Simply Google “latest scams” and you’ll see millions of news alerts about some of the latest scams, but doing this might give you results that are irrelevant and unnecessary. What’s worse is that skipping through the trash, you might even miss something that IS important.
What’s better is developing some skills of knowing where to look to up your chances of finding relevant information.
Lifehacker posted Three Common Strategies Behind Most Scams. Read it. They simplified an article from Consumer Reports, The Science of Scams which gives details on how scammers manipulate us into divulging information:
Three Sneaky Strategies
- Creating a connection. A scammer’s first task is to gain your trust so you will not question his motivations. Scammers look for hot-button issues they can use to create a connection. They’ll ask benign questions about your health, your family, your political views, or your hobbies. They may have already checked you out on social media to find revealing traits, such as the fact that you’re single or a military veteran, then use that information for the “sales pitch.”
- Establishing credibility. Scammers use lots of techniques to make themselves look legit. They may claim to be from a real business or organization—say, the Internal Revenue Service if they’re pushing the IRS scam, or a government agency purporting to award you a grant. They may “spoof” a real phone number to fool your Caller ID or hand over a fake business card. If they’re contacting you by email, they may use a phony website that looks similar to the real one—www.wesernunion.com, for example. The scammer’s goal is to look and sound so convincing that you don’t bother to check out his real credentials.
- Playing on your emotions. Scammers leverage your emotions to get you to make a quick decision before you have time to think. The lottery scam preys on the desire to get rich quickly and easily, the grandparent scam plays on the natural instinct to help a relative who’s supposedly in trouble, and the natural disaster scam exploits our generosity for people in need.
It is also good to look at places like your service providers (e.g. Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.) if they have notices of the latest scams. The FTC also provides a listing of a scams that have been reported to them. This is not the whole, but just a part. Check verified, credible sources as your first stop.