December 7, 2022

Consumer Corner: Avoid these most-common scams of 2021 | Opinion

Just about every 12 months during the very first week of March the Federal Trade Commission observes National Shopper Defense Week. The Kansas Attorney General’s workplace with our In Your Corner Kansas campaign focuses year-round on shielding consumers from scams and rip-offs, but all through this 7 days in distinct we remind Kansans to be diligent and to preserve your self and your personalized information safe.

One of the techniques we do that is to share some of the most typical frauds documented to our office environment in excess of the earlier yr. This year’s listing is punctuated by the prominence of two typical frauds that regrettably have appeared on our lists all-much too commonly around the past 10 years. These, of class, are people scams the place crooks and fraudsters attempt to steal the finances and or identities of Kansans by supplying unsolicited enable in securing a governing administration gain or navigating bureaucratic purple tape.

Right here are the major 5 ripoffs ranked in get for 2021 dependent on the quantity of complaints submitted with our Shopper Safety Division, with the most-regular shown very first:

Clinical Wellbeing Insurance policy Ripoffs

People have documented receiving calls from coverage providers and govt organizations featuring to support them navigate the procedure to acquire overall health care coverage. The callers say they want specific pieces of individual facts, these as bank account information and facts or Social Stability numbers, to get you enrolled in a coverage system. Or they will need the information and facts mainly because the insurance policy firm no longer can take checks and requirements to prepare for an automated bank draft. Try to remember, in no way give your financial institution account information and facts more than the phone, for the reason that you don’t know who is on the other conclusion of the line.

The fraud artist might even “spoof” the caller ID so that it appears like it is coming from a reputable insurance coverage company. Even if you assume the phone may well be coming from your insurance firm, it’s intelligent to explain to them you are going to get in touch with again and hold up the cell phone. Then go glimpse at your past invoice and call the cellular phone number printed on the statement. That way you are going to know you are chatting to your coverage business, not an imposter. Other scammers pretending to be from govt health and fitness packages concentrating on senior citizens are not striving to steal dollars but relatively personal data that can be made use of to file for other government rewards, these kinds of as a phony tax return. These authorities businesses will in no way question you for private information and facts over the mobile phone or by electronic mail. If Medicare or Medicaid really demands to get information and facts from you, they will send out you a letter requesting information and facts. If you do acquire a contact, and assume it may possibly be from a legit agency, talk to them to mail you a letter detailing what details they need.

This one is a twist on the governing administration imposter fraud involving a robocall boasting to be from the Social Protection Administration (SSA) informing you that your advantages are about to conclude if you really don’t take action. Rest certain, the authentic SSA will in no way phone you to lower off your benefits and will under no circumstances talk to you to wire money, make payments via reward card, or deliver hard cash payments in get to proceed your rewards. If you obtain a single of these phone calls, hang up. Do not “press 1,” or any other quantity the robocall asks you to press. Like with all robocall cons, these scammers are after data. If you press anything on your cellphone, that allows the scammer know they have achieved a doing the job variety and you will get a lot more calls. Our greatest information on this or any other robocall rip-off is to not reply phone calls from figures you do not know. If you do response, as soon as you know it’s not another person you know, just dangle up.

In this fraud, the caller statements to be from a well-regarded computer firm telling you they’ve detected a virus on your personal computer and features to assistance you eliminate it by connecting remotely to your laptop or computer. But in its place of trying to fix it, the fraud artist is in fact seeking to install a virus to give them entry to all your information and your particular facts saved on the laptop. The scammer may perhaps also be making an attempt to hack into your device to use it to mail out spam e-mail from your account, or even to get in excess of the digital camera and microphone to spy on you and consider to attain added personal facts. If your personal computer genuinely does have a trouble, get it to a reputable, neighborhood computer system repair shop or contact your computer system manufacturer’s purchaser provider selection specifically. Under no circumstances give a stranger entry to your personal computer about the cellular phone.

The scam works like this: An particular person will make a connection on the web through a social media website with their target. Usually the scammers are targeting those people men and women who are new singles or men and women who have not too long ago shed a wife or husband or partner. The scammer cultivates a marriage and then begins creating overtures about wanting to appear to Kansas to see their new companion. As the scammers acquire more believe in and deeper connections, they begin inquiring for goods from the victims, this kind of as money for airline tickets to vacation to Kansas, cash to shell out for customs for products for the target, or other sums of funds related to travel options. In fact, the gifts do not exist and the scammer has no intention of coming to Kansas, just attaining accessibility to the victim’s revenue, and perhaps even personalized data that could result in identity theft and other severe issues.

Irrespective of whether it’s a foreign lottery, sweepstakes or a govt grant, scammers are nonetheless luring men and women to send out income with the guarantee of a long term “prize,” if only they will send out in the income to pay back for the taxes or processing costs now. We constantly remind shoppers that the Kansas Lottery is the only reputable, legally running lottery in Kansas, and you should hardly ever have to spend dollars upfront to assert a prize.

More details on how to defend yourself from these and other frauds is offered on our buyer safety internet site at www.InYourCornerKansas.org or by contacting our shopper security hotline at (800) 432-2310.