“Things that were big in the news last year also turned into big scams,” said President and CEO of the San Diego Business Bureau Sheryl Reichert.
The top scam of the year involved misinformation about the Affordable Care Act, according to the BBB. Con artists called people claiming to be from the federal government. They told victims they needed a new insurance card and would need their personal information.
“Personally identifiable information like you’re credit card information, like your social security number, I really don’t know any agencies that are collecting that information over the phone and that’s what they’ll tell you over and over,” said Reichert.
– Medical Alert Scam – victims were billed for medical devices that never arrived.
– Auction Reseller Scam – involved EBay buyers who never sent the money.
-Arrest Warrant Scam – victims are told and arrest warrant can be resolved with a credit card payment.
-Invisible Home Improvements – victims pay for home repairs that are never done.
– Casting Call Scam – fake talent scouts promise an audition for payment
– Foreign Currency Scam – buying volatile currency that drops in value.
-Do Not Call Scam – callers request personal information to verify Do Not Call List registration.
– Scam Texts – fake text alerts that claim to be from the victim’s bank,
– Fake Friend Scam – involves a Facebook friend request that downloads malware.
Reichert said the bottom line is to protect your information.
“Your bank account information, your social security information, your personally identifiable information -when someone contacts you, even if you believe it to be a legitimate person of authorities, be on your guard,” she said. “Don’t give up that information unless you are initiating the contact.”
Americans lose an estimated $1.4 billion to scams annually.