DETROIT – It’s important to keep yourself safe -- especially when millions of dollars are lost to scammers every year.
Nearly $2 million was lost to scammers in Michigan in 2019.
According to experts, if you get phone calls and emails that look fishy -- it’s all about taking a step back and asking yourself, “Is it too good to be true?”
Do not be afraid to think things through. It also helps to be aware of what scams are being used.
Scammers call victims to be from the IRS or Social Security and claim you owe money.
It’s yet another attempt by con artists to frighten people into returning ‘robocall’ voicemails.
Government agencies don’t do this. They operate through the U.S. Postal Service or in person.
Romance scams were on the rise in 2019.
Investigators have always thought online dating impostors were following a script, or a playbook, and now it appears in many cases that’s exactly what’s happening.
If someone you’ve never met face-to-face is asking you to give them money -- it’s a scam.
2019 also saw a rise in puppy scams.
Local 4 spoke with a woman in Metro Detroit who lost about $4,000 due to a puppy scam.
Once they get you to agree on a dog, scammers will keep asking you to send money.
Buying pets online is a risky game. It’s easier -- and safer -- to find a nearby pet from a local shelter.
Looking ahead to 2020
Looking ahead to 2020, consumers should expect impostor scams.
Scammers know you’re on the lookout, so they’ll try spoofing a number that looks like it’s in your area or even from someone you know.
Phishing scams are expected to be on rise in 2020.
Expect more phishing scams in your inbox -- especially during tax season.
If you get an email that’s asking you click a link -- it could be a front for something malicious.
Once you start filling in your personal and financial information, that information is sent directly to hackers.
Gift card scams might also hit your mailbox this year.
If you use a gift card online, make sure you’re putting information on a secured website.