The emotions that come after being scammed can be devastating. Once you wrap your brain around being duped of your funds, the self-blame begins and you begin to over-criticize yourself thinking
What if I didn't do ...
It's all my fault because I shouldn't have...
I'm so stupid for falling for...
If only I would have ...
This wouldn't have happened if I ...
the important thing to remember: You're Not Alone!
This happens to a lot of people more often than you think, so don't blame or mistreat yourself over fraud.
As of February 23, 2023, new data showed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received reports of consumers losing more than$8.8 billionto fraud in 2022. That's a mix of scams conducted through internet services, sweepstakes, lotteries, telephone, and mobile services.
As a financial expert who's heard more than enough horror stories about people falling victim to online scams, I'm ready to share top advice from our IT Security Analysts and cover some tips for keeping your finances safe online.
what are some of the most common money scams of 2022?
Online scams have been on the rise, and 2022 was no exception. As technology evolves and becomes more integrated into our daily lives, scammers are finding new ways to exploit unsuspecting victims. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has compiled data on the most common money scams of 2022, shedding light on the tactics used by fraudsters and the significant financial losses they caused.
Investment Scams: These scams led to $3.8 billion in losses in 2022.
Impersonator Scams: The most reported type of scam, causing $2.6 billion in losses. Business impersonator scams saw an increase, with losses of $660 million.
Payment Methods: Bank transfers and cryptocurrency were the primary methods used in scams, with losses of $1.5 billion and $1.4 billion respectively.
Social Media Scams: Scams originating from social media resulted in the highest overall losses at $1.2 billion.
Phone Call Scams: Phone call scams had the highest median loss per person at $1,400.
Demographic Data: Young adults (20-29) were most likely to fall for scams, while older adults (70-79) suffered higher financial losses when they fell victim.
To better visualize these statistics, here's a look at FTC's graphic that provides a snapshot of the top frauds of 2022.
Does this scam look familiar?
If you haven't heard of the "AI Voice Cloning Scam" then know it's a new form of fraudulent activity where scammers use artificial intelligence technology to mimic the voices of individuals, often loved ones or familiar voices, to deceive victims.
Here's more on the AI voice cloning scam and others like it so that you're aware and know how to avoid them.
what’s a strong indicator of a money scam?
Scammers pretend to be someone you trust, such as a business you know, the government, friends or family, or job offers. If you answer an email, direct message on social media, or phone call that involves the following, just know that you're putting yourself at risk:
Paying money for a job you want to work.The way it works is the job pays you, not the other way around.
Money for a promise of something, like debt consolidation, assistance with obtaining a mortgage, etc.Legitimate services will provide you the product immediately.
The government needs your social security and banking account information.The federal and local governments will not use email, phone calls, or text messages to ask you for this information. EVER.
Getting a refund for something you didn’t buy.You don’t get money “just because.” Remember… if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Receiving calls and texts asking for personal information and indicating your account is locked.Unless you've activated your financial institution's bank with a text messaging feature, your institution should not contact you asking for your personal. At Skyla, we will never call and ask for your personal information!
Direct message on social media from someone you know about a quick money opportunity.This is common on social media like Instagram and Facebook. If you receive a message from someone you may know about a money opportunity, contact them directly by calling. Scammers like to hack accounts and DM people offering money opportunities requesting your personal information.
a good rule of thumb - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
what should i do if i see a money scam in action?
STOP!Stop all contact with the scammer. Hang up the phone. Delete the email, text, or social media message. If you see it happening to someone else, tell the other person to do the same. Just don’t respond.
Don't make any – or any additional – payments.If you are asked to pay, don’t. It’s tempting to stay involved thanks to the promise of receiving money back. But, at the end of the day, it’s a scam. You won’t get anything. Instead, the scammer will take what you have.
Contact someone.Tell your financial institution if you suspect something strange. They can help by tracking transactions, freezing or closing accounts, and providing you direction in how to try to get your money back, if possible. If you used Western Union or a similar company, contact them to stop payment to the scammer immediately.
Report the scam to the FTC (1-877-FTC-HELP) or your local authorities. They will tell you who you can contact if you don’t think the FTC is the right organization to contact.
Tell your friends and family about the scam.Knowledge is power! That way, your friends and family won’t fall victim to the same type of scam.
if you see a money scam in action on social media
Create or change your account settings to private.
Change your password.This will help from your account from getting hacked.
You can report suspicious posts, messages, and profiles to Facebook. Simply visit Facebook's Help Center "Hacked and Fake Accounts" section located within the Policies and Reporting tab. You'll see guides to follow to help keep accounts safe.
Report the scam to the FTC (1-877-FTC-HELP)or your local authorities.
what are the best practices i should be using when providing my financial information over the internet?
You should never provide your information to someone you don’t trust.If you feel like it’s a scam or a dangerous website, don’t use it.
Make sure the website is secure.That can be identified by seeing “HTTPS://” and the lock icon in the address bar. Make sure you recognize the website address. When in doubt, call the customer service number and ask for the correct web address.
Use antivirus software on your computer at home. There are several options available. Just remember, you get what you pay for. The free antivirus programs aren’t terrible, but they also aren’t the greatest at protecting you. Go with names you know, like Avast, Norton, or McAfee.
Look for bad signs.If you see this image below, then you should exit the page immediately.
We can’t possibly try to cover every scam scenario and go over the steps to fix each situation. However, if you follow these steps you’ll have a much better chance of keeping your finances safe online. When in doubt, always contact the company you are working with directly. And always feel free to reach out to your financial institution if things seem fishy.
here's what you need to remember
Make sure the site you're using is secure and look for theHTTPS:// and the lock icon within the URL. On social media, scammers can easily hack a friend's account or copy their account information and pose as your friend offering a money opportunity. If you suspect a hacked or fake account on social media, report it. Facebook has a "Hacked and Fake Accounts" section within the Policies and Reporting tab.
You can also always read more about Account Security and Identity Theft on the Skyla website. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact our customer service representatives by email, give us a call at 704.375.0183, or visit a branch.
As the Content Specialist and author of the Learning & Guidance Center, Yanna enjoys motivating others by uncovering all that's possible in the world of finance. From financial tips and tricks to ultimate guides and comparison charts, she is obsessed with finding ways to help readers excel in their journey towards financial freedom.
The chances of you being a victim of fraud is highly likely if you're not taking action and being cautious of protecting your assets. Here are tips you can personally do to safeguard yourself from fraud.
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