Although the New Year has just begun, the amount of fraudulent scam activity continues to be on the rise. Developing new ways to target their victims, scammers are adapting to the digital age in order to con more innocent people, even taking aged-out scams and modernizing them.
- Cryptocurrency-Romance Scam
Scammers exploit romance seeking individuals by persuading them to download an app, and invest in fake crypto accounts. At first glance it may seem as though the victim’s wealth is growing, but in reality, the con artist is just stealing their money.
- Payday Loan Scam
Con artists target workers by offering fake payday loans. The targeted victim has to prepay a fee during the loan application process. The money goes straight to the con artist and is never to be seen, again.
- One-Time Password Bot Scam
Criminals also use bots, or automated programs, to trick individuals into sharing two-factor authentication codes, which are typically sent through text or email from financial institutions or companies. The bot will send a text message or make a robocall, appearing as though it’s coming from a known source, asking the person to authorize a charge. Then, the bot will prompt the person to enter the authentication code they just received to decline the transaction. This is the bot attempting to gain access to the bank account and needs that code in order to get in.
- Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers are trying to take advantage of people with student loan debt. By creating fake student loan forgiveness applications, scammers are able to collect social security numbers and bank account information from those who may not have known the Biden Administration’s plan to forgive student loans is on hold.
- Puppy Purchase Scam
Cruel scammers exploit dog lovers by posting adorable puppies for sale on the web. Once the person pays for the puppy, the seller may request more money to get the puppy to its destination or they will never be heard from again. In reality, the seller and shipper were all a fraud and the puppy never existed.
- Check Washing Scam
Although the popularity of checks is on the decline, they are used enough for scammers to target and exploit. Check washing is when a scammer steals checks from mailboxes, then soaks the checks in household cleaning chemicals. This erases the original name and dollar amount, allowing the scammer to alter the check into their name and any dollar amount payment.
- Free-Gift QR Code Scam
Scammers have added a twist to the traditional QR code scam, which entails those putting fake QR codes over real ones to gain access to a person’s financial information and money. In this new scheme, the scammer may call and say they are sending a QR code via text message that leads to a free gift card. Don’t take the bait, the QR code leads to a malicious website.
If you are a Merrimack customer and are concerned your personal or financial information was compromised, please call us directly at 603.225.2793.