3 Scams to Watch Out For Right Now

3 Scams to Watch Out For Right Now

Shutterstock

At Scam Catchers, we’re always on the hunt for the stories that impact you–and your wallet. Here are 3 scams that you should know about.

COVID-19 Unemployment Scams

Local news outlets across the country are warning people about a brand-new outbreak of coronavirus unemployment scams. Identity thieves are using stolen Social Security Numbers and other personal data to fraudulently apply for unemployment benefits.

If you receive any kind of notification in the mail about benefits you don’t recognize, contact your state’s unemployment bureau immediately.

Scammers are also targeting people who are legitimately unemployed and looking for work. These schemes involve fake job offers via email or text. The scammers may just be fishing for your personal information by asking you to fill out “new hire” paperwork. Some of them go so far as to demand that you pay them for a training program before starting work.

FTC Warns Against ‘Global Empowerment Fund’ Fraud

The Federal Trade Commission posted an alert about a variation on the classic “Nigerian Prince” scam. (Which is itself a variation on the “Spanish Prisoner.”)

This most recent take on an age-old scam begins with an email from the “FTC.” The message promises that you can get cash from something called the “COVID-19 Global Empowerment Fund.” All you have to do is reply with your bank account details. They’ll send you money the same day so you can pay rent, buy groceries, and cover utilities.

Sounds great, right? Well, the message is not from the Federal Trade Commission, for one thing. Government agencies almost never contact you by email, text, or phone first. And even if they did, there’s no reason for the FTC to be dealing with this kind of program.

You have to assume that the scammers posed as the FTC to thumb their noses at the very organization that hunts down people like them.

Netflix Scams Sweeps Across the UK

Netflix scams are nothing new, but they’re proving to be particularly resilient in the UK right now. Maybe it’s because so many people are binge-watching TV like never before.

This scam sends people an email message with a subject line alleging that there’s been a problem with your most recent payment. It claims to have put your account on hold until you update your payment information.

What’s really funny about this scam, as the Daily Record pointed out, is that it copy-pasted text from a US version of the same fraud. The message suggests that the “credit card zip code on your Netflix account does not match the one listed with your bank.” Too bad folks in the UK use postcodes, not zip codes.

If you receive an email like this one, don’t click any outbound links. They lead to fraudulent sites designed to look like Netflix and steal your personal and financial information.