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Common Scams of 2022

Scammers are a sad part of our reality and will use any excuse to take advantage of people. Just a brief look at the Attorney General’s consumer protection website pulls up a seemingly never-ending list of scams. With so many scams, how do we know which scams are popular at the moment and how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from scammers? 

Popular Scams 

  • Tax Scams– scammers advertise negotiating reduction in client’s tax debts but require a large fee upfront and the client does not receive anything in return.  
  • Email Scams– scammers send emails about work from home opportunities, claiming that information is missing, or that an account you have I going be deactivated unless you send money and/or personal information.  
  • Phishing Scams– scammers send an email that’s made to look like it belongs to a trusted business or company in order to collect customer’s personal information or ask for payment. Click here for an example of what a phishing email could look like.  
  • Online Shopping Scams– scammers set up fake stores online or on social media. Their stores offer prices that are too good to be true or claim to be going out of business and offering items at a huge discount. The customer then never receives what they paid for, and the scammers have their personal information.  
  • COVID Scams– scammers change these up depending on what’s going on in the news. Examples of past COVID scams include fake vaccines, treatments such as teas and supplements that claim to cure COVID, offers to participate in clinical trials, or selling masks/testing kits that never arrive.  

Avoiding Scams 

  • Remember: if something seems to good to be true, it probably is! 
  • If they only accept gift cards as payment, it’s probably a scam
  • If you get an email from a company, go straight to the company’s website instead of sending information via the email.  
  • Be extremely careful about giving out personal information online.  
  • Look up businesses with the Better Business Bureau before sending money (especially pop-up tax companies promising to reduce tax debts).  
  • Look for misspellings and other ways that an email could be “off” before responding.  
  • Never reply to suspicious emails. 
  • Make sure whatever you’re buying for COVID is authorized by the FDA. 
  • Look up reviews online before buying COVID-related products online.  
  • When shopping online make sure to use a credit card instead of a debit card since it’s easier to get a refund from a credit card.  
  • Click here for a video from Channel 4 on avoiding scams 

What to do if you’re a victim of a scam 

  • Call your credit card to cancel payment ASAP. 
  • Report the scam to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office 
  • Click here to read about your rights as a victim of a crime

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