Watch Out for These Common Financial Scams!

Posted by Greater Midwest Financial Group on Jul 25, 2022 11:26:25 AM


We’ve been hearing it from our clients and seeing it in the news: financial scammers are getting smarter and smarter. This means scams that are really hard to spot, and lead people to losing money (or worse).

There are a few trending scams we want to warn you about, so you can avoid being tricked. If you want to keep up-to-date on current scams – or if you want to report a scam – the Federal Trade Commission website is a great resource.

Common Financial Scams to Watch Out For

1. Fake Email Receipts

Scammers have become extremely skilled at making legitimate-looking emails: down to a send address that looks nearly identical to the real one. A common scam right now is to send potential victims an email receipt that looks like a real receipt – Best Buy, Microsoft, and Amazon are usual picks for impersonation. When the potential victim sees this incorrect charge, they’ll call the phone number in the email, which will send them to a scammer who may tell them the only way to reverse the charge is for them to confirm their credit card number.

If you receive one of these emails for a product or service you don’t remember buying, go straight to that company’s website and call the customer service phone number on their site. If it’s a real receipt, they’ll have a record of the purchase.

2. FTC Fake Calls

This one has been around for a while but is seeing a resurgence. You’ll receive a call from what sounds to be an employee at the FTC – it may even show up that way on your caller ID. They may also introduce themselves with the name of an actual FTC employee. Per the real FTC, the most common fake FTC scams are:

  • The consumer has won a sweepstakes or lottery but has to send money to take delivery.
  • The consumer’s assets are frozen until a fake debt, fine or lien is paid.
  • The caller is going to help the consumer recover funds lost in a scam.
  • The caller claims to be collecting back taxes or immigration fees.

If you receive any of the following via phone: hang up. The FTC does run sweepstakes and they will never contact you via phone – you’ll receive real FTC communications via snail mail.

3. Fake Amazon Calls

Another trending scam is scammers impersonating Amazon employees – either via email, text, or phone call. They will tell their potential victims that there’s been suspicious account activity or unauthorized purchases on their account – which understandably panics the person, who will call or text back and then be pulled into a scam where the scammer will try to “verify” their information by asking the person to share their Amazon login information, credit card number, or social security number.

Like with the fake email scam – contact Amazon’s customer support directly. You can do so via the website or by calling 1-888-280-4331.

4. Cryptocurrency ATM Payments

This scam takes advantage of new ATMs that allow for cryptocurrency transfers. They’ll usually call or email you – impersonating a government agency, a company, or even your boss – and ask you to to pay an outstanding bill using cryptocurrency at an ATM.

The FTC’s directive on this scam is very clear:

“Here’s the main thing to know: Nobody from the government, law enforcement, utility company, or prize promoter will ever tell you to pay them with cryptocurrency. If someone does, it’s a scam, every time.” 

When In Doubt – Call Your Financial Advisor

Some scams are incredibly sophisticated, and it can be nearly impossible to tell if they’re legitimate or not. Whenever you run into this scenario, it’s the perfect time to give a financial advisor a call. They are extremely familiar with financial scams and their goal is to help you keep and grow your money, not part you from it.

⇾ Read Now: What are Some of the Benefits of Working with a Financial Advisor?

Our financial advisors at Greater Midwest Financial Group are committed to helping you avoid financial scams and legitimately grow your personal wealth.

Contact a Financial Advisor

Greater Midwest Financial Group is a financial advisory firm serving St. Paul, Minneapolis, and the wider Twin Cities area. We specialize in wealth management, retirement planning, asset management, and other personal finance needs.

Photo by Tara Winstead

Topics: financial literacy, financial advisor