Look out for Sugar Daddies, Public Wi-Fi, and LinkedIn Scams
Today's theme for con artists: If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Check out three of the latest scams and how to avoid them.
Sugar Daddy Scams
Too good to be true: "Retweet and you could be paid $10,000 cash. Thanks, xx."
Sugar daddies (or mamas) are preying on two factors: a public who loves free cash, and a request that requires very little effort.
Let's explore that last component: Does it hurt to retweet or follow the sugar daddy? They merely promise that you could win free cash, deposited into a PayPal account - no bank account needed.
Here's how it breaks down: Any time you, as the consumer, aren't paying for anything, you are the product. That means the sugar daddy is using you to advertise apps, services and more. By engaging your attention with a fraudulent promise of free money, they keep you hooked. What's more, every time you retweet or mention them online, they often gain even more followers.
Sugar daddies may even go further, direct messaging for bank account info, wire transfers, or gift card numbers. The best course of action is to ignore, block and disengage completely.
Too good to be true: Worry-free internet that costs nothing.
Be wary of free wi-fi offered at public venues such as airports, restaurants, cafes or hotels. The internet is "open" and far less secure than the firewalls protecting home internet systems. What you transmit can be viewed by the hundreds - if not thousands - of hackers.
Need to use the internet in an open space? Tap into your mobile device's hotspot if transmitting payments or personal information. Never do more than lightly skim if you absolutely have to use public internet.
- Transmit credit card or payment information
- Sign in to any site using your password(s) or username(s)
- Edit a document that you would feel uncomfortable sharing with others
- Perform work for your employer
Too good to be true: Perfect job + amazing pay + minimal job interview.
You've been contacted by a recruiter. You're their "perfect" hire. The pay is great and the hours flexible. What could go wrong? The instant that the recruiter needs your bank account information to set up a payroll direct deposit, run.
Authentic employers never ask for bank account information. "Direct deposit" is a financial component you personally set up once you're hired. True job recruiters are too busy to fuss with an employee's paycheck deposits.
Job-scam red flags:
- Companies with no online presence
- HR department that can't be reached
- Recruiters who don't do video chat (if an in-person interview isn't conducted)
- Social security numbers requested for background checks (not through a third-party security provider)
- Bank account information requests
Be sure to contact BECU immediately if you suspect your information has been compromised while shopping online or your identity stolen.