Defrauding people and, or companies, has become a global problem; the lockdowns proved to have a negative effect on internet (including social media) users. According to Analytics Insight, scamming is now into the billions of dollars, as the E- Commerce Industry continues to grow. With a variety of apps enabling people to send money directly over their phones and computers, it didn’t take scammers much time to figure out how to take your hard earned dollars and make it disappear. In the past years, scammers have preyed on the aging groups, but since most people were required to isolate in 2020, now the younger generations are also feeling the pain of loss.

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) had taken note at the rise in fraudulent scams through 2020, but knows it will continue to climb throughout this year. Shopping scams (online) are at an all-time high and rose 129%, giving way to business imposters, investment fraudulent schemes and tech-support scams. Surprisingly, the hardest hit still remains…romance scams, as well as prize and lottery scams. When seniors became isolated, the fraudsters came out in full force, having totaled their losses for about $440 million. In 2020 fraud cases (involving older adults) that made bank transfers and payments doubled to $31 million (compared to 2019); the end of 2021 will most likely hit record highs for monies lost.

Beware of ‘fake’ Government officials and debt collectors. It’s best to let your voicemail pick up the calls, even if the ID says ‘Police Dept.’ Last week in the news they discussed scammers pairing their phone numbers to look like they are actually calling from an office or special department (IRS, SSD or police). Here’s a list with great information … https://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/current_top_10_scam_list.php .

Online phishing is a daily, relentless attempt by scammers, including Disaster Relief sites; their latest attempts to prey on those wanting to help others. For more valuable information check into this site here https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/040115/watch-out-these-top-internet-scams.asp .

It’s just sad at how many are being targeted, not-to-mention all of the Data breeches and hackers …from the Colonial Pipeline to our current situation in Haiti; having kidnapped 17 Americans (including children) missionaries. Countries like Haiti (poor), all want money and they’ll take it any way they can; there’s no regard for human life … my heart breaks for those missionaries. Banks are becoming more vulnerable to cyber-attacks, as hackers become quite sophisticated and stay ahead of the game. For all of these reasons above, I can’t stress enough to people to join a program like Life Lock; there are multiple companies out there to have your back, so if you don’t have one now, please look into it as soon as you can. I couldn’t imagine waking up one day to find that my bank account was completely drained (hacked); this happened to a loved one yesterday…my stomach turns and the anger is fueled. There are more cyber criminals than ever today. Please change your passwords frequently, stay vigil on the internet using a good anti-virus and malware and join life lock or some kind of ID theft protection. It’s unfortunate today, but it’s time for everyone to practice safety.

Make your week count.

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