All schemes are designed to get one of two things: your money or the passwords and other data that can be used to get your money. The moment you receive a request, it’s time to slow down, get suspicious, and verify the claim or offer.
Account Confirmation/Service Scams
Telephone call, email message, or text message from what seems to be a legitimate company asking for the recipient to provide their personal or account information to address an issue concerning their account (“we suspect an unauthorized transaction”, “your debit card has been deactivated, to reactivate…”, “we are conducting our regular account verification process”, etc.). The recipient is asked to provide the information directly over the phone, or in the case of email and text, directed to a fraudulent website or customer service number.
Check Cashing Scams
A request from a fraudster for the recipient to deposit a check for the sender and wire them the proceeds. In exchange for their effort, the recipient is told to keep a portion of the check. Inevitably, the check will be returned as counterfeit and the recipient will be liable for the full amount of the check.
Also known as a romance scam, this is a scam most notably used on online dating sites on which a fraudster develops a romantic relationship with their victim. Eventually, the fraudster requests money or personal information.
In this scenario the victim will respond to a work-at-home employment offer. Most of the offers will take the form of an invoice or payroll processing position that only requires an active bank account. The fraudster will move funds into the victim’s account with instructions to wire portions of those funds to pay “vendors”. An alternate version has the fraudster requesting that the victim wire funds to cover onboarding and training costs for the new position.
Tech Support Scams
Someone will present themselves to the victim as technical support for a well-known software or hardware vendor and will convince the victim to provide access to their computer, to unknowingly install malicious software or to provide credit card information for payment. A variation of this scam involves the victim receiving a pop-up message alerting the victim to a virus and asking them to install free security scanning software to remove the virus, again resulting in the victim installing malicious software on their computer.