Fraud Trends Disguised as Legitimate
In today’s digital landscape, fraudsters have numerous chances to deceive individuals into believing they are making transactions with authentic entities or to deceive them into trusting false identities. To prevent falling prey to these deceptive tactics, we have compiled a list of prevailing fraud trends observed within our community.
An age-old tale: you connect with someone online and they seem too perfect to be true! Showering you with affectionate messages like “Good morning, beautiful,” and sharing their favorite love songs on social media. Once they have gained your trust, the requests start pouring in. Suddenly, a family member falls ill, or they claim to have lost their job and need financial assistance for rent. This is a classic case of catfishing, where fraudsters pretend to be someone they are not, gradually building your trust before seeking financial aid. Stay alert! Never send money to individuals you meet on the internet.
While phishing is a common tactic where fraudsters send deceptive emails to entice recipients into clicking on harmful links, your email’s spam filter may catch these. But what about text messages on your phone? Smishing, similar to phishing, targets individuals through text messages, often creating a sense of urgency. Messages like “Did you make a $537.25 purchase at Walmart in Las Vegas? Click here to dispute.” These messages are crafted to instill fear and prompt immediate responses. Think twice before clicking! If you doubt the legitimacy of a text, confirm with the alleged sender through alternative means.
There is a surge in fraudulent job offers, particularly targeting young professionals starting their careers. The scam involves a fraudster posing as a hiring manager from a reputable company, offering an irresistible upfront payment. Once the offer is accepted, the fraudster starts requesting the employee to make payments using a portion of the initial sum. Later, it is revealed that the employer’s payment method is fraudulent, leaving the employee liable for the funds sent to other parties.
In general, if an opportunity appears too good to be true, it likely is. Do not trust strangers offering unexpected benefits and be cautious of those trying to establish closeness too quickly. Always verify the legitimacy of sources, even with a simple online search. As a reminder, UNCLE will never ask you for account information such as debit or credit card numbers, PIN numbers, online banking login, etc. If you receive a call from someone asking for this information, you may be speaking with a fraudster on a spoofed call. If you suspect a scam involving your account, please call us immediately.