Common Scams and Alerts

Posted on: July 26, 2021 in Scams

In today’s world of technology scammers have found many ways to take advantage of you. Do not fall victim to these scams. Here are a couple examples of the most recent scams.  

Calls about your social security number.

Scammer message: Department of the Social Security Administration. The reason of this call is to inform you that your Social Security number has been suspended for suspicion of illegal activity.

The scammer will make you feel panicked and state that they can help you get your number unblocked or get you a new social security number. They will then proceed to ask you to verify your social security number. Another scam involving your social security number may involve a scammer stating your bank account has been seized or someone is using your social security number to open credit cards and you will lose any benefits you are currently receiving.

  • SSA (Social Security Administration) will never call and ask you to verify your social security number. If you receive a call from the SSA office just know that they will never call you. If their phone number appears on your caller id, just know that there are computers that can easily pretend to call from their phone number.
  • Never give your social security number, the last 4 digits of your social security number, or your bank account information to anyone calling you.
  • The real number to SSA is 1-800-772-1213. Call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271 to report activity.

Online shopping scams.

Internet shopping is on a rise and more people are shopping online through retail apps and social media stores. Cybercriminals are keeping up with how people are shopping.

Online purchasing is the most common scam type reported to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), accounting for 38 percent of complaints to the BBB’s Scam Tracker in the first seven months of 2020 — up from 24 percent in 2019.

Bogus websites, mobile apps, and social media ads are where the scam begins. They mimic the trusted retailers, even having a similar logo and slogan. The URL is close to the trusted retailer and mistaken for the real thing. The fake website typically offers reduced prices, and free/overnight shipping. The product you do receive is often flimsy, shoddy, and no where close to what was advertised. Overnight shipping often turns to weeks.

You might also receive more from these fake websites as well. These websites are often filled with malware. Malware infects your computer and can compromise your bank accounts and personal information.

Warning Signs

  • Bargain-basement prices.
  • Shoddy website design or sloppy English. Real retailers take great care with their online presentation.
  • Limited or suspicious contact options — for example, they only have a fill-in contact form, or the customer-service email is a Yahoo or Gmail account, not a corporate one.
  • URLs with extraneous words or characters (most stores use only their brand name in web addresses) or unusual domains — for example, .bargain, .app or a foreign domain instead of .com or .net.

Online shopping account scam text.

Scammers are now sending text messaging saying that your account is in trouble or that fraudulent activity has been detected on your account. They want you to click on the link they send you via text and provide your personal information. They are making it look legit by using the company’s logo. Once you click on the link you are asked to verify personal information such as name, phone number, email, and address. In some cases they are asking to verify a credit card number that you have listed in your account.

The biggest online account is Amazon. Amazon will not send you a text message asking you to verify your account information.

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