ORLANDO, Fla. — According to the FBI, there were nearly 800 thousand complaints of suspected internet crime reported last year.
These scams can be costly if you fall for them. This year’s experts warn scammers are taking advantage of the pandemic to trick you into giving them your private information.
Online money scams. Last year, they cost Americans more than 4.2 billion dollars!
COVID scams are hot right now. Scammer’s e-mail or text to “confirm” your personal information so you can receive your stimulus check. But they’re really stealing your identity. Also watch out for covid phishing emails.
Common subject lines include vaccine registration, information about your vaccine, vaccine requirements. Phishing’s also cashing in on the popularity of zoom. You’ll get an e-mail with the zoom logo telling you you’re missing a meeting, but when you click on the link, hackers can download malicious software on your computer.
If you do click on a phishing link, immediately disconnect your device from the internet. While you are disconnected, back up your files onto a hard drive. Then scan your system for malware and change all of your passwords.
If you open the spam email, but don’t click on the link or open an attachment… there is little danger anyone can get your information. But another popular trick to watch out for is a peer-to-peer payment scam.
A scammer sends hundreds of dollars via a money app like PayPal or Venmo and then asks you to send it back saying it was an “accident.” But the original transfer was made with a stolen debit card, so those funds are eventually removed from your account after you send the money!