N4T Investigators: Top five scams for 2018 - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Top five scams for 2018

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Tucson - The technological boom has brought out the worst in scammers. Computers have made it easier for them to get money from strangers. That's why most of the five most common scams in southern Arizona involve computers. 

Susann Miller of the Better Business Bureau gave us the list of tips on what to do if you are an intended victim. Miller says the fifth most common scam in our area now is the "Business Email Compromise."  That's when scammers pose as a colleague and email you, saying you need to send money to a supplier or business partner. "Don't respond to that email," Miller says. "Check with your colleague them directly or walk to their office and check with them" too see if they did in fact send the email in question.

The fourth most common scam: "Fake checks or money orders."  Scammers send you a check, often your first "paycheck" for  a supposed new job, but say they accidentally overpaid you and ask you to wire a portion back. Miller says, "If they're asking you to send any money back to them via wire transfer, don't do it. Do not engage, that is a red flag."

The third most popular scam: ,"Malware", meaning malicious software. It is written with the intent to harm your data. Miller says you should put your computer's mouse over the item in question and look where it's really going to. "If it's going to a location that you are not familiar with, do not engage, don't click on that."

The second most popular is the "Tech Support"  scam. That's when you get a pop-up on your computer or a phone call from someone claiming to be from "Tech support," saying they need to get into your system to fix a problem. Miller says a 92-year old man who lives in Green Valley recently lost $58,000 in this scam. "They're not only getting access to your computer," Miller says. They can then go inside and open up files on your computer, they can see all of your financial information. We want to make sure that when you see those pop-ups come up on your computer, that you just do not engage" the scammer.

The number one scam in southern Arizona as we start the new year: Phishing. As in scammers impersonating someone in emails to try to get the recipient to provide personal information or passwords. We recently reported on a home buyer who wired over $40,000 to someone posing as a title company officer. Miller says recipients of such emails should, again, contact the alleged sender in person if possible, or on the phone otherwise, and ask them if they did sent that email with that information. Do not respond or, of course, go through with any kind of financial transaction without confirming all of that. 

The always popular Internal Revenue Service scam did not, surprisingly for us, did not make the list. Hopefully that's because it's been reported on so often that people realize the IRS doesn't call you and threaten to arrest you for not paying back taxes if you don't wire money immediately.

Those five scams are the most popular locally. Nationwide, here are the top 10 scams, as reported by the BBB:

1) Home Improvement

2) Fake Check/Money Order

3 Employment

4) Online purchase

5) Advance Fee Loan

6) Investment

7) Romance

8) Tech Support

9) Family/Friend Emergency

10) Sweepstakes/Lottery/Prizes

If you have a story you'd like us to investigate, email us at investigators@kvoa.com or call our tip line at 520-955-4444.

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