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New Year? New Scams to Watch for and Avoid

The new year can bring new threats so it's time to be aware of new scams. Protect yourself with these tips.
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Protect yourself by being informed of the latest scams and using anti-virus software. Image Credit: Unsplash

 

Every year there is a new wave of scams that plague us. They come in the form of emails, phone calls and text messages.  Prepare and educate yourself about the different scams going around. Nobody wants to lose everything because they weren't informed. Stay safe and always be aware of the new scams targeting consumers and the elderly.

Popular Scams

These criminals want to take advantage of you and get access to your personal information. Be aware of these new and old scams:

Phishing. This is one of the most common scams. You receive an email or phone call asking for personal information. The email looks official but is just a ploy to get your personal data.

Gift Cards. Fraudsters will enter a store and scratch off all the codes on gift cards. When an unsuspecting person purchases these, they drain the funds, leaving the recipient with an empty card.

Grandparent. Scammers will try to take advantage of the elderly. They will pretend to be a relative in desperate need of money.

Phone scams. These are all too common. Constant phone calls and when you answer you give the caller access to your phone. They can then download your personal information and even steal your phone number.

Impersonation. This entails receiving a letter, email or phone call from someone pretending to be a government official. They will try to coerce you into paying a previously unknown debt. Usually, they ask for gift cards or cryptocurrency.

Tips to Keep Safe

Protecting yourself from scammers is important. There are a variety of things you can do to avoid being scammed. Follow these tips to keep yourself safe.

Don’t respond. Never respond to a suspicious text or email that's asking for personal information. Don't click the links or download anything.

Research companies. If you get a suspicious email or text, don't click the link. Instead, go directly to the website. Call the official phone number if you are still concerned.

Monitor your identity. Use TransUnion and Equifax to keep an eye on your credit personal information. Report any suspicious activity.

Don’t answer unknown calls. Don't answer suspicious phone calls or unknown numbers. If it is important, they will leave a message and a call back number.

We live in an age where we are all glued to our screens and afraid to miss a call or notification. Scammers take advantage of this. We need to understand what scams are out there and how to protect ourselves. Start with anti-virus applications for your computer. Don't click suspicious emails or texts a don't answer calls you're not sure about. Be cautious and protect yourself.

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. The editorial content and views expressed in the articles are not those of CheckFirst.ca and the Alberta Securities Commission. Learn more.

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