facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause
Seven Sneaky Scurrilous Scams Thumbnail

Seven Sneaky Scurrilous Scams

Common Financial Scams to Look Out for in 2024 (And How to Protect Yourself)

As the world grows ever more digital, interconnected, and complex, there are more opportunities than ever for enterprising scam artists. However, while scams and scammers abound, the tools and techniques we have to protect ourselves from scummy schemers are better than ever as well.

To protect yourself properly, first you need to know what you’re looking for. Here seven of the most common scams people are seeing in 2024:

1. Phishing Scams

These scams involve fraudulent emails, text messages, or websites made to mimic legitimate sources to steal personal information. In 2024, these scams have become more targeted, often using personal information gleaned from data breaches to appear more convincing.

  • Verify the Source – Always double-check the sender’s email address or the URL of the website. Look for subtle misspellings or unusual characters.
  • Do Not Click – Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unsolicited emails or messages.

2. Investment Scams

These scams promise high returns with little to no risk. They often involve cryptocurrencies, rare commodities, or real estate. Pyramid schemes and Ponzi schemes continue to be prevalent in this category as well.

  • Research Thoroughly – Always conduct independent research or consult with a financial advisor before investing.
  • Be Skeptical of Guarantees – Be wary of investments promising high returns with little or no risk, as these are classic signs of scams.

3. Impersonation Scams

Scammers impersonate officials from government agencies, banks, or well-known corporations to solicit personal or financial information. With the rise of deepfake technology, these scams are increasingly convincing, using manipulated audio or video clips.

  • “I’ll Call You Back” – If contacted by someone claiming to be from a reputable organization, hang  up or ignore the message and contact the organization directly using a known phone number or website.
  • Limit Personal Information – Be cautious about the amount of personal information you share, especially on social media, to prevent its use in impersonation.

4. Tech Support Scams

 Scammers claim to be tech support from well-known tech companies, alleging that they have detected a security threat on your computer or accounts to gain remote access or solicit payment for unnecessary services.

  • Initiate Contact – Never trust unsolicited calls or messages claiming to be tech support. If you suspect an issue, contact the service provider directly using information from their official website.
  • Deny Remote Access – Never allow remote access to your computer unless you have verified the individual’s credentials and initiated the contact.

5. Ransomware and Malware Scams

These involve malicious software installed on your device to block access to key files, demanding payment to restore access. In 2024, ransomware has become more sophisticated, targeting specific high-value data to increase the likelihood of payment.

  • Update Regularly – Keep your operating system and software updated to protect against vulnerabilities.
  • Back Up Data – Regularly back up your data to an external drive or cloud storage to avoid being pressured by ransom demands.

6. Romance Scams

These scams occur on dating platforms or social media, where scammers create fake profiles to build relationships and eventually solicit money under false pretenses.

  • Stay in the App – Avoid moving conversations off dating platforms immediately and never share financial details.
  • Meet in Person – Try to meet in person in a safe, public place to confirm the individual’s identity.

7. Charity Scams

 These scams exploit individuals’ generosity (especially during crises or disasters) with scammers setting up fake charity organizations to collect donations.

  • Avoid Pressure Tactics – Be wary of high-pressure tactics or urgent appeals for donations. Legitimate charities will respect your decision-making process and provide ample time and information.
  • Verify First – Research the charity before you donate – you can verify the charity’s registration status and check reviews on reputable websites like Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau.

Call Us Anytime

Your financial security and peace of mind is our mission. If you ever find yourself questioning if something might be a scam, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Give us a call any time at (651) 578-1600 and we will be here with answers, resources, and solutions to help safeguard you and your money.

Investing involves risk. No investment strategy can guarantee positive results. Loss, including loss of principal, may occur. Material discussed is meant to provide general information and it is not to be construed as specific investment, tax or legal advice. Keep in mind that current and historical facts may not be indicative of future results. Diversification is an investment strategy that can help manage risk within a portfolio, but it does not guarantee profits or protect against loss in declining markets.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. (C) Twenty Over Ten