Ever get the sense there’s something fishy about that Nigerian prince asking you for money? While some scams may be easier to detect than others, it doesn’t mean you could never fall for one. Data show that everyone—irrespective of age, gender—has the potential to be scammed. And like everything else, scams have moved into the digital space. Consumer Reports dove into some of the latest schemes to help protect you in a growing world of threats.
The latest scam hitting mobile phones? Smishing. You get a fake text saying there’s a problem with something like your bank account. If you respond to the text, the scammer will know the number is viable and may contact you to get more personal information. Never click on a link in an email or text without first confirming that it’s from someone you trust. If you get a phone call from someone asking for information and it sounds even remotely fishy, hang up.
Next up, “shimmers,” a thin card-sized gadget that scam-artists install on ATM machines or gas pumps that have chip card readers. ATMs installed at a bank tend to be a lot safer than the kind you might find at a convenience store, which can be so much more easily tampered with.
Then, there’s “tech-support fraud.” Your computer freezes and a pop-up tells you immediately to call a number for tech support. You’re then connected to a fraudulent technician who might ask for remote access to your device. Consumer Reports says do not click on any suspicious pop-ups, and never give remote access to your device to anyone you don’t know and absolutely trust.
If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam, Consumer Reports says to immediately report it to the police – an essential step if you want to make an insurance claim on stolen property – and report compromised credit or debit card information to the bank.
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