6 Things You Need to Know: Spotting “imposter scams”

Living East Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Have you received a suspicious call from someone trying to gain your trust, and trying to convince you to send them money? This is known as an “imposter scam”, and it was the top financial scam of 2019. This consists of someone calling or emailing you impersonating a government entity, a well-known business, or a family member in an emergency.

Taylor Hays of Homesource East Tennessee explains the imposter scam can come in many forms, include:

  • The top government imposter scam was the Social Security Scam followed closely by the IRS Scam. Remember, Caller ID’s can be faked. A SS Scam victim gets a call from someone saying they are from the Social Security Office and that a no-bail warrant has been issued for your arrest. They say that armed police or Marshall will come to your home to arrest you. It plays on fear and anxiety and resulted in an average loss of $1,500
  • An IRS Scam victim gets a call from an “agent” who may give you a “badge number” and may even know the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number. They use similar fear tactics as the SS Scammers. Average loss of $1,000
  • The Grandparent Scam usually consists of the victim getting a call from a relative in distress like a grandchild on spring break. The scammer claims to need money wired to them for bail moneylawyer’s fees-hospital bills, or some other fake expense. May call late at night to further confuse victims. Average loss of $2,000. Victims 70+ who sent cash through the mail (25%) had an average loss of $9,000.

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