7 of the Most Dangerous Scams in 2022 and How to Stay Safe

At least 587 people in Singapore lost $2.7 million to scammers that were pretending to be their friends in phishing scams. That is just a small example of how effective scams are around the globe and how these people manage to reach each and every one of us. Even if you are not very active online, they will find other ways to reach you and put their scam into effect.

Bright Side would like to keep you informed about some of the most dangerous and popular scams that are around us every single day.

1. Phishing is still going strong

People who have an email address or even a phone number have probably received phishing messages at least once. It’s someone pretending to be from Google or your bank or some other company asking you to fill out your personal details. These scams usually target your login details or your bank card number in order to steal money from your accounts or take control of them.

  • What to do: if you receive an email or a text message asking you to give any sort of personal details, the best thing to do is to ignore them. You can call your bank if it’s a supposed message from them and ask them about it. The majority of banks warn their customers that they will never ask them for any personal details through the phone or email.

2. The Google voice scam

In these scams, fraudsters usually target people who post notices online, such as posts about selling items. They will call you and pretend to be interested buyers, who just want to verify that you are not a scammer. They will then tell you that you will receive a voice mail from Google with a verification code that you should read it to them. Instead of verifying your credit, they will set up a Google account in your name and do all their illegal stuff behind your name.

  • What to do: if that ever happens to you, you should know that you mustn’t share verification codes with anyone. They are confidential and it should be only you who uses them. In case you have fallen for this scam, you can contact Google support and they will help you reclaim your account.

3. The fake job recruiters

Very often scammers search job websites and get the contact details of people who are truly trying to get a job. They pretend to be from some company that wants to offer you a job, but they first need to ask for some extra information. Many of those, will ask you to cash a check, keep a small amount and send the rest to another account. This is a “money mule” type of job and you could be easily caught and prosecuted for doing it.

  • What to do: a serious company will never ask you to cash a check and send them the money to a different account. If you do get a job opportunity that sounds a bit sketchy, you can search for the company and try to find a number for the HR department. You can confirm with them if their proposal is for real.

4. The fake online stores

For those of you who shop a lot online, these scams might be very familiar. What scammers do in this case is to build a well-presented website and list items will too-good-to-be-true prices. They might have the original price and next to their super discounted price that no one else in the market offers. But, when you pay for it, the order never arrives and before you can do anything about it the website has already been deleted.

  • What to do: if the prices are way too low, you have to wonder why that is the case and why everyone else sells the same thing but much more expensive. Also, on most of these websites, there aren’t that many details about the product and their customer service is usually bad. Before shopping from a store, you can look online for reviews to see if there are other people who have been deceived.

5. The Government imposter scams

In these cases, scammers try to frighten people by telling them that they will lose their homes or get arrested if they don’t pay their debts. They will either ask for money upfront or ask for their bank details in order to get access to their accounts. Some of them will even promise that if you settle your debt they will offer you state tax relief.

  • What to do: no government will ever contact you asking you to pay your debt via wire transfer or by purchasing gift cards. If anyone makes such a request from you, hung up the phone and report the incident to the consumer protection office.

6. The gift card scam

Now this isn’t just one scam, but a payment method that scammers will request for many of their scams. In 2021 alone, over 40,000 people reported a total loss of $148 million in gift card payments. Fraudsters prefer gift cards simply because it’s easy for people to find and completely anonymous to use. What happens is that they will ask for the security code written on the card and then disappear and use the card before you realize what has happened.

  • What to do: never pay anyone that has called or messaged you via gift cards. No legit transaction is ever done this way and almost always these types of payments are scams.

7. The fake romance scams

Some scammers create fake online dating profiles to meet their victims. They make up excuses why they can’t meet in person and once they’ve gained their victim’s trust, they ask for money. They might tell you that they live far away and need the money so they can buy a ticket to come and finally meet you. Some of them also pose as investors who give their victims tips about investing in fake opportunities, where the money ends up with them.

  • What to do: if someone’s online behavior seems suspicious, do a reverse image search to see if their photos are from stock websites or belong to someone else. Also, don’t send money to anyone you haven’t met and don’t feel like you can trust yet.

Have you ever been contacted by these scammers and if so how did you handle the situation?

Preview photo credit Depositphotos.com, Depositphotos.com


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