Avoid These 3 Money Scams in 2020

Avoid These 3 Money Scams in 2020

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There is nothing worse than being swindled out of your hard-earned money. While some internet hackers are amateurs looking for a quick buck, others dedicate their lives to making cybercrime a lifelong career. They target a victim’s cash flow rather than request a couple of gift cards.

Here are 3 of the top money scams you must avoid in 2020.

Tax Scams

The first quarter of every year can be summed up with two words: tax season. Although some people loathe this time of year because they always owe the government money, scammers salivate during tax season. Here are a few of the approaches the tax scams take:

  • Filing a tax return with inflated numbers on your behalf to steal money
  • Pretending to be the IRS, saying you owe them money and should wire it directly
  • Posing as a tax professional to take a high-percentage cut and leave you with the legal fallout

The best way to avoid a tax scam is by submitting your return as early as possible, filing a complaint about fake emails or calls to the FTC, and using a legitimate CPA or tax filing software program. Remember: the IRS will never contact you by email or phone in regard to an unpaid bill.

Banking Scams

Spoofing credible organization’s phone numbers and email addresses has practically become commonplace in the cybercrime world, and banking scams are known for using these tactics.

One version of the banking scam involves a fake email that looks like it came from a legitimate bank. It requests that you update your personal information or login to your bank account. Rather than your information being updated in the bank’s system, it goes directly to the hacker, who can use it however they like.

Some scam artists will pose as a bank offering an affordable loan to someone with a poor credit history. They convince the victim to file an application with their information and to submit an origination fee. Then, they simply disappear.

The easiest way to avoid banking scams is to never give out your personal information in an email. If you need to make changes to your bank account, manually type the institution’s URL into your browser. Don’t click a link in an email.

Investment Scams

Investment scams use flattering rhetoric to coerce customers into spending their money on “limited-time, low-risk, high-reward” offers that will exponentially increase wealth. Whether it’s through the phone, emails, letters, or a house-visit, never invest money after hearing a rehearsed pitch.

If you suspect that an investment “opportunity” could be a fraudulent attempt to take your money, you can use the FINRA BrokerCheck tool to look up the individual. You can also visit the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) EDGAR database to verify the investments.

If neither the brokerage, individual or investment can be found on the above sites, you’re more than likely dealing with a scam artist.