Common Scams during COVID-19 Fiasco

Common Scams during COVID-19 Fiasco

We highly recommend to enroll in credit monitoring with Experian, Equifax or MyFico, receiving email alerts about your credit file is invaluable, especially if your identity is stolen or you become of victim of a phishing scam.

Phony Business Deal

This is a new and rising scam as more people have decided to become their own bosses and open small businesses on the Internet. The scammer poses as an investor, business advisor, or other person whom you would trust with sensitive information. They begin offering advice on how to raise capital, invest in assets, etc., all the while keeping the information provided. They then steal the victim’s identity, go on a shopping spree, and vanish before the victim has caught on to what has happened.

Phony Internet Sales and Advertising

Fake business owners posing and advertising as an internet sales company, they will even go to the extent to send you samples to earn your trust. After you receive samples of the product, they request a credit card payment or cashier’s check to process the purchase order. Once the credit card is processed, you will never receive your product or hear from the phony distributor again.  Sadly, if the internet sales company is registered in a different state than yours, there is not much you can do unless you hire a local attorney in the predator’s location and serve the predator with a civil law suit. Filing a police report in your jurisdiction is a tossup because the crime happened on the internet, even though you were solicited by the predator from a different state and the credit card transaction happened in your state. So now what? Depending on your state, you may precede a complaint with the Attorney General’s office. Our recent experience with a valued business customer, lives in California, disputed a predator in Rhode Island. The attorney general’s office in Rhode Island refused the complaint, the customer provided evidence the predator sets up fake businesses to steal money. In the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office response, the department refused to investigate this particular predator that sets up fake businesses online to rip off consumers because the department suggested it was a civil matter.

Phishing Credit Card Applications and Gift Card Scams

With more strategic scams in place, consumers and businesses are receiving more scam emails than ever before. Scammers know the COVID-19 pandemic is a sensitive time for everyone. When you fall short on paying your bills, these scam emails look more appealing.  Emails will offer you a pre-approval credit card application, which will redirect you from one spam page to another. They will take your personal information and steal your identity.  While having financial distress and seeking quick cash, it is best to contact your creditors first and arrange payment agreements during the pandemic, instead of opening an unfamiliar email and apply for a false loan. But the most common scam involves crooks tricking victims into sending gift cards that can be worth as little as $250.

There are over 135 million phishing attacks are attempted every day. Often, phishing emails impersonate large companies like retailers, banks and sometimes supermarkets. “Look for common typos, sometimes emails look legitimate but these could give away that they’re not. Hover over links and see where they’re actually going – does it, for example, actually go to Apple’s actual address?”…  “If they get an email claiming to be from a website, don’t follow the link but go to the actual website by typing out the main URL instead of following the link,” Eyal Benishti, CEO of Ironscales.

Spear phishing is more advanced than a regular phishing message and aims at specific groups or even particular individuals. 

Our advice is get referred to a professional or do your homework about the company soliciting items online.

For more information on how we can help you locally with personal credit identity theft or business credit identity theft in Naples and Bonita Springs please fill out the online contact form about your concerns or give us a call at 855.477-9007. Read what our valued clients have to say about First Pro Capital and Credit Consulting Professionals on our Testimonials page

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