the intentions of the caller. Be wary of anyone who asks you for personal information or money. This is especially true if the caller demands payment through untraceable methods like gift cards and wire services. Additionally, if a stranger calls asking you to provide information about a loved one that has been hurt or killed, it is likely a scam.

If you receive a suspicious call, report it to your local law enforcement office or the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is an independent agency that focuses on accumulating reports of fraud and taking appropriate action against the scammer. You should also contact your bank as soon as possible if you have been the victim of a monetary scam. They will investigate and may reimburse you if they determine the scammer was using your account to make fraudulent transactions.

Another common phone scam involves cloned cell phones. Scammers can clone a cell phone by obtaining the ESN and MIN numbers from other phone users. The cloned cell phone can be used to make unauthorised calls on the original subscriber’s cell service and rack up expensive charges for their victim.

Other phone scams are phishing attacks or ransomware where the scammer holds you computer hostage until they get paid to unlock it. Use security software to protect your computer from these scams. This software can detect malicious activity and prevent the downloading of programs that steal your data. In addition, be sure to update your software regularly. You should never allow anyone remote access to a computer unless they are known to you.

Social Media Scams

As social media grows in popularity, scammers are becoming more adept at using it to their advantage. Last year, one in four fraud victims claimed that their scam began with a direct message, advertisement or post on social media. Social media scams are as common as online shopping scams.

Social media scams come in many shapes and sizes, but the majority involve stealing personal information from you to steal money or access to your account. They can use fake profiles and impersonate government agencies, real businesses or even your friends and family members. They may send you links that lead to fake apps or websites that download malware on your device. They may also attempt to trick you into wiring money or sending cryptocurrency.

Social media fraudsters target users to gain their trust. It’s important to be able to identify these red flags in order to avoid being scammed. This is a phishing attempt if, for example, you receive an email from someone whom you’ve never met on social media asking for your password, or two-factor authentication (2FA). Legitimate companies won’t ask for this type of security code. Don’t give it to anyone.

Another common scam involves fake giveaways and prizes. Fraudsters will post fake contests and prizes on social media, claiming that you have won a prize. However, in order to receive it, you must provide personal or financial information. Report these posts to the social media site as soon as you see them.

Finally, fraudsters target social media users as well by impersonating your friends or celebrities in order to trick you into sending money. It is important that you don’t overshare on social media, and that you only follow the accounts of people who are close to you.

This type of scam involves a perpetrator posing as a celebrity or friend and contacting you to ask for money. They may claim to have recently lost their job or be in financial difficulty, or that a member of your family is ill. This is the classic form of catfishing and is responsible for most of the social media scams.