Recent Scams

Holidays are for giving … and for some, taking

The holidays are a time for togetherness, celebration, and giving. Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of the season to give gifts to themselves, using your money to pay for it. In fact, a new AARP study shows that the entire gift-giving process, from purchasing the perfect gift to making sure it gets to the recipient, offers a number of opportunities for scammers to get in on the act...

How to spot and avoid common health scams

As a caregiver for a family member with special health needs, you know that shopping, making meals, or just regularly spending time with someone who can’t get out much can profoundly improve their quality of life. But being a caregiver is stressful, and scammers know that, too. In fact, dishonest companies will say almost anything to get you to buy their product or service. So, as part...

When scam calls target your client or loved one

Calls from scammers are annoying and can cause a lot of trouble when you realize, too late, that they’re scams. What’s even worse? When they target a client or loved one you’re caring for. So today, as part of National Family Caregivers Month, we’re talking about how to spot and block scam calls.

Scammers are sending fake IRS emails about Economic Impact Payments

There’s a fake IRS email that keeps popping into people’s inboxes. It says that you can get a third Economic Impact Payment (EIP) if you click a link that lets you “access the form for your additional information” and “get help” with the application. But the link is a trick. If you click it, a scammer might steal your money and your personal information to commit identity theft....

Amazon impersonators: what you need to know

Has Amazon contacted you to confirm a recent purchase you didn’t make or to tell you that your account has been hacked? According to the FTC’s new Data Spotlight, since July 2020, about one in three people who have reported a business impersonator scam say the scammer pretended to be Amazon.

Spot the pandemic scam: emergency broadband program impersonators

Have you seen ads on social media that offer to “help” you sign up for a government program that will give you a “free” device and internet service in exchange for money or personal information? While there is a real government program to help people connect during the pandemic, there’s no payment required to enroll. That’s just a scam.

How you can recognize and avoid a scam (and help others)

The FTC Consumer Fraud Survey showed that Latinos are more likely to experience fraud than non-Hispanic whites. Over the past year, that probably means dealing with a scammer who pretended to be someone they’re not, like a government official, a known business, or a family member or friend. The top scam reported to the FTC in 2020 was impersonator scams like these, with nearly 500,000 reports...

IRS Criminal Investigation sees surge in scams tied to Economic Impact Payments

The Internal Revenue Service received a record number of reports about Economic Impact Payment scams in June and July 2021. "Even though taxpayers have received multiple rounds of Economic Impact Payments, we saw phishing scams surge this summer," said Jim Lee, Chief of IRS Criminal Investigation. "The number of reported scam attempts reached levels we haven't seen in more than a decade....

SpyFone barred from selling stalking apps that secretly monitor phone activity

Phone monitoring apps designed to avoid detection by the owner of the phone don’t just invade your privacy — they make it possible for stalkers and domestic abusers to track the location of the person they are targeting in real-time.

Veterans could be targets of pension poaching scams

If you currently receive VA pension payments or if you are thinking about applying for Veterans Pension, Survivors Pension, or Aid and Attendance (A&A) and housebound benefits, you could be the target of a scam known as pension poaching. Don’t let scammers take advantage of you. Read on to see how you can protect the benefits you have earned.

Social Security Administration Impostor Scam

Social Security Administration imposters contact prospective victims by telephone and falsely claim that the victim’s Social Security number has been suspended because of suspicious activity, or because it has been involved in a crime. They ask to confirm the victim’s Social Security number, or they may say they need to withdraw money from the victim’s bank and to store it on gift cards...

Scammers cash in on confusion over vaccine verification methods

More than a year into the pandemic, and months after the first rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, people are eager to get back to their regular activities. But some activities might require you to show that you’ve been vaccinated or had a recent negative COVID-19 test. How you do that may depend on the activity and where you live.

Attorney General Nessel Warns of Amazon Scam Calls

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reissuing a consumer alert on robocalls after the Department received complaints related to calls impersonating Amazon customer service. Michiganders should scrutinize calls alerting them to suspicious activity on their Amazon account and avoid giving out personal information if you receive one.

Unwanted calls: Just block ’em and report ’em

Unwanted calls are annoying. They can feel like a constant interruption — and many are from scammers. Unfortunately, technology makes it easy for scammers to make millions of calls a day. So this week, as part of Older Americans Month, we’re talking about how to block unwanted calls — for yourself, and for your friends and family.

SSA Inspector General: New Tactics for Government Imposters

Last month, we partnered with our Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the annual National “Slam the Scam” Day to help you learn how to identify and avoid government imposter scams. These scams are widespread across the United States and often involve Social Security number-related issues. Scammers’ tactics continue to evolve.