Make Your Donation Count by Avoiding End-of-Year Charity Scams
The season of giving is here. If you celebrate Christmas, you might be about to fill some stockings. But, for many, holiday giving includes supporting charitable causes. Charities in need of support will be making year-end appeals by phone, mail, email, and social media. Scammers know that, too, and every year try to trick people into giving to them, not the real deal. So here are some steps to take to make sure the charity is real and your money will support the programs you care about. Click here to learn how to avoid charity scams.
FBI Warning: 'Tis the Season for Holiday Scams
As we approach the holiday season, FBI Little Rock is warning Arkansans that scammers prefer to steal rather than give during this special time of year. Shoppers hunting for a good deal should be on the lookout for increasingly aggressive and innovative scams designed by criminals to steal money and personal information. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), Arkansans lost over $16,140,000 just in 2020 from to a variety of criminal scams. Click here to educate yourself on online shopping scams, payment red flags and reporting fraud.
Keeping Older Adults Safe from Scams
As today’s annual report to Congress makes clear, the safety of older consumers in the marketplace is a priority for the FTC. Protecting Older Consumers 2020 – 2021: A Report of the Federal Trade Commission summarizes the agency’s ongoing law enforcement efforts, new research results, and extensive outreach aimed at keeping older adults safe from scams including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to learn more.
FBI Tech Tuesday: Protecting Yourself from Spoofing and Phishing Scams
The FBI Phoenix Field Office is warning the public of phishing and spoofing scams by criminal actors, and actions you can take to help prevent your chances of falling victim. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), Phishing scams reported the most victims nationally in 2020, with more than 240,000 victims reporting about $50 million in losses. Click here to learn more on how to protect yourself from spoofing and phishing scams.
Scammers cash in on confusion over vaccine verification methods
More than a year into the pandemic, and months after the first rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, people are eager to get back to their regular activities. But some activities might require you to show that you’ve been vaccinated or had a recent negative COVID-19 test. How you do that may depend on the activity and where you live. Click here to learn more.
Spotting cryptocurrency investment scams
Cryptocurrency has gotten lots of attention as a new way to invest. But here’s the thing: scammers are taking advantage of people’s understanding (or not) of cryptocurrency investments, and how they work. And younger people are losing big. In fact, the FTC’s new data spotlight shows that, since October 2020, nearly 7,000 people reported losses to bogus cryptocurrency investments, adding up to more than $80 million. Click here to learn how to protect yourself from cryptocurrency scams.
Scammers target loved ones of COVID-19 victims
Government imposters may have hit a new low with a scheme that targets the grieving survivors of people who died of COVID-19 by offering them help paying for their loved one’s funeral expenses. A real government relief program will pay up to $9,000 for funeral expenses that people have paid since January 20, 2020 for loved ones who died of COVID-19. Survivors can apply for benefits by contacting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 844-684-6333. The number is toll-free and multi-lingual services are available. Click here to read more about the benefits.
Ignore bogus COVID vaccine survey
Scammers are using a new trick to steal your money and personal information: a bogus COVID vaccine survey. People across the country are reporting getting emails and texts out of the blue, asking them to complete a limited-time survey about the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine. (And no doubt, there may be one for Johnson & Johnson, too.) In exchange, people are offered a free reward, but asked to pay shipping fees. Read this article to find out what to do if this happens to you.
Scam email says FTC Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter is sending Coronavirus money
Earlier this year, we told you that scammers were lying and saying the FTC is sending people Coronavirus relief money. Now we’re seeing a new version of the phishing email scam that looks like it’s from our Acting Chairwoman, Rebecca Slaughter. The Acting Chairwoman didn’t email you. Scammers who spoofed her email did. Here are 3 things you need to know about this scam.
As you are most likely aware, the pandemic has caused many customer like you to utilize online payment systems and transfers applications to conduct your day-to-day banking, shopping, paying bills or paying friends. Unfortunately, this increase in Ecommerce has also created a perfect opportunity for criminals to spoof information belonging to legitimate companies and to send text messages or emails trying to gain access to your account. Read here to educate yourself on the "hot scams".
FBI Newark Provides Tips for Avoiding Romance Scams
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and the FBI is warning of possible romance scams. Romance scams occur when a criminal uses a fake online identity to gain a victim’s affection and trust. These scammers are present on most dating and social media sites. They look to establish a relationship as quickly as possible and endear themselves to the victim. Many may propose marriage and make plans to meet in person. Eventually, they will ask for money. To avoid becoming a victim, FBI Newark recommends the following tips. Click here to read them.
Social media is no place for COVID-19 vaccination cards
You’re posting a photo of your vaccination card on social media. Please — don’t do that! You could be inviting identity theft. Your vaccination card has information on it including your full name, date of birth, where you got your vaccine, and the dates you got it. When you post it to Facebook, Instagram, or to some other social media platform, you may be handing valuable information over to someone who could use it for identity theft. Click here to read more.
What to know about the second round of Economic Impact Payment (EIP) checks and cards
The US Department of the Treasury and the IRS are working hard to get a second round of Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to people. Don’t be surprised if the way you get this second round of payments is different than the first time. Whichever way you get your payment, it’s all money the government wants you to have, and quickly. So: if you qualify for an Economic Impact Payment, look at your bank account for a direct deposit, keep an eye out for a check in the mail, or watch your mailbox carefully this month for an EIP Visa debit card. Click here to read more about the ways you might receive your stimulus money.
Stimulus Payments for People, Not Nursing Homes
If you, or someone you care about, lives in an assisted living facility or nursing home, read on. Because the bill funding the second round of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) has now been signed into law. The money — right now, $600 per person who qualifies — is being sent out over the next few weeks. And, like last time, the money is meant for the PERSON, not the place they might live.