What are the different types of scams and how do I identify them?

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Gift Card Scams
At Prezzee, we’ll never try to intimidate you into buying and giving away eGift cards, but the scammers behind gift card scams do! They create urgent situations – like your manager needing gift cards to present at a conference, or having to repay built-up debt through eGift cards – so that you feel stressed and pressured. They want you to feel too flustered to think logically about what they’re asking you to do, which will usually be to buy gift cards and send them the number and pin.

Fake Website Scams
If a website looks professional enough, scammers can sit back and relax while unsuspecting shoppers “buy” from them. They might even list a fake business license and use a ‘.com’ domain name to look legitimate and get you feeling comfortable. To try to get you to hand over money offers such as free Prezzee eGift cards or a Prezzee discount may be listed. This is done to lure shoppers, but you won’t be getting the offer you think you are. No free eGift cards or discounted cards will be sent.

Social Media Scams
Approximately 70% of the US population is on Facebook, so with over 230 million active users, scammers can see the potential for successful hacks. The scams might appear as a Marketplace listing or an ad on your local Buy & Sell page. They’ll then direct you to a fake retailer website. For added credibility, they may even have a business Facebook or Instagram page. You’ll often see clickbait scams on social media, too. Fake accounts will try to get into large Facebook groups and then share a video that entices people to click and read more.

Clickbait Scams
An oldie but a (not so) goodie, clickbait can be fake offers that promise gifts or even Prezzee eGift cards, designed to grab your attention so you click through to a link. It’s almost always sensational, appealing to your curiosity and when the link is clicked on, you’re taken to a site where cyber criminals are behind the scenes working to steal personal information.

Phishing Scams
A scammer will use an email or text message to trick you into giving them personal information. You can probably think of some of these already – perhaps an email from your “boss” requesting your immediate attention or maybe a text from a bank. The scammer will usually communicate a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly, like receiving a fine, missing out on a parcel delivery, or not claiming a prize you won in time. Seems pretty phishy to us!

Vishing Scams
Vishing is like phishing but you’ll get a call. These fraudulent calls to both landlines and mobile phones may be an automated message or a real person. Either way, they’re trying to trick you into giving over personal information. And they can be sneaky, sometimes just trying to get you to verbally react to requests so they can use your voice recording to gain access to your accounts later on.

Pop-up Scams
Pop-ups may appear when you’re browsing the internet, usually with an enticing link for you to click that leads you to a fraudulent site. They can also appear as alerts on your computer, claiming that there has been ransomware detected on your device and you need to act immediately. These kinds of pop-ups might be installed by malware or adware programs and the scammers will try and get you to panic and pay them money to fix the problem. They’ll scare you into thinking your information is in danger from a virus…when in fact the danger is them!

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