Every year the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) releases its list of the biggest scams of the year. 2022 was a banner year for scammers with victims reporting losing 8.8 billion dollars to scams which is a whopping 2.6 billion dollars more than in 2021 and the true amount of money lost to scammers is probably much higher because many people, particularly the elderly, often out of embarrassment, fail to report being scammed.
The most common scam was imposter scams followed by online shopping scams, lottery scams, investment scams, and job opportunity scams. I have written many times about all of these scams and will continue to do so.
Interestingly scammers used social media most often to contact their victims while people contacted by scammers by phone lost the most money per victim.
Imposter scams where you are contacted by someone posing as a government official or a company representative are easy to avoid. Frankly whenever you are contacted by phone, email, text message, snail mail or social media you can never be sure who is actually contacting you so you should never make a payment or provide personal information in response to such communications unless you have absolutely confirmed that the communication is legitimate. Also, many of these scams demand payment through gift cards which is a red flag that it is a scam. No government agency or legitimate company demands payment by gift cards.
When shopping online always confirm that the website is legitimate which you can do through the website whois.com and always use a credit card rather than a debit card for further protection.
All lottery scams ask you to pay income taxes or administrative fees in order to claim your prize while no legitimate lottery does so.
You should never invest in anything unless you truly understand the investment and have investigated the person offering the investment.
Many job scams ask for personal information which you should not provide until you have confirmed that the company is real and confirm with its real HR department that the job offer was legitimate.
For much more detailed information about these and other scams go to the “search for scams” tab at the top of the initial page of Scamicide.com and type in the type of scam about which you want to learn.
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