Don’t Fall Prey to These Scams

road-sign-464653_960_720Although 85% of people who reported a scam didn’t fall for it, the cumulative losses of victims totaled more than one trillion dollars in 2015.  If you suspect you’ve been contacted by a scam, use the Scam Tracker from the Better Business Bureau to report it.

BEWARE OF THESE COMMON SCAMS

  1.  Tax scams comprised more than 24% of reported scams in 2015.  Thieves call to say you owe back taxes and will be arrested if you withhold payment .  In reality, the IRS won’t call you if you owe money and won’t threaten you to get it.
  2. Debt collection scams made up 8.3% of scams reported in 2015.  Thieves call to say you have unpaid debt and threaten you with lawsuits or arrest if you don’t pay.  If you receive such a call request written evidence of your debt.  the law states you can request validation of your debts in writing.  True debt collectors won’t threaten you or require you pay your debts immediately.
  3. Credit card scams made up 3% of reported scams in 2015.  Thieves contact you claiming to be from your credit card company and offer you a lower interest rate on your credit card but only if you verify a transaction or your card number and security code.
  4. Sweepstakes and prize scams may be one of the oldest tricks in the book but they comprised 8% of scams reported in 2015.  Thieves contact you to tell you you’ve won a prize, but you have tostock-vector-win-prizes-d-silver-badge-with-red-ribbon-win-prizes-badge-win-prizes-win-prizes-sign-335560523pay a fee or cover delivery and processing to claim it.  If you have to pay money upfront for your prize, it’s not a real prize!
  5. Tech support scams comprised 6% of reported scams in 2015 and are becoming more common.  Thieves contact you claiming to be computer technicians who have detected a virus or security threat to your computer.  They will say they can get rid of it, but they have to access your computer remotely, in reality, they are trying to steal your password and personal information.

TIPS TO AVOID BEING THE VICTIM OF A SCAM

  1. Beware of claims that require immediate action.
  2. Beware of offers that require you to wire money or send a pre-paid card.
  3. Trust your gut – if you feel something is wrong or an offer sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.

Remember it is always toasty in Naples and you deserve your piece of Naples sunshine and to avoid scammers!

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