8 Kooky money scams to watch out for in 2016

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By: Phil Bradford
on 26th Jan,2016

Make 2016 a scam free year. Check out these money scams to stay safe this year.

You will always find out imposters loitering around to pluck money from your pocket anytime, anywhere. They apply different tricks to pick your pockets. 2016 has just arrived, and scammers are smart enough to get you involved in the money scams. So, BEWARE!

There are various types of money scams to be wary of in 2016. Some of them are:

1. Charity and Home Improvement Scams

In this type of scam, scammers come up to you in disguise in the name of doing charity or offering home improvement services such as cheap cleaning offers and repair facilities. But, their actual aim is to steal your money and other valuables. By doing so, they want to make money to fulfill their own selfish desires.

2. Credit Card Scams

Be cautious before you swipe your credit card every time you purchase something or pay your bills. Make sure that it’s in the right hand. Even a waiter can use your card’s details to withdraw money. Don’t share your password with anyone else and that includes to your phone and email passwords also. If you discover something wrong with your account, then do take the necessary steps immediately. You can also use microchip credit and debit cards or EMV cards to make secure transactions and reduce credit or debit card frauds.

Check out: Modus operandi of the credit card identity thieves

3. Computer and Internet Scams

Internet scammers are smart enough to enter the network in spite of rigid passwords and information technology security. Is your computer asking for any confidential information such as passwords or anything like that after opening it? If so, then please consult your service provider or a technical expert before you give out the information.

People quite often fall victims to this kind of Internet scams. You should be alert while using free wifi in public places like Starbucks or Barnes & Noble. Instead, you can use a VPN (virtual private network) such as Hotspot Shield to protect your data over free wifi and also to keep hackers away when you log into a free wifi network.

4. Email and Telephone Scams

According to Wade Barnes, senior vice president of 1st Mariner Bank, “there will be an increase in email and phone scams associated with the upcoming 2016 presidential elections.”

Swindlers use different communication channels to make people fool. They may ring you regarding election donations or healthcare offers. They’ll try every way to lure you. Well, it’s quite difficult to judge a person over the phone. So, make sure you don’t give away personal details to anyone over the phone unless you are cent percent sure of the person at the other end.

Phishing and email scams are also getting viral these days. Have you ever clicked on any link sent to your email? If yes, then keep your eyes open the next time you press the mouse. By this way, scammers get hold of your email account, and your computer gets virus affected and hence, your personal information is no longer safe.

5. Tax Advisor Scams

Michael Delgado social media manager at Experian signalled about this acute scam. Here, a fake email asks tax professionals to update their IRS e-services portal information and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers. Scammers then grasp the username and password and plant their trap. So, it’s advised to protect the Social Security number and personal information from the hands of the scammers. According to Michael Delgado, “The IRS normally sends communication letters by U.S. mail, not email.”

Check out: 5 Guidelines to safeguard your tax information

6. Fake IRS Agent Scams

Fake IRS agents will call you and tell you to pay back the taxes urgently with a credit card. But remember taxpayers, this is not the way the IRS works. If you owe back taxes to them, then they’ll follow certain rules and regulations to collect that from you. They’ll first send you an official letter clearly stating the reason behind that. The letter will contain the ways to contact the IRS, steps to resolve the matter and the procedures to dispute the allegations. An IRS agent can’t charge you like that. If you get such phone calls demanding payments, then be alert as it’s a scam.

7. Roofing and Repair Scams

These scammers get activated after the winter's, going door-to-door for free roof checks. They’ll offer you low-cost home repairs and charge a 50% partial payment in advance. After getting the payment, they promise to come back the next day to start the work. But, they never turn around. To avoid these kinds of scams, never buy repair service from strangers, except they’ve been referred to you by any reliable source or have a stellar rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

8. Veterans Association Scams

Scammers involved in these type of scams represent themselves as the VA (Veterans Association) representatives and ask innocent veterans to give their personal information to update their records. These imposters actually use this information for their own benefits. If you ever get a hint of such fraudulent calls, then don’t forget to call the VA and verify the caller’s information.

Check out: Most common tax fraud in 2015: What are they and how to ward them off

Scammers work really hard to make you believe in their trickery. So, always listen to your instincts and avoid being a victim to these scams, or else you’ll be in grave trouble.

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