The hostage scam: An offshoot of the notorious Grandparents Scam, it also feigns that a beloved relative is in trouble … and needs quick cash to remedy the situation. But instead of phone calls from scammers posing as grandkids who were supposedly arrested or hospitalized (often abroad) — with accomplices pretending to be police or hospital officials — the new telephone trickery goes like this,,,
Free gift cards: In the classic version of this con, scammers sent emails claiming you won a free gift card from a leading retailer such as Walmart or Target — a ruse to collect personal information or download malware onto your computer. Next, there were text messages to cellphones making the same false claims (with the same intent).
And now? Scammers are mailing postcards, in addition to making phone calls, often alleging the free gift is yours if you complete a brief survey.
The tech support scam: These phony phone calls are still hot, with scammers claiming to be from Microsoft, computer security software providers or even “Windows Computers” (some scammers must figure people don’t realize Windows is an operating system, not a type of computer). The claim is that they noticed a problem with your computer and are happy to fix it — for a price.
New Twists on Hostage Scams, Free Gift Cards, and Tech Support Fraud – AARP
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