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Never Respond to Emails Saying You Owe Money Because … (video)

Email scams continue to pose significant threats to Americans, with individuals frequently targeted by fraudulent schemes designed to steal personal information and funds.

Protect Your Bank Account from Email Fraudsters!

A notable example involved Debbie Casey, who received an email urging her to cancel a non-existent $400 Geek Squad subscription. This incident highlights the typical modus operandi of scammers, which includes creating a false sense of urgency to provoke victims into immediate action.

The Cost of Email Scams to Americans

According to recent data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Americans reported losses exceeding $660 million due to impersonation scams in the last year. This staggering figure likely represents only a fraction of the total losses, as many incidents go unreported.

The prevalent impersonation scams often involve well-known companies like Best Buy, Geek Squad, Amazon, PayPal, Microsoft, and Publishers Clearing House.

Common Tactics Used by Scammers

Scammers typically induce panic and rush their victims, making it more likely for them to act without thinking.

For instance, after contacting the fraudulent phone number provided in the scam email, Casey was tricked into clicking an email link that granted the scammer access to her computer and bank account, leading to an unauthorized Zelle transfer of $2,000 from her funds.

How to Protect Yourself from Email Scams

To safeguard against such scams, the FTC and several companies have issued advisories. Best Buy and Publishers Clearing House emphasize never responding to unsolicited phone numbers, email addresses, or website links provided in suspicious messages.

They also warn against payment requests via untraceable methods like gift cards or cryptocurrency, noting these are common red flags of fraudulent activities.

Advice from Experts

The FTC advises skepticism towards any emails that demand payments or personal action regarding financial accounts. They recommend contacting the real companies involved using verified phone numbers to confirm any communications.

This approach helps prevent potential scams by verifying the source directly rather than relying on potentially compromised contact information provided in emails.

Conclusion

Email scams are a growing concern, with losses mounting each year. Awareness and cautious handling of email communications are essential in combating these fraudulent schemes.

Always verify information through official channels and be wary of any communication that instills a sense of urgency or requests unconventional payment methods.

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