Last year saw a 70% increase in scams in the US and more than $5.8 billion was stolen, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
And scammers are scamming this year, too. The credit report bureau TransUnionreports that 38% of Americans have been targeted by digital fraud so far in 2022.
Scams are on the rise, but we’ve got tips to help you identify scams and ultimately, avoid them.
Who Gets Scammed?
You might assume senior citizens are most likely to be a victim, but people of all ages are vulnerable. Scammers rely on both hope and fear to get money out of you. Many scams are geared toward identity theft.
Federal Trade Commission data shows people aged 30-39 have been scammed the most so far this year. Almost one out of every 10 in that age group reported scams, losing an average of $600. They were most frequently contacted via social media, and they lost money through cryptocurrency scams and online shopping scams.
Second-most scammed are people aged 20-29, who have lost an average of $550 this year, often through money app and debit card scams.
Seniors are not defrauded at the same rates, but they lose higher average amounts of money, between $1,000 and $1,800 on average. Seniors over 70 reported getting phone call scams and lost money through gift card scams, online shopping scams and tech support scams.
Children can be victims of identity theft, too. Scammers use their social security number to open credit card accounts, rent homes and more. The Federal Trade Commission has great information on how to prevent child identity theft.
Too Good to be True
Scammers will text, email, call, and mail you misleading information, offering something that sounds too good to be true. It is. Here are ten of the most common scams.
Phishing is when someone poses as a reputable company to get your personal information. They might pretend they are from an official government organization, your bank, or a business you have dealt with before….