Scammers, fraudsters evolve with growth of technology

The evolution of technology has also seen the expansion of scammers across multiple platforms, including digital, mobile and social media threats. The scammers have become more efficient in concealing their schemes, almost to the point where you don’t know you’ve been played until it’s pretty much too late.

Here are some scams to watch out for online.

Social media scams

No, you can’t gain 1,000 followers in a matter of minutes, nor can you become thousands of dollars richer by giving someone your account information and a few hundred dollars to start the path to riches. These are examples of schemes which have played out through the years in more traditional ways, such as mail and telephone. Today, they’re crossed over into modern platforms.

Be wary of any social media post that mentions you can gain followers, a discount or free service “by clicking on this link,” “providing your account information” or “sending us cash”. See what Norton currently ranks as the top five social media scams.

Back to school tax fraud

A recent Internal Revenue Service press release warns consumers to be aware of telephone scammers targeting students and parents as the school season starts again. The scammers will call asking for payment on non-existent taxes such as the “Federal Student Tax.”

“Although variations of the IRS impersonation scam continue year-round, they tend to peak when scammers find prime opportunities to strike,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “As students and parents enter the new school year, they should remain alert to bogus calls, including those demanding fake tax payments from students.”

The IRS warns that impersonators will often demand that the money be wired or that the person will be reported to police and arrested. For more information on what to be aware of, please visit the IRS website.

Customer support fraud

Have you received an email that allegedly came from your financial institution that was written like this? “Hi, your account has been randomly chosen for a routine security check. You won’t be able to login for a while. However, you can click on this link to access your account online. This email was automatically generated by your financial institution.”

Whatever you do, please do not click on any link embedded in an email that you do not recognize or is suspicious. You may unintentionally install malicious software or malware on your computer. In addition, your financial institution will never send you an email asking for you to provide confidential information.

What to learn more about how Travis Credit Union protects your personal and financial information? Visit our website page about fraud protection and resolution.

Norton Top Five Scams IRS article Fraud Protection