Internet crime is often focused on finance. Any time the internet is used to communicate fraudulent or false representations, it is considered an internet crime. Criminals are crafty and come up with new ways to part consumers from their money all the time. You must protect yourself from unscrupulous people that want to get your financial information, steal your money, and trick you into signing away your future. Here are some of the most common scams out there to look out for.
Many people have already fallen for this scam. You get an email from what seems to be your bank. The email claims that there has been some fraudulent activity on your account. The email will then ask you to call a toll-free number to straighten things out, or it will ask you to click on a link and provide your information like social security number, bank account number, and other personal information.
If you receive this type of email or text. Stop! Call the customer service number you have for your bank and verify the information. Do not give anyone access to your finance. Call your bank directly and delete the email or text.
Medicare and Health Insurance Scams
Another scam that is floating around the internet is Medicare and health insurance scams. You may get an email asking you about a recent Medicare health insurance claim requesting your insurance information. About 54% of Americans report that they are either always or sometimes confused by medical billing. Scammers know that medical billing can be confusing for consumers, and they are ready to exploit that to scam you.
Do not respond to any email requesting your insurance information. Instead, call the insurance company that provides your health insurance. Online thieves can do a lot more damage to your finance than you think by getting you to divulge personal information. Do not give it to them.
A Bogus Bill
Another recent scam that parts consumers from their money is the “renewal notice” scam. You may get an email telling you that some service you never subscribed to is getting ready to renew and if you do not want the service any longer, call a phone number. When you call this number, the slick-talking “representative” will ask you if you are near your computer. Then they will ask you to log into your bank account so that they can immediately transfer the money back to your account before it becomes a “hard” transfer. They will be friendly and nice and walk you through the process while you are in your bank account online and they will be robbing you blind.
Do not let anyone have access to your financial records or accounts. Delete the email and call your bank to ensure the charge is not legitimate. Do not call the number provided in the email.
Benefits Review Scams
This is a cruel scam because it targets older people that are receiving social security benefits. This can be both online and via telephone. The scammer will ask if you are interested in getting more benefits. They will offer to do a benefit review. Of course, you will need to provide your social security number and other personally-identifying information. The scammer may offer to do the “review” for a small fee, or they may just be trying to get your information. Either way, it puts your finance at risk. Don’t fall for it. There is no secret sauce to getting more money out of retirement benefits. If you have questions about your benefits, you can reach out directly to social security and they will be happy to do a review.
In most cases, a simple phone call to the actual business or service provider can clear up any confusion about whether you are dealing with a scammer. Keep in mind that legitimate businesses and agencies never request your social security number online nor do they ask about financial information. Stay safe online.