RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Criminals are getting smarter and more high tech, and that means phone scams are getting more effective.
According to a new report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), American consumers lost nearly $1.5 billion last year - up nearly 40 percent from 2017!
And, the FTC says, most scams go unreported, so the real number is much higher.
The most effective scams right now are from con artists pretending to work for government agencies. This time of year, thieves pose as IRS agents to fool people out of banking and credit card information, or social security numbers.
And investigators say they’re seeing a surge in Social Security scams too! In one popular version: scammers spoof the Social Security Administration’s phone number, so that shows up on your caller ID. Then, they tell you that your Social Security number has been suspended because of suspicious activity.
All you need to do to clear the mess up is provide personal information, and pay a fine - which they ask you to pay using gift cards.
Yes, that should sound fishy, but people are falling for it! It’s a good idea to warn your parents and other seniors you know about these scams, especially!
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