The Latest Scams to Be Aware of in 2023

The Latest Scams to Be Aware of in 2023

The usual scams are still around, and it’s essential to be aware of these. However, these same scams are also being developed with some modern twists. Scammers are ever searching for recent events and/or technologies to use in their cyber threats.

In this article, we’ve gathered some of the latest scams you need to be aware of in 2023!

Student Loan Forgiveness Scams

Student loan forgiveness applications first opened in 2022. At that time, the FBI became aware of scams targeting borrowers. They warned student loan forgiveness applicants that scammers might try to contact them via phone or create fraudulent application sites designed to steal their Social Security number, bank account information, and more.

In addition, the FBI warned that scammers might try to put pressure on their victims with fake, urgent messages that encourage those with student loans to apply for relief before it’s too late. Otherwise, they might be forced to pay expensive application fees. That’s pretty scary and can be convincing unless you know how the student loan forgiveness application process works, the URL of the legitimate website, and other crucial details.

For one thing, you don’t have to pay to apply for student loan forgiveness, and anyone who asks you to pay a fee is committing fraud. In addition, the US Department of Education will not contact you via phone.

To learn more details about staying safe and avoiding student loan forgiveness scams, visit the US Department of Education’s website [SV3] for the right information about applying.

Phone Scams

Another common method scammers use to get in touch is through your phone. Phone scams rely on the smartphone’s ability to access the Internet and install malware. Here are some of the most common phone scams to be aware of in 2023:

Impersonators: scammers may try to impersonate IRS personnel, policy, survey takers, relatives, delivery people, and well-known brands/companies to threaten you or gain your trust. They may try to use scare tactics related to obtaining your Social Security number, criminal record, or account information before asking for personal, account, and credit card information.

QR codes: QR codes have become extremely popular in recent years by creating a touchless way to do things such as reading a restaurant menu or making a payment. However, scammers also use QR codes; these are placed in inconspicuous locations around the web. Scanning the code could ask you to make a small purchase or to enter your credentials on a fraudulent website. These websites look almost exactly like the real thing, such as shopping or banking websites for famous brands.

Robocalls: have been a problem for years; the calls may offer everything from auto warranties to vacations or issue a threat to gain your attention. Some robocalls even respond to your questions.

Texts: these messages often come from an unknown number or email address. These are usually smishing attacks that include a link to a scammer’s website or app.

Apps: scammers may also try to get you to install malicious apps to steal your data. They may also create a fake copy of an existing app and make money from in-app purchases.

A couple of other scams to watch for include:

SIM Swapping

SIM swapping is done by scammers when they steal your number and assign it to a new SIM card in a phone they can access. It’s a similar process to getting a new SIM card for a new phone with your mobile carrier.

The scammer then uses your SIM card to steal your data, then logs into your account and enters a verification code or rests the account password using the code or link sent directly to the phone.

One-Time Password (OTP) Bots

An alternative to SIM card swapping is the OTP bot attacks. “OTP” stands for a one-time password; scammers use these bots to trick you into sharing authentication codes that are sent to you via email and text or through an authentication app.

The bots may start with a robocall or send you a text that looks like it’s from a legitimate company. The bot tries to trick you into giving up login credentials to an account, such as a bank account. The scammer then uses the credentials to log in, triggering the system to send you a code. The bot asks for this code to gain direct access to your account.

Zelle Scams

More scammers are beginning to turn to Zelle to steal people’s money. Zelle is a peer-to-peer payment app used by banks and individuals. The scammer may send you an email, text, or call pretending to be part of your bank’s fraud department. They may say a thief was trying to steal your money through Zelle, and they walk you through how to fix the issue.

The “fixing” may require that you send money to yourself, but the money goes to the scammer’s account instead.

Cryptocurrency Scams

Cryptocurrencies remain of high interest to many people, including cyber thieves. Some people may even fear they’re missing a good thing if they don’t get involved now. Cryptocurrency scams are a little bit different but may be made to look like fake prizes, contests, giveaways, or early investment opportunities.

Here, the scammer may impersonate celebrities or popular cryptocurrency websites to attract victims into sending them money, sharing login details, or “investing” in a project. Crypto exchange accounts have also been the target of OTP bots, where the scammer drains your account.

Romance Scams

Romance scams have been around for quite a while; however, they’re still popular with hackers. For this scam, scammers often steal someone’s identity and/or create fake profiles on dating and social media apps to meet victims. It’s challenging to detect these fake profiles, though some scammers are lazy and use stock photos and make continuous excuses for not being able to meet in person.

Once the scammer has gained your trust, they may ask you to buy them something or send them money. Some scammers have even begun posing as investors and asking their victims to “invest” in fake projects or supplying them with false investment tips. Another scam involves a person “accidentally” sending you money and then asking you to send it back or on to another person.

Summing It Up

Along with being more aware of scammers’ new tactics, it’s also a great idea to continuously monitor your identity. You may want to sign up for free credit monitoring to receive alerts when there are unexpected changes in your credit report. The information helps you respond quickly to these fraudulent actions.

Our article doesn’t contain all the latest scams to watch out for; there are too many to include in one post! But you can see the patterns in each of these scams. The similarities in the methods scammers use to gain your trust or scare you into taking a desired action. These are the red flags to watch out for with this year’s newest scams.