5 Most Common Scams to Avoid in 2024

It’s a new year and with that comes an influx of emails, phone calls and text messages from advertisers and businesses about holiday sales, news and more.

Amid the influx, it can be hard to distinguish what is legitimate communication from your favorite stores or organizations and what are scams or attempts to steal your personal information. That said, what common types of fraud should you keep an eye out for?

There are many types of online fraud schemes, but the 5 that we see the most often are romance, tech support, art project, loan and employment scams.

When you see these red flags, proceed with caution!

Romance Scam

  • Someone you met online (Facebook, dating app or other website) accelerates the relationship quickly (professes love to you, wants to make the relationship more serious, etc.).
  • The person you are communicating with asks you to send money in any form (Cash app, Venmo, Zelle, gift cards, money wire, and etc.) to them, another individual or other business/entity.
  • They set up a separate bank account for you and start sending you checks with your name as the remitter.

Tech Support Scam

  • You get a pop-up on your computer saying that your device has a virus. The message directs you to call a phone number. If you call the number or click on the link, you are directed to give another person/entity access to your computer.
  • The person or business asks you to provide your online banking login information and/or a verification code or secure access code.
  • You are asked to send money in any form (gift cards, wire, cryptocurrency, etc.) or you “paid” too much and you have to send money back.

Art Project Scam

  • An individual, or business organization you don’t know contacts you on social media and wants to give you money in any form (gift cards, wire, cryptocurrency, etc.). to use your image/likeness to paint a portrait.
  • You are asked to provide your personal contact information (text, email or address). You provide that information, and you receive a check, usually an image of a check, with instructions to mobile deposit it. Once you make the deposit, you are asked to send money back to the individual/business for supplies.

Employment Scam

  • You are asked to pay a fee upfront for the job or equipment.
  • You can’t start the new job until you do what is required (send money or buy equipment or software).
  • The pay is higher than you would expect, or the hiring process is very quick.
  • The business offers you a job and sends a “paycheck” in advance to purchase equipment or software. You receive the “paycheck” and are instructed to send money to someone else to purchase the items you need.

Loan Scam

  • The person or business asks you to provide your online banking login information and/or a verification code or secure access code.
  • Someone asks you to send you money in any form (wire, gift cards, cryptocurrency, via cash app), or they ask you to send someone else money.
  • You receive a check and the remitter on the check is not the name of the person you were communicating with.
  • Once you make the deposit, you are asked to send money back to the individual/business.

How to Recognize an Online Scam

What do all these scams have in common? Scammers always ask for personal information, whether that be your mailing or email address, phone number, banking details and other details. Criminals will also try to put pressure on you to act quickly, whether that be by professing love to you or accelerating the relationship online, sending them money or giving them your personal information. Most of the time, these online scammers will also mention money or the transfer of funds in some way.

Knowledge is power! If you are ever unsure if what you are seeing is a scam, your team at Fox is here to help. Contact our friendly team today!

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Fox Communities Credit Union is Federally Insured by NCUA.