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Hot Scams of 2024

In 2023, we covered a vast array of fraudulent scams and ways to protect yourself. Ranging from cyber hygiene, tech support scams, to pig-butchering and romance scams– fraudsters are constantly adapting to find new ways to prey on human vulnerability.

As much as we wish fraudsters would take a break, it’s best to remain diligent. Here are two scams gaining traction in 2024:

AI-Powered Scams

The further development of AI technologies has been a hot topic as of late. As impressive as the technology is, fraudsters are adapting the tool to write more convincing or natural-sounding scams via email or text messages.

However, it’s not solely limited to something written, as voice and facial impersonations are also creating new opportunities for fraudsters. According to Experian, people are reporting deepfake impersonations of celebrities tricking victims to invest in a company or project, impersonations of a relative asking for money, impersonations of an employer asking for personal information, and much more.

With AI being so new, combatting fraudulent tactics can be difficult. Following the “red flag rule of thumb” can help prepare you to spot signs of a scam or prevent it. Here are a few tips:

  • Be skeptical and ask questions.
  • Do not click on unknown links.
  • Don’t answer suspected spam calls.
  • Enable multifactor authentication when it’s available.
  • Research companies.
  • Be alert for suspicious payment instructions.

Learn more about spotting signs of a scam.

Student Loan Forgiveness Scams

Reoccurring changes for student loan forgiveness creates an opportunity for scammers to prey on human emotions. Scammers will typically contact victims via phone or through fake application sites. These scammers will try to collect your social security number or your bank account information. They may even add pressure saying there is a limited time to provide your info. Next, they will charge you a hefty application fee.

Emotions can add blinders in many situations. Several indications of a scam can be missed when stressed about the application process, or excited about the new opportunities that await. Arm yourself with knowledge of the process and a few key points: The student loan forgiveness application is zero cost and the U.S. Department of Education will never contact you by phone. Best practice is to check directly on the Department of Education website for up-to-date information on applying for loan forgiveness.

If you suspect you are a victim of a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission here.