Election Protection: 5 Voter Scams to Avoid

In this homestretch to the Nov. 8 elections, expect a hard push from scammers posing as pollsters, political party staffers or PAC officials in tongue-twisting ploys to pilfer your money and identity. Getting cash or sensitive information through election scams is more conceivable than with other schemes. Phones can ring legitimately, since Do Not Call Registry rules allow pollsters, politicians and charities to contact you. And, of course, caller ID can be easily spoofed. Campaign workers are going door to door, …

The Mystery Shopper Scam in 3 Easy Steps

The mystery shopper scam is back. And if history holds true, expect this longtime scheme (and perennial top seasonal job scam) to only snowball through the holiday shopping season. It’s no mystery: Checks that new recruits receive for being a “mystery shopper” are as fake as the promise behind them. Make easy money — and plenty of it — by stealthily reviewing local restaurants and retailers, including Walmart, Best Buy and Home Depot, for $200 or more per assignment. Ways …

Courting Trouble: Jury Duty Scam Is Back

Having continued for more than a decade, the jury duty scam remains one of the most successful multipurpose intimidation impostor schemes. Fraudsters can not only get a quick payoff but also enough personal details for future identity theft. Usually, the deception is about failing to appear for mandated jury duty, although some targets are told they skipped a court-summoned order to appear as a defendant, are in contempt or have a federal warrant out for their arrest. Ways to save, …

6 Big Scams on Small Businesses

Some food for thought at that Labor Day barbecue: Scammers are increasing their focus on small and midsize businesses. Among the top ploys that burn employers and their labor force: Phishing emails. Business email compromise (BEC) is a fast-growing scheme in which cybercrooks glean names and titles of executives from LinkedIn or corporate websites to spoof internal messages, usually alleged to come from top executives. In the most common ruse — netting scammers over $2 billion in recent years, according …

How Students Get Scammed

A new school year means new opportunity for identity thieves to cash in on their prized prey — students. Studies show that children under age 18 are about 50 times more likely than adults to be targeted and victimized for identity theft. Reasons: It’s unlikely that elementary through high school students monitor their credit … or even have it. That clean credit history more easily allows scammers to open fraudulent accounts — credit cards, loans and utility service — with …

How to Avoid Crowdfunding ‘Scampaigns’

On crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Indiegogo and YouCaring, prayers are answered. Businesses and jobs are created. People get lifesaving medical treatment. Dreams become reality for those seeking help, typically through small donations by many. But fraud is another truth on these websites — part of the unregulated crowdfunding industry that globally raised some $34 billion last year — with post-duped reports on Kickscammed, GoFraudMe and elsewhere that detail broken promises, stolen money and well-meaning donors getting scammed. Ways …