In 2021, more than 2.8 million consumers reported that they were victims of scams, with total losses for the year adding up to $5.8 billion, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC also noted that fraud losses were up 70% from the previous year.
With financial scams on the rise, it’s important to recognize common scams and learn how to avoid them. Here’s what you should know about money scams.
Some scammers will claim to be raising funds for real or fake charities but instead will pocket your donations. These scams can ramp up during the holidays or during times of increased need, such as after a natural disaster.
- Crowdfunding Charity Scams Flourish During Holidays — How To Protect Your Donations
- Charity Scams: Check Out These Tips From the FBI Before You Donate
- How To Avoid Being Scammed After a Natural Disaster
Common debt scams include debt collector scams, where a scammer may claim they are collecting on a debt you actually owe or a debt you don’t know you have, and debt settlement or relief scams, where a fraudster will claim they can help you pay off or settle an existing debt.
- 5 Warning Signs of a Debt Relief Scam
- Student Loan Relief Scams: Biden Administration Offers Tips To Protect Yourself
According to the FTC report, imposter scams are the most common type of financial scam. In these situations, a scammer will contact you pretending to be someone else, such as a bank employee or a member of law enforcement or the government.
- 5 Signs Someone Is Impersonating Your Bank To Scam You
- Scammed by Fake Government Assistance Website? Here’s How To Get Your Money Back Before It’s Too Late
Business and Job Opportunity Scams
If a business or job opportunity seems too good to be true, it probably is. These types of scams are also among the most common, according to the FTC.
Money Transfer and Payment App Scams
PayPal, Zelle, Cash App and Venmo are generally secure ways to transfer money, but they can sometimes be utilized by scammers to fulfill their schemes. Beware of these common payment app scams.
- 7 PayPal Scams To Watch Out For in 2022
- Cash App Scams: Top Scams and How To Avoid Them
- Zelle Scams To Look Out for and How To Protect Yourself
Scams That Target Online Sellers
If you are selling products online, you should be extra vigilant to avoid these common scams.
- Google Voice Scam: How It Works and How To Avoid It
- Zelle Scams on Facebook Marketplace: How To Recognize and Avoid Them
- 9 Facebook Marketplace Scams To Look Out For in 2022
Scams Targeting the Elderly
The elderly can be especially susceptible targets, so it’s important to be well informed about common scams if you are a senior citizen, and to warn the elderly loved ones in your life about common scams that target this population.
- Social Security Scams: How To Handle Calls Claiming There’s a Problem With Your Account
- Social Security Scams: 3 Common Requests and How To Report Them
- Grandparent Scams: How To Protect Older Adults From Being Exploited During the Holidays
The rise of internet dating has led to an increase in romance scams, where a potential love interest will ask for money.
More Tips for Avoiding Scams
Here’s a look at some more advice for avoiding financial scams.
- Fraud Alert: Don’t Be Fooled by These New Scams
- 6 Money Scams To Avoid
- 5 Money Scams Beyond Facebook
- Biggest Credit Card Scams To Look Out For in 2022
- Geek Squad Email Scam: What It Is and How To Avoid It
- Food Stamps: Fraud and Theft Are on the Rise — How Can You Prevent Them?
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