Scams are constantly evolving and going in and out of fashion. Here is a list of the top ten currently trending scams.
1. Income Tax Identity Theft
Income tax identity theft is a multi-billion dollar problem and is in high gear now that the income tax filing season is upon us. It occurs when an identity thief files a phony income tax return using your Social Security number and manages to get an income tax refund based on a counterfeit W-2. It can also result in tremendous delays in your receiving your legitimate income tax refund.
2. Winter Olympic Scams
The Winter Olympics will be starting on February 5th, but already there are many scams associated with the Winter Olympic Games including phony Olympic lotteries, counterfeit Olympic merchandise and malware infected links on social media related to Olympic events.
3. Phony lottery scams
It is hard to win a lottery, particularly one that you have not entered and yet phony lottery scams continue to be one of the most commonly used and effective scams.
Ransomware by which all of the data in your computer is locked due to unwittingly downloaded malware has become one of the most common scams in the world threatening individuals, businesses and government agencies.
5. Employment scams
Employment scams, work at home scams and other job opportunities are a major scam.
6. Tech support scams
Phony tech support scams perpetrated by pop-ups on your computer or telephone calls are a major current scam. The scammer convinces the victim to pay for unnecessary and possibly dangerous phony tech support.
Automated computer generated fraudulent telemarketing robocalls are now the top consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission.
8. Investment scams
Investment scams of varying kinds, such as the infamous pump-and-dump scam are a continuing threat to everyone.
9. Government grant scams
Emails, text messages or advertisements promoting phony government grants for which victims are lured into paying fees represent a popular scam at this time.
10. Phishing scams
The most dangerous malware downloaded by people on to their computers and smartphones is almost always unwittingly downloaded through socially engineered phishing emails and text messages.