Fraudsters aren’t slowing down in 2022. Here are common scams to look out for that you might not know about.
Scammers are always looking for opportunities to steal your personal information. Top scams include identity theft, imposter scams, and online shopping/negative review schemes. To add to that, COVID-19 scams became prevalent for things like fake vaccines and tests.
Be aware and stay informed about these scams that are becoming more widespread in 2022.
With the pandemic still in full force across the globe, scammers are creating new methods to steal information. When it comes to COVID-19, always question the source you’re receiving your information from. For example, rather than clicking on a vaccination sign-up link you found on social media, visit vaccines.gov to find the vaccine you’re looking for in your area. If you receive a text message from one of your health care providers, including your pharmacy, call to verify it’s really them before clicking on any links.
Once you get your vaccine, don’t post your vaccination card to social media. It has personal information on it, including your full name, date of birth, where you got your vaccine, and the dates you got it, making you a prime target for identity thieves.
Student Loan Scams
Due to the coronavirus, the government has placed an extended pause on student loan payments until May 1, 2022. Scammers are using this opportunity to attack via email, text, and phone calls, claiming to offer financial aid or student loan forgiveness.
- Don’t fall for quick loan forgiveness. Fraudsters use the 24-hour window to scare individuals into thinking the offer won’t last long and they should jump on it now.
- Never pay upfront fees. The Department of Education will never charge you for help.
- Never share your Federal Student Aid ID, social security number, or other vulnerable personal information with anyone.
The Department of Education has information about federal loans. To modify your repayment plan or learn more about loan forbearance or deferrals, visit StudentAid.gov.
Even though the holidays are over, there’s still shopping to be done – use these tips to keep your personal information safe.
- Use a credit card while online shopping for an extra layer of protection. If anything goes wrong with a transaction, it’s often easy to dispute the charges with your credit card company.
- Never buy anything from online sellers if they demand you pay by gift card, money transfers like Western Union or MoneyGram, or cryptocurrency. These payments are nearly impossible to trace and reverse.
- If you’re planning to give back to your community or a charity, be sure to do research before initiating a payment. If you’re contacted directly about donating funds, hang up and call the number listed on the organization’s official website.
If you see something out of the ordinary, report it immediately. Taking extra measures today can save you time and heartache down the road.