Online scams are a common nuisance that is hinders the process of getting out of debt. Online scams can also put your personal information at risk. There are different types of online scams that criminals use to defraud millions of consumers. Scammers use different tricks and technology to convince consumers to send money or give out personal information.
Have You Been a Victim of Online Scams?
Fraudsters and other criminals use the internet to take advantage of consumers by creating scams to trick them into giving out personal information. It’s important that consumers know what to look for to avoid online scams. Here are some online scams to watch out.
1. Automatic Debit Scams
Fraudulent telemarketers have found yet another way to steal consumers’ money – from their checking account in the form of unauthorized debits (withdrawals). In this type of scam, consumers will either get a postcard or a telephone call saying they have won a free prize or can qualify for a major credit card, regardless of past credit problems. Near the end of the sales pitch, the telemarketer may ask the consumer to get one of their checks and read off the numbers at the bottom. Once they have the checking account information, it is put on a demand draft. Unlike a check, the draft does not require the consumer’s signature, so when it is received by the bank, the amount is taken directly from the consumer’s account and put into the telemarketer’s account.
2. Fake Credit Reporting Sites
Consumers may have seen websites or received unsolicited emails offering credit reports, sometimes for free. Be aware that some of these online operators may not actually provide credit reports. They may be using these sites as a way to capture the consumer’s personal information. From there, they may sell their information to others who may use it to commit fraud.
3. Hoax Offers Targeting the Elderly
Flyers with instructions, such as “Claim $5,000 in Social Security Reimbursements,” are attempts to trick people into revealing personal identifying information that could, in turn, cost them money or damage their credit ratings.
4. Secured Credit Card Scams
Beware: while secured credit cards can be an effective way to build or re-establish credit history, some marketers of secured cards make deceptive advertising claims to entice consumers to respond to their ads. The ads may offer unsecured credit cards, secured credit cards, or not specify a card type. The ads usually lead consumers to believe they can get a card simply by calling the number listed.
Online scams are common. Therefore it is important to be aware of these to take preventative measures and avoid consumer debt.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.