Every day the number of cases of fraud scams continues to increase. In 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received over 2 million reports of fraud with losses of over $3.3 Billion. Not only is the number of scams increasing, but so are the tactics scammers use to try to get your money.
So, what can you do if you think someone is trying to scam you? Give us a call or stop by one of our branches! All MNB employees receive training every year on ways to spot the red flags of a scam and what to do when one of these situations arises.
Let’s talk about the 3 most prevalent scams we’re seeing in our area:
In this scam, someone calls saying they are from the IRS and you owe back taxes. These people try to get your money with threats of a lawsuit, arrest or deportation, or even revocation of your license. What makes these scams convincing is that these people may have some information of yours like a partial Social Security Number or birthdate.
What you should know: The IRS doesn’t ask you to pay them over the phone; their first contact is by mail. If you have questions about your taxes call the IRS directly or visit their official website.
In this scam, someone contacts you maybe to offer a job, say you’ve won a grand prize, or even to try to start a relationship with you, but their real goal is to scam you. These scammers use any of the reasons above to try to send you money and get you to send it on to someone else, essentially helping them move stolen money. This is often accomplished with wires, gift cards, or even bad checks.
What you should know: If you help these scammers move stolen money, you ultimately could lose money and end up in legal trouble. Don’t agree to help these people move their money, no matter how tempting the reward.
In this scam, someone calls you claiming to be your grandchild and asking for money for bail, travel, or even medical issues. Scammers in these cases may use information found on social media to sound more convincing and play on family relationships to trick you into acting rashly; they may even tell you the issue is urgent, and you should keep it to yourself.
What you should know: Scammers know the best ways to play on your emotions and trick you into giving up your money. In this case, it is best to call your grandchild personally or call another family member to verify the truth.
There are other scams to watch out for. Some other common ones are unwanted call scams, tech support scams, online dating scams, and work at home scams. MNB employees are knowledgeable of these scams and more. If you are ever in doubt or suspect someone is trying to scam you, call us or stop in, and someone will be happy to help you. You can find additional information from the FTC about the scams mentioned above and tips on how to avoid scams in our lobby.