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Companies like Amazon, PayPal and Best Buy warn consumers over social media scams

Multiple consumer protection agencies are alerting customers about new strategies scammers are using to steal money from them through social media.

Not long ago, the main strategy of identity fraud was to impersonate federal agencies such as the FBI. But now more than ever, impostors are scamming victims by pretending to be famous brands and businesses instead.

“They are the scams of business impostors, or people who pretend to be well-known businesses,” Rocío Méndez, spokesperson for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), said.

According to FTC data, consumers presented around 52,000 reports of impostors from Best Buy’s Geek Squad, 34,000 from Amazon, and 10,000 from PayPal.

The businesses that are being imitated by these scammers are attempting to combat these scams by educating the public via their websites.

For example, Best Buy recommends approaching any calls claiming to be from them or from Geek Squad telling customers to renovate a technical service for computers with much suspicion.

Amazon has a video on their website warning customers against false web pages, confirmations for orders they never placed, and any messages requesting their financial information.

On their website, PayPal alerts customers against falsified messages warning them that their accounts have been suspended, that they received a new payment that they should not have received, or that they were paid extra.

Another company that is frequently used by scammers is Microsoft, with scammers sending customers alerts of a supposed problem with their computers and requesting log-in access.

“We have focused greatly on the Latinx community and have all the information on what we can do, all of the reports in Spanish, and have been able to establish cases and stop scams that specifically attack the Latinx community,” Méndez said.

Given the increase in scams and their resulting losses, AARP is also intensifying their work to communicate about fraud to their public and offer advice on how to combat it, especially for their audience over 50 years old:

  • Never respond to a text message from a number you do not recognize.
  • Never respond to an email or click on a link sent to you that requests information for delivering a package.
  • Never respond to a call from an unrecognized number.

Additionally, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is spreading the word, recommending people to protect their credit and financial information.

“It is important for consumers to monitor their credit reports and bank accounts, as credit reports can allow them to close their reports and not allow new credits to be taken out in their name,” BBB spokesperson Cynthia Lavín said.

Scammers never stop coming up with new ways to scam the public and take their personal and financial information.

It is important to always stay alert and to actively protect your information, constantly revising your credit report, which is free to do. Experts recommend doing so various times a year.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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