The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has just released its annual report detailing the most common types of scams in 2019.  The report also provides information about the FTC’s refund programs to consumers victimized by scams in 2019.  Starting with the good news, the FTC returned more than 232 million dollars to 1.9 million people victimized by scams in 2019.  The refunds come from money obtained by the government through legal actions against scammers.  It sometimes can be difficult to find out if you are eligible for such a refund and what you need to do to claim your refund which is why on the http://www.scamicide.com website we have a section on FTC Refunds where you can find information about all of the FTC’s refund programs and what you need to do to claim any money to which you may be entitled.  In addition, when a refund program is instituted for a particular scam, we will include that information in a Scam of the day here at Scamicide.com.

As for the amount of money people lost to scams in 2019, according to the FTC, consumers reported losses of more than 1.9 billion dollars to fraud in 2019 and that figure is undoubtedly less than the actual number because many people do not report being scammed to the FTC.  The most common scams were identity theft, impostor scams, phone scams and online shopping scams.  Here at Scamicide.com we have reported to you about all of these types of scams and how to avoid them.  We will continue to do so.  Impostor scams, in particular have increased by 50% in just the last year.  Impostor scams often involve a phone call, email or text message from someone posing as the IRS, the Social Security Administration or some other governmental agency.  The scammers threaten the targeted victim unless a payment is made.  It is important to note that neither the IRS nor the Social Security Administration will ever phone, email or text you demanding the payment of money.  They will always initiate contact through regular mail.  It is also important to remember that clever scammers can manipulate your Caller ID through a technique called spoofing to make it appear that the call from the scammer is coming from the IRS or some other legitimate entity.

TIPS

You can never be sure when you get an email or a telephone call if it is really from a legitimate source.  Even if you have Caller ID, a scammer can use a technique called “spoofing” to make it appear that the call is from a legitimate caller.  Emails and text messages may also appear legitimate, but can be merely made to appear as if they are coming from a government agency or a legitimate company, such as your utility company when, in fact, they are coming from a scammer.  Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.  Never provide personal or financial information to anyone in response to a telephone call, text message or email until you have independently confirmed that the communication was legitimate.

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