We saw many scams in 2014. People with devious minds and malicious intent had a host of new tools to use when they wanted to steal the identities of honest people, and 2015 looks like it will be more of the same. While companies like Global Learning Systems are hard at work keeping customers informed, it seems like new schemes are being cooked up every day. Here are just a few of the scams to look out for in 2015.
The One Ring Scam
You might have experienced this one already – an unknown number calls your phone, it rings once, and then they hang up. The area code is usually somewhere exotic, and you can find yourself facing hefty charges if you actually dial back – these international fees can be as high as nine dollars a minute, plus a twenty dollar international call fee. This scam preys on curiosity, so wait for a voice mail before you call back any numbers you have missed.
The growth in companies that allow you to rent out others’ homes for vacations has made rental scams very popular over the last few months. Scammers will sign up with accounts and pictures of their homes and offer them for rent – with the twist that they don’t actually have a connection to these properties. Most will require a fairly hefty sum as a rental deposit, and have nothing to deliver in return. That’s why it’s always important to double-check your rental bookings and ensure you are going through a trusted and verified site.
The Small Charge Credit Card Scam
This is one scam that relies on people who don’t carefully check their credit card bills. If your credit card number is stolen, some scammers will choose to take the safe route and make only small, recurring charges to your account each month. Usually at an amount less than ten dollars ($9.84 is common), the expenditure can easily be missed by those who are not vigilant in checking their credit card statements.
Child Predator Alerts
This online scam preys on parental fears to help scammers steal personal information. Users will receive an email alert claiming there is a child predator in their area, with a link to find out more included in the email. If the link is clicked on, the user can expect to be met with a torrent of malware quickly installed on his or her computer, and the possibility of stolen personal information.
Job Listing Scams
One important group of scams to look out for in 2015 are the ongoing scams used to glean personal information from job applications found on major job search websites and community sites like Craigslist. These scams generally feature jobs with high (but not absurdly high) pay, basic requirements, and claims that the company is keeping their information confidential. Inquiring about the job will lead you to an “online interview” which generally requires a great deal of personal information – all of which can be used to steal your identity.
Most of these scams can be avoided if you exercise basic caution and make sure to keep all of your personal information safe. Always remember that an offer that sounds too good to be true usually is, and that you should never submit anything on the internet to someone that you don’t already know. The world can be a scary place if you don’t know how to keep yourself safe, so always make sure you do your research and take the necessary steps to keep all of your personal information safe. If you can see the scams coming, you stand a much better chance of avoiding the fallout.
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