‘Tis the season for gift card purchases. They’re great for friends, family, and co-workers; pretty much anyone likes receiving one as a present, but there are two groups who don’t want gift cards: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Have you ever had a mechanic knock on your door to tell you that he was driving by, saw that your car wasn’t running correctly, and decided to come by and fix it? He helpfully takes apart your engine at your request, but then stops working and demands money to finish. You pay what he requested, he works a little more, but tells you more is broken than he thought and that he needs more money. This cycle continues until you stop giving him money, at which point you’re left with a disassembled car in your driveway and a lot less cash in your wallet than you started the day with.
What mechanic could know your car's repair needs simply from driving by? Moreover, why would the "repairs" happen in your driveway? If this situation sounds nonsensical, that's because it is. But, that’s basically the same idea as a common fraud technique: The PC cleaning scam.
As of September 21, 2018, freezing and unfreezing your credit is now free. Under a new federal law, you will no longer need to pay a fee for freeze requests, and fraud alerts on credit reports are now valid for a year, extended from the prior timeline of 90 days.
Imagine finding a pile of cash on the ground, let’s say $1,000. No one’s around and you can’t spot the person who may have dropped it. What do you do? Many of us would pick it up and turn it in, possibly to the police, but there are people out there for whom the dollar signs would take over and that money would end up in their pocket.
Pay back your best friend for lunch? Easy.
Transfer money to your sister for your parent’s anniversary gift? Easy-peasy.
Unsuspectingly transfer money to a scammer. Yes, all too easy.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) apps, such as Zelle, PayPal, Venmo, and Square have increased in popularity and earned a spot as an efficient means of transferring money quickly to other parties. This method of transferring funds is not only a plus for consumers, but fraudsters as well who are always on the prowl for new ways of scamming their victims.