New Hacks for a New Year

In our continuing strive to help you stay protected online and in your business, we wanted to let you know about a few of the latest scams taking place this year.

Text Message Requests for Gift Cards. A trend that started toward the end of the year but is continuing to grow are fake text messages that look legitimate requests to purchase a gift card on someone’s behalf. Please remember that Long & Foster or any of our team members will never send you a text message advising you to purchase gift cards of any type for them.

Read more about this scam in a recent article from the Federal Trade Commission, The article also notes that if you subscribe to AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or Bell, you can report spam texts by copying the original message and forwarding it to the number 7726 (SPAM), free of charge.

2020 Abbreviation. When you sign documents, you might sign them with MM/DD/YY (for example, 1/10/20). Unfortunately, this makes it easy for a scammer to commit forgery with your signature, as they can easily add two additional numbers after the 20 and already have your signature. It is recommended that, at a minimum, you complete the full year (2020) on any important documents or checks that are dated, and if you’d like to protect yourself even further, you should write the full name of the month and year (for example, January 10, 2020).

Rental Listing Scams. A recent Better Business Bureau (BBB) article shows a growing trend in fake rental listings online. Numbers show that 43% of online rental shoppers have encountered a fake listing. Of these individuals, 85% do not fall for the fake listing, but those that do account for close to 5 million consumers who lost money to the fraudster. The frauds can be for homes, apartments and even vacation properties. You can read two articles about these scams at the links below.

As we obtain information pertaining to issues like these that could affect you, we will continue to provide information to help you protect yourself from fraudsters. If you have any additional questions or need assistance, the Help Desk is always available to assist.