Special Media Report by Chase
Chances are you know someone who has been a victim of fraud or scam. As a result of the pandemic, fraudsters are finding new ways to find victims. The good news is that there are simple ways for consumers to stay safe and fight back.
In a recent Chase survey of 2,000 consumers, 84% of survey respondents agreed that scams and scammers have become more sophisticated in recent years.
To spot fraud, it’s important to learn more about the most widespread scams, how to prevent them and what to do if you think you may be a victim.
How common are fraud and scams?
Fraud cases are unfortunately becoming more prevalent, and more sophisticated. In fact, the FTC revealed that 3.5 million people reported being a victim of fraud or identity theft in 2020, an increase of more than 1.5 million from the previous year. For Black communities, the problem is even worse with nearly half (40%) of Black adults being targeted by of online scams and fraud, according to AARP.
What kind of scams exist that we should be aware of and know how to stop them?
While scams are always popping up, there are several common approaches that keep resurfacing.
Some of the more common scams we’ve helped our customers fight against may not always seem so obvious.
What shocks many of our customers is how scam artists are willing to impersonate familiar faces, whether that be close relatives or community officials, and also trick you by using your own smart phone against you. So next time you receive a text message or email on your phone, think twice before you engage.
Fake bank fraud specialist
What they look like: Consumers receive a fraud alert via text message that appears to come from their bank. The message asks them to validate whether they made a certain purchase or sent a certain amount of money. After saying “no,” the recipient gets a call from someone claiming to be from their bank’s fraud team. The phone number may even appear to be a real phone number from your bank.
They’ll ask for the customer’s banking username, password or a one-time passcode. Alternatively, they’ll sometimes ask the customer to send money to themselves or a third party to “stop” the fraud or to get their money back. Once the scammer has gained access to a person’s account or convinced them to send money, they usually stop contact and the victim’s money is gone.
How to stop them: Unfortunately, scammers target consumers from many banks and they are very good at disguising themselves by “spoofing” or making their phone number appear legitimate. Consumers should never share their banking password, one-time passcode, ATM pin or send money to someone who says that doing so will prevent fraud on their account. Bank employees won’t call, text or email consumers asking for this information, but crooks will. If you receive a call like this, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, the back of your credit or debit card or bank website to verify the authenticity of the request.