Phishing Scams

Online phishing has become an increasingly popular scam and it has been used to replicate many well-known businesses. We have read reports that big companies including Apple, Google (Gmail recently), LinkedIn, and the IRS have all been affected by the scam. Online phishing scams are created to trick you into providing personal information such as your social security, bank account, or credit card numbers. The scam usually comes in the form of an email with a link, or an attachment that links, to a fake version of the website purporting to be a well-known business. The fake website usually has a place for you to login, which is how they obtain your private information. The fake website may look identical to the authentic website; that’s why most people fall for it. Even scarier, is the email may appear to be sent from a friend or an email address that you recognize.

Smishing

This is the same as the ‘phishing scam’ except the scammer will send you a text message. The message will appear to be from a big company and will usually have a scare tactic to trick you into clicking on it. This scam has become increasingly popular with the Two Factor Authentication that is widely used by big companies. Several Apple users recently reported, via social media, a text they received which claims their Apple ID will terminate.  See the example below:

Guaranteed Loan And Pre-Approved Credit Card Scam

These scams are commonly used to target folks who are in need of fast cash or have less than perfect credit. The scammers will promise a pre-approved bank loan or credit card — usually a high dollar amount — and request an upfront “processing fee.” After the victim pays the fee, they receive something of little or no value (such as information about credit repair), but they never see the loan or credit card they were promised. If the offer sounds ‘too good to be true,’ it probably is. Most lenders will require a credit check and proof of income before lending money. Furthermore, if a credit card company ever requires a fee upfront, then it is probably a scam. Many credit card companies do charge an annual fee, but the fee is generally applied to the balance of the credit card.

Nigerian Scam, Faux Charity, And Lottery Scam

All of these scams are created to play on your emotions. Whether it is the guilt of helping someone in need, or the thrill of winning a large sum of money, people fall victim to these scams all the time. These 3 scams are actually some of the oldest and most popular, but they are still in circulation because they work. Bottom line, if anyone you do not know asks you to transfer, wire, or send money, it is most likely a scam.