• Cybersecurity

Top Five Scams in 2022

Jon Erdmann Headshot

Jon Erdmann

Chief Information Technology Officer

Money, shopping cart and a bag.

In 2022, 2.4 million fraud reports were made, and $8.8 billion were reported lost according to the Federal Trade Commission. So, what were the top five scams?

1. Imposter

“Hi, I’m calling from your local electricity company because you are past due on your bill and if you do not pay right now, we will shut off your electricity immediately.’

Imposter scams are often people impersonating well-known companies such as the IRS, utility companies, tech support, etc. They will often demand money, make threats, or even promise you a prize. If you receive a call like this, hang up and call the company directly.

2. Online Shopping

When doing online shopping here are a few tips to keep you safe:

  • Keep your receipts and confirmation emails. This way if you have any issues receiving the order or what you ordered, you can potentially use it in a dispute.
  • Use well known websites when shopping online and verify the URL you are on. Scammers will sometimes mimic a website and change the URL slightly.
    • Example: Walmart.com vs Walmort.com.

3. Prizes, Sweepstakes, and Lotteries

“Congratulations, you are the winner of (insert giveaway)! Click here to claim your prize.”

STOP. If you are being asked to click a link and claim your prize, chances are it’s a scam. They could be planning to install malicious malware on your device or they’re hoping you give out personal information, which could be used to gain access to your accounts.

Verify who is sending the message by looking at the account further and ask yourself a few of the following questions:

  • How many likes/followers do they have?
  • Does their bio or username look suspicious?
  • Do they have any posts or do the posts look odd?
  • Did you register for a prize or giveaway recently with them?
    Search the company in social media to see if additional accounts pop-up.

If you are still second guessing it, reach out to the company by calling them directly at a phone number from a verified source (i.e. the company’s official website).

4. Investments

"This is an extraordinary timeframe to Invest and procure sensible benefits with incredible signals on bitcoin /forex, with the assistance of Mrs. Emily Morgan FX she has been helping me. I began with just $3,000 and presently am getting incredible benefits like $25,500 upwards. You will make your withdrawals by yourself, no additional commissions. Whenever intrigued you can reach her straightforwardly on her; Email: emilymorgan61825@gmail.com WhatsApp: +1 (234) 224-9457."

Investment fraud happens when you are tricked into investing your money. This can happen through real estate, cryptocurrency, high yield investments programs, and more.

Fun Fact - The example we provided is a real technique we've seen scammers start doing, specifically on Facebook Reviews.

5. Business + Job Opportunities

From 2020, losses to business imposters soared from $196 Million to $660 Million.

Here are a few quick red flags:

  • When you search the company, the logo or contact information is different.
  • They are asking you to pay for a job or tools upfront before you start.
    The recruiter or headhunter is emailing you from a personal email address.
  • They are asking for sensitive information such as your address, Social Security number, or account number before you’ve been offered a job.
  • They are sending you a check to go buy gift cards on behalf of the company, then have you mail it back to them.

If something feels off, take the time to investigate the company further.

Fraud happens every single day, and there are endless techniques fraudsters/scammers use to gain access to you, your accounts, and/or your information. If you or someone you know accidentally falls for a scam, do not feel embarrassed. Reach out to us today at 701.364.2020 or cs@visionbanks.com.