Just when you think you outsmarted scammers, they, too, are getting more clever in finding ways to exploit people. Time and time again, there are new trending scams that surface — mostly on the internet — because many communicate and transact there now. Even if you think you’re clever enough to not fall for scams, there are still others who remain vulnerable to being tricked by these people.
Check out some of their new scams below.
5 Trending Scams to Look Out For
1. Romance Scams
There are people who look for love on websites and dating apps. But many of us know by now that not everyone on the internet uses their real names and photos. What’s worse is some of these people not only catfish their prey, but they can also go as far as pulling moves similar to “The Tinder Swindler.” Some of these romance scammers will use fake online profiles and act like they’re the best potential partner for you.
Once they think you’re interested in them, they will then say things like they got caught in an emergency situation and they need money to pay for, say, the hospital bills of a close relative who got into an accident — they will then ask if you can possibly help them with their financial dilemma. If the scammer or con artist is going for the “long con,” the amount of money they will keep asking from you may increase. Once they think they took enough money from you, they will then run off with it.
2. Gift Card Scams
Some scammers will go to great lengths just to get someone else’s money. They will sometimes go to stores and tamper with a gift card’s protective strip but will steal the bar codes. To hide evidence that they purposely touched the card, they will buy similar protective strips and replace them with the one they tampered with. After they do this, they will then register the card’s bar code in a program that informs them when someone purchases the gift card from the retailer — once it’s bought, they will then use the money that’s in it which leaves the buyer with none.
Other forms of gift card scams are those that can be found on the web where fraudsters will offer to check your gift card balance for you. This works by tricking you to send your gift card information. Once scammers get a hold of it, they will then steal the money that’s in it.
3. OTP Scams
Several online transactions now require a one-time password for added security. However, scammers are now also catching up with this new security feature. They will sometimes pretend to be a legitimate organization or company and they will sometimes say that they’re calling because they want to “confirm” the online purchase that you just made.
Even if you’re well aware that you didn’t purchase anything, they will still ask for the one-time password that was sent to you. Scammers will say that it’s to confirm your identity and cancellation of your purchase. In reality, however, they’re asking for the OTP simply because they need to gain access to your bank accounts — and the OTP was what they needed in order to log in.
4. Weight Loss Program Scams
It’s easier to trick people when they’re desperate for quick results. This makes weight loss program scams more believable to those who wish to lose weight in a short amount of time. Sometimes, these weight loss programs are advertised even on video apps and sites like TikTok and YouTube. They’re made to lure people into applying for a membership at a gym that doesn’t exist.
Once scammers obtain your personal information, they will use those details to log in to your bank accounts; other scammers will pretend to sell miracle weight loss foods and drinks and others will sometimes advertise online training courses. Regardless of the fraudulent scheme, they will target those who are vulnerable and sensitive about their body image.
5. Cryptocurrency Scams
Cryptocurrency scams are perhaps one of the newer types of scams. Some of them will pretend or act like a potential love interest, while others will make them seem as though they’re some sort of a crypto guru. But these malicious “friends” only have one goal — to trick you into investing in crypto accounts that don’t exist. They’re pretty elaborate with it as well. They will sometimes make you download an app where — at first — you will see that you’re making money, which can persuade you to invest more, but once you shell out money that’s enough for the scammers, they will then run with it.
It seems as though newer scams keep on popping up. And as much as we think we know a way to prevent these trending scams from happening to us, scammers are notorious for being cunning. Moreover, even if you can spot these scams right away, some of your loved ones may not be able to do the same. Just to be on the safe side, do your best in updating them about these latest scams that can be found in many sites and apps this 2023.
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