I’m always surprised at how scammers play the same games over and over again. They develop a new twist here and there and when law enforcement cracks down on one of them a new set of crooks pops up with a variation on the old game.
You get a good idea of scammers’ favorite games when you take a look the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) list of top ten scams for 2014.
Identity theft leads the list. That should come as no surprise to anyone in light of the hacking and data theft that occurred at retailers and insurance companies within the past year.
Someone just needs your Social Security number to steal your identity, open a bank account, get a credit card and file an income tax claim in your name. And while many of us may hug our Social Security numbers closely, we are all easy victims when hackers get into a big system that contains all of our information.
Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said, “Consumers should…keep a close eye out for imposter scams. Whether it’s pretending to be the IRS during tax season, or making false promises of a lottery win, scammers are increasingly sophisticated in their efforts to deceive consumers.”
TOP TEN SCAMS 2014
Telephone and Mobile Services
Banks and Lenders
Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries
Shop-At-Home and Catalog Sales
Television and Electronic Media