What is a Scam Alert?

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    November 25 2019

    A scam alert notifies consumers of a recent or new type of scam. A scam is a fraudulent attempt to trick someone into giving away their personal information, financial information, money or property. 

    What is a Scam Alert?

    For example, in Nevada, there is a new scam going around involving an imposter who claims to be from the Nevada Supreme Court demanding warrant fees or bail payments through web links. This fraudster has been spreading a false message that says anyone who doesn’t pay the warrant fee could face arrest. 

    Scammers use many other methods to deceive their targets. This includes phone calls, phishing emails, mail, social media and phishing websites.

    Every day new scam alerts keep consumers up to date on the latest scams so you can avoid getting scammed. 

    Most Common Scams

    There are many different types of scams out there. According to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, these are the most common scams or fraud.

    Debt Collection

    Scammers post as debt collections, demanding you pay for debts that have already been paid, or that you do not owe. Often, they will ask for your personal financial information

    Debt Settlement or Debt Relief

    These scammers claim they can pay, settle, or completely rid of your debt. Instead, they take your financial information and your money. 

    Foreclosure Relief or Mortgage Loan Modification

    Scammers will try to take your money or your house by making false promises to save you from foreclosure. If you are asked to pay high upfront fees, to sign over the title of your property, to pay someone other than your lender, or to sign anything you don’t understand, then you are being scammed.

    Grandparent Scam

    Sadly, grandparents are often targets of scams. Each year seniors lose almost $3 billion to financial exploitation. The most common grandparent scam is when someone calls claiming to be a grandchild or relative and asks for a wire transfer or gift cards to get them out of trouble.

    Imposter Scam

    Imposters pretend to be someone you trust, like a police officer, charity organization, or government employee, in order to get you to send money.

    Mail Fraud

    If you receive a piece of mail that looks official and asks you to send money or personal information, it is probably a scam. Some common mail fraud letters include notices of prizes, sweepstakes winnings, or vacations, a personal appeal asking for money or information, letters from psychics or religious figures who claim they can predict your future. 

    Mortgage Closing Scam

    Scammers take advantage of homebuyers before they close escrow. They impersonate lenders or real estate brokers to try to get you to send them your down payment or closing fees.

    Lottery or Prize Scam

    Scammers will pretend to be a federal government employee to tell you that you’ve won a prize. They will ask for money or fees upfront to claim your prize, which is how you know it is a scam.

    Wire or Money Transfer Fraud

    A scammer will claim to be a family member or someone official to trick you into a wire transfer. After your money transfer is received, there is little you can do to get it back even if it was obtained through fraud.

    In our many years as Las Vegas personal injury attorneys, we’ve seen a lot – including some of these scams. Another that may occur and can potentially disrupt your life is an automobile accident scam. The other driver can make all kinds of outlandish claims. In that case, it would be wise for you to engage a top personal injury attorney, such as our experts at Anthem Injury Lawyers. Call us today for a free initial consultation: (702) 857-6000.

    Other Types of Scams

    Unfortunately, scammers get creative. These days, with social media and smartphones, scammers have a lot more to work with. 

    • Tech Support Scam – Tech support scammers get you to pay for tech support you don’t really need to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.
    • Dating Scams – Also known as “catfishing” these types of scams use dating apps or social media to first make contact with the victims. Scammers create fake online profiles to lure you in, gain your trust and eventually ask for money, gifts, or your bank account, credit card or other financial information.
    • Jobs and Employment Scams – They trick you into paying money to get a “guaranteed” high-paying job or to make cash fast.
    • Malware and Ransomware – Malware installs software onto your computer that allows scammers to access your files or track what you are doing. They collect your personal information and use this to commit fraudulent activities. Ransomware demands upfront payment to unlock your computer.   
    • Fake Charities – Scammers pose as agents of well-known charities, or they create their own made-up charity name, to collect your money. These scammers may even approach you in person, on the street or at your home, to collect your money.  
    • Text Message Scams – According to AT&T more criminals are using text messages to try and get people’s information. A text message scam will send you to a fake website disguised as a legitimate company and ask you for your personal information.
    • Identity Theft – Someone wrongfully obtains and uses your personal data for economic gain. For example, someone might steal your information and use it to open loans, open credit cards, or withdraw from your bank account. 

    How to Avoid Scams and Fraud

    Even if you are diligent about your privacy and aware of scam artists, you can still be vulnerable to scams. Every day a new way to scam people is invented. Even major corporations are subject to scams. Equifax, for example, announced a data breach that affected 143 million consumers! 

    Here are some ways to protect yourself from getting duped.

    • Remember Caller ID can be faked. The name and number you see show up on your smartphone is not always real.
    • Don’t open text messages from unknown contacts.
    • Never give out your social security number.
    • Spot imposters. Scammers pretend to be someone you know and trust. Don’t give out any personal or financial information in response to a sudden request.
    • Google search the agency or company that is claiming you owe money.
    • Never pay upfront.
    • Consider what payment method they are requiring. If it’s through a Western Union or prepaid debit card, chances are it is a scam.
    • Talk to someone you trust. If you’re not sure, ask a friend or family member before going any further.
    • Hang up on robocalls. These calls are illegal. Hang up and report them to the Federal Trade Commission.
    • Question free trial offers. 
    • Don’t deposit a check and wire money back.
    • Sign up for the Federal Trade Commission’s scam alerts.
    • Always use strong passwords to protect yourself from getting hacked.

    Even people who are careful can become the victims of a scam. Here in Las Vegas you have a law firm that will get to work for you to recover damages on your behalf – Anthem Injury Lawyers. Call (702) 857-6000 now for a free initial consultation. Whether you’ve been involved in an auto accident scam or another scam, our firm offers the expertise you need to recover compensation on your behalf. Call Anthem Injury Lawyers now: (702) 857-6000.

    Warning Signs

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests some common scammer warning signs to watch out for:

    1. Someone calls or emails you claiming to be from the government and asking for money
    2. Someone contacts you stating you owe taxes or money in order to claim your prize or gift
    3. Someone reaches out asking you to wire money, send money by courier, or put money on a prepaid debit card or gift card. 
    4. Someone asks for access to your money, like your ATM cards, bank account information, credit cards, or investment accounts.
    5. Someone pressures you to “act now” or else the “great deal” will go away.

    If You Were Scammed, What Can You Do?

    Report it

    You can submit an official consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. You can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. If the scam involved the USPS, you can report it to your local postmaster or online.  

    Tell the Police

    You can tell your local law enforcement office about the scam. Sometimes they will tell the local news outlets to inform the public of the scam. 

    Contact Your State Attorney General

    Visit the National Association of Attorneys General website to find your local attorney general and report the scam.

    Consult an Attorney

    If you or a loved one has been scammed, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you protect your rights and advise you on the next steps to take.

    An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system after you’ve been scammed and possibly get any stolen funds back. Contact Anthem Injury Lawyers today to set up your Free Consultation.

    Our phone number is (702) 857-6000.  Our law office is located in Henderson, but our personal injury attorneys work with clients all over the Las Vegas Valley.

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