As technology evolves, more people are falling victim to financial scams than in previous years.

Data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revealed that consumers lost nearly $8.8 billion to fraud in 2022. The report also noted that the financial loss increased by more than 30% compared to 2021. With the rise of technology advancements such as artificial intelligence (AI), scammers are becoming more savvy with their fraud attempts

Imposter scams and false online shopping ads are the most reported incidents. Prizes, sweepstakes, lotteries, business/job opportunities and investment offers made the top of the list for fraud reports. As scammers create new techniques, knowing the telltale signs makes it harder to become a victim.

Signs To Watch Out For A Potential Scam

One way scammers are successful is by attempting to elicit an emotional response. They do this by instilling a sense of urgency in their crafted text messages, emails or phone calls. Common ways are stating that your account is hacked or that someone else is using your login credentials. 

These urgent matters require a quick response, often with no questions asked. Needing to act fast, reentering your password or updating your credit card information makes a person a scammer’s perfect target.

Pretending to be a family member, close friend or work colleague is another scamming tactic. Although this trick has existed for ages, people still fall for it because of the personal ties. Social media makes it easier for scammers to find intimate details about a person’s life. As a result, it can be more challenging for someone not to believe they are in contact with people they know.

Another trick scammers pull is enticing people with rewards or special offers. Emails or text messages that offer a gift or a chance to win a prize should raise a few alarms. It can be rare for a company to send free rewards, especially if that differs from their usual pattern. After clicking the link, a message will likely proceed, asking for personal information such as an address. This is a red flag for companies, like banks or phone carriers, because they should already have your information.

How To Recover After Being Scammed

Contact Your Bank Immediately

Notifying your bank of the scam is the first course of action. It’s essential to be completely transparent with the bank teller or representative so they can ensure your funds are secure. While speaking with your bank, requesting a new account number or card will save you more trouble by protecting your identity and unauthorized purchases.

Look Into A Credit Freeze

If you’ve been scammed out of money and your identity is stolen, placing a credit freeze restricts access to your credit report. This will prevent a scammer from trying to take out a loan or start a new line of credit in your name using the personal information they retrieved. 

A credit freeze can be permanent or temporary. To freeze your credit, you must contact the major credit bureaus, which are TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.

Document Everything

Keeping track of the amount of money you were scammed out of will be helpful to banks as they work to replace your losses. It can also benefit the FTC if you file a complaint and report the incident. In addition to documenting the fraudulent purchases, documenting the details of your situation allows you to keep track of every person involved and the events that occur after making the report.