Scams tend to increase at this time of year, so it is best to keep an eye out for any red flags. Scam calls have become increasingly popular this year and are only expected to worsen, as reported on CNBC.
Robocalls seem to become a regular occurrence at this time of year, following tax season. Criminals hope that a few of those targeted are actually in debt with the IRS, which would make the scam sound more believable. Even though robocalls are not always scam calls, YouMail estimates that over 27% of the 16.3 billion robocalls received in the first five months of 2018 were scams.
Travel scams are more common in summer, for obvious reasons – Summertime is vacation season for many. Nobody wants to miss out on what could be a great opportunity to enjoy a free cruise or hotel stay, but any “free” trip that requires you to pay up is most likely a scam. With that said, any kind of free trip should be looked into seriously – These lucky victories do not happen often and cannot be trusted easily. Any kind of offers that ask for your personal details – namely credit card details – should be treated with caution.
Student scams are also among the most popular at this time of year. When college graduation season comes to an end, fraudsters tend to target students with a promise to eliminate or reduce their debt. Be aware that if this were a legitimate offer, it would require a lengthy process and not a quick phone call or email.
Daniel Smith, head of security research at security company Radware tells CNBC: “Both criminal robocallers and student loan repayment services can be ruthless in their attempts to contact consumers, even to the point of aggressively calling a single person more than a dozen times per day.”
It is important to not give in to persistence and be mindful of what is at stake. Remember to never pay an upfront fee for a debt forgiveness service – it is actually illegal for companies to charge anything before they show any results of reducing or eliminating the loan balance, according to the FTC.