Officials in Palm Beach, Florida, are reminding residents and visitors alike to be watchful of scams that are growing in frequency and popularity throughout the city and the rest of the Sunshine State.
While fraudulent activity and questionable behavior is frequent throughout the United States and around the world, there are several scams that have proven to be especially effective and are growing in popularity among scam artists and would-be thieves.
The three that officials are specifically asking the public to be wary of include:
This type of scam typically involves a scammer sending an email or letter informing an individual that they’ve won a lottery and to call them in order to claim the prize.
When the person calls the number included in the email or letter, they’ll be asked to give bank information to cover nominal fees, with a much more significant amount promised in return.
Once the bank account has been given, the scammer now has access to the person’s finances and will take everything they can get before the person inevitably gets suspicious and takes action to rectify the problem.
By then, it’s often too late.
Never give your bank account information to anyone over the phone for any reason. And another heads up – if you receive notification of a lottery you’ve won that you don’t remember playing, this is probably a big red flag as well.
Another scam that’s been making the rounds involves a person calling a senior citizen and pretending to be a family member in trouble. They’ll usually claim they were in a car accident, are mistakenly in prison or in some other type of emergency situation.
The caller then asks for cash or gift cards to be sent to them and, of course, the situation is dire and the money is needed immediately.
While this seems a little far-fetched at first glance, these scammers are very good at manipulating the conversation and making it seem like their story holds water.
By the time the person realizes it’s a scam, the caller usually has the money already and it’s too late to get it back.
One of the more popular scams right now revolves around the online retailer Amazon. A person will call someone, usually an elderly person, and ask for gift cards as payment for Amazon products or to obtain a refund for an Amazon order.
Gift cards are frequently requested by scammers because they can’t be traced and are easily transferable. But if someone asks for payment via a gift card, this should definitely cause warning bells to go off in your head.
Don’t ever buy a gift card and send it to someone you don’t know. This is never going to end well for you and will result in a successful scam by the person on the other end of the telephone.